Sunday, June 27, 2010

New York – London – Kuwait – Chennai

I travelled about 18 hours in flight from New York to Chennai and back to New York in this past one month. Here are the few interesting things I experienced and observed in the flights and airports.

1. The JFK international airport is huge and is an architectural masterpiece by the Americans. The terminals are built with less materials and efficient energy saving methods are used. Lots of sunlight and air circulation but the whole complex is a mere skeleton of metal, with glass and fiber.

2. The restrooms in JFK airport - a cool innovation with the men’s room. The men’s room urinals have a black spot on them; the spot is a picture of a fly which seems like a real fly is sitting on the urinal. So men try to target the fly to shoo it away from the place. It’s a natural instinct for men. It’s a very innovative idea as it prevents spillage of urine outside the urinal and also saves water.

3. Yes, this is a power driven world, I saw people searching for power in the terminals of the airport. Yes, by power I mean electricity. There were no plug points to be seen anywhere on the seating areas and people did everything to find one and charge their phones or laptops. A girl decided to sit on the floor right next to a janitor’s closet to charge her laptop as it had a power point next to it. A man had his laptop charging from a cell phone charging point from a distance away and had many people almost trip over by his charger wire. I am no exception as I stood with my phone in the cell phone charging point.

4. American vs. British English. Of course, there’s an ocean of difference between the two accents, but I observed the airport staff’s speaking their respective accents and found Americans to be super laidback and cool while the British were majestic and strict. Just by their accented English, the British officials looked commanding and little bit scary.

5. Arab sheikh! My flight from London to Kuwait had this interesting incident. An Arab sheikh and his wife had boarded the plane in London; they were in their traditional costumes and did not speak English. They sat in the seat in front of us, but funny thing was it was another couple’s seats. No matter what the airhostess would explain, the sheikh never budged to get up from that seat and move to his own. It even lead to the Command officer from airport to come and confront him and threatened him to be debarked, but all in vain. Sheikh did not shake for anything.

6. Tamil flight! The flight from Kuwait to Chennai had this awesomeness to it. Almost every passenger on the flight was a tamilian. Even the air stewards spoke Tamil, never did I imagine I would see such a sight, it bought me into Chennai even before my flight took off from Kuwait.

7. My return flight was at 5.50 am morning. Pretty odd time since I had to reach airport at 3am. The wait at the gate was very boring, so I started messaging all my friends. Luckily one was awake at 4 am and helped me out of boredom by talking to me for a long time. Thanks to that Friend.

8. there was a very interesting coincidence in the flight, in the 3 seats of my row, the person sitting on my right was named shiba, and the person on my left was named shibu, with me being Chibi. Our names differed just by a letter pronunciation. Oddly interesting.

9. American kids and Indian kids. There were lots of kids in my flight from Kuwait to New York via London, for some reason, kids don’t sleep at all in flights. I had a couple of American kids before me and an Indian kid behind my seat. Interesting thing I observed was the American kid was like a tamed and trained dog, did his parents said and was really obedient and mostly silent; the Indian kid was notoriously loud and kept talking like there was a competition going on. During the flight taxi in London, the American parent kept educating their kid about the aircrafts, different airlines, their tail pics, how plane takes off n stuff... while the kid listened. On the other hand, the Indian kid had tons of questions to her dad, she kept asking him, how does plane fly, why can’t cars fly, why is the tire of plane so small, why does it have a tail, why is the driver of plane called a pilot instead of plane driver. Etc… the dad didn’t have the patience or the time to answer his little one as she fired a lot of questions. So which of the kids is Smarter? Indian or American?

10. The Football world cup fever is in the air too. I heard pilot announcements made updating the ongoing USA- Ghana game during the flight. Sadly, USA lost the game during extra time.