I’m now at the Oberoi Hotel in Bangalore, India. It’s a spectacular hotel in the midst of some of the busiest traffic and city noise I’ve seen anywhere in the world. Beijing has similar volumes of traffic, but it’s much more orderly, and the roads are much superior. I guess being a totalitarian state has its advantages when it comes to urban planning.

My departure from Heathrow was uneventful. I keep going back and forth on whether I like Heathrow or not. Right now, I’m leaning on NOT. The “one carry-on bag” rule is utterly ridiculous. When I travel, I bring a computer bag, and a typical roller carry-on. I do this when I travel with checked bags especially because of the risk of arriving without my checked bags. This happens frequently (especially with Air France, but that’s another story).

So, now the rule is “1 bag”. I am traveling with 2 computers, my beloved MacBook, and my company issued Dell notebook. In order to comply, I had to replace the valuables and notebook in my computer bag with dirty laundry, and check the computer bag. The basis of this being “for security purposes” is utter and complete BS. This is just a way for airlines to save time and money by reducing the effect of carry on bags. When I travel regularly in the US for a week, I never check my bag. If that rule became in effect in North America, that would put a final bullet in air travel for me.

Anyhow, the shops at Heathrow are pretty good. But I have no idea what you’re supposed to do with the stuff you buy now that your single carry-on is stuffed to the max. At the gate, we were moved onto a bus, then to the tarmac where we met our Boeing 777. I love this aircraft. It’s a true marvel. The diameter of the engine is bigger than the fusealage of some small commercial aircraft. It’s (to my knowledge), the only twin engine aircraft permitted to fly over the pole because of the reliability and power of the engines. It was only the 747 and the A-340 that could fly on those routes before the 777.

The flight was very light. I was in Club Class on British Airways, and there were only 12 of us in a section that could have held at least double that. So we all spread out for the 9.5 hour flight. I enjoy watching the flight progress on the video map. Flying to India takes you over some places that are truely exotic and controversial. However, I do recall on previous flights flying over Iran, which I thought was a bit odd. On this flight, we flew a more southerly route over Saudi Arabia, south of UAE and Bahrain. As a passenger, I’m quite pleased that we’re not flying over Iran in a BA aircraft, given the very recent tensions between the 2 countries.

After watching a cool thunderstorm over the Arabian Sea, we landed in Bangalore. Customs and immigration were the fastest of any of my previous trips. But, when I exited the arrival area, I didn’t see the Oberoi representative. This is unusual, because they always meet you right at the door, and whisk you away to the hotel. I eventually found him, and knew something was wrong when he was flipping through multiple pages of names to find me.

Upon arrival at the Oberoi, the problem was made clear. They didn’t have me checking in until later today. They have a 12pm check-in time, and I am showing up around 515am. This is the second time this has happened to me in Bangalore, so I definitely have to let the travel department know that I would appreciate a place to sleep upon arrival. And the couch in the lobby isn’t what I’m looking for.

But, as always, the Oberoi staff save the day, and check me in with minimal fuss. The bad news is that the Spa is closed for renovations. And oh, was I looking forward to a massage. C’est la vie.

Up to the room, a brief unpack, and a setup of the portable WiFi router and my MacBook. Presto, I’m online and video chatting with my family. Did I mention I love my MacBook?

The next few days will be a whirlwind for me. I depart Friday morning at 630am and connect through Heathrow to Toronto. I should be home by bed time on Friday night. I’m really looking forward to that.

mJm

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