Heathrow. Getting my very heavy suitcase to the check-in desk. Being told I was *gasp* SEVENTEEN kilos overweight. Being told it was *heart attack* THIRTY ONE POUNDS per kilo. Hurriedly unpacking and giving JC's mother most of my heavy stuff. Telling the grumpy check-in girl that I'd take the other bag as cabin baggage.
Stopping at duty free, buying a carton of Camel Lights. Rushing to the boarding gate.
Doha. Arabic everywhere. Duty free there is SO much cheaper. Absolut Mango, check. Benson and Hedges Special Filters, check. Trying not to think about JC further away with each step I took, well, not so much. Stepping up to the check in counter. Being told my seat had been changed from 17 K to 11 B. Asked for a window seat, but no luck. Oh well. What difference did it make? Economy is economy.
Boarding. Walking through economy, no seat. Keep walking, keep walking. Through... curtains? Really? OH. MY. GOD. I. AM. IN. BUSINESS. CLASS. They upgraded me! Whey-hey! Steward notices my confused expression. Clocks me as a newbie. Try and make myself look respectable. Accept a glass of champagne and put my feet up. Too bad this flight is only a couple of hours and I'm... so... tiiiiiiiiiired.
The best sleep I have ever had in a plane. The seat goes all the way back and I curl up under my blanket, only to awake when we're circling Bombay. Ah. I don't think I can ever do economy again.
Bombay is instant shedding. Off comes the jacket, the cardigan, the socks. Standing in line at immigration. Realise I have forgotten to fill in the landing form. Sent back to the back of the queue. Make my way to the front again, only to be told pencils are Not Acceptable. Seriously? I almost cry, and they take pity on me and let me stand there and rewrite it.
Baggage claim's a bitch. One line gets broken, the other takes ages. I'm standing amongst people who shove past me. Well, Toto, I guess we're not in the UK anymore.
Home. Upstairs. Flat looks decent but dusty. Cat looks shocked at my appearance. Doesn't let me out of his sight. When I go to the bathroom he stands outside and meows. I guess the fact that cats are perfectly happy with just someone coming in to feed them is a myth. Now, what shall I do with him next time I travel? Oh dear.
Friends are happy to see me. Bandra is much the same, with the addition of a few new places. And, how sad, Bonobo is no more. And Escobar seems to have never existed. Did I really leave? Did my two months end before I noticed? The only lingering signs that I have been anywhere at all are some souveniers and a bad stomach.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.