Most of this week, I have been filling forms of one sort of the other and by today, Friday, I am officially tired of it. I don’t want to write my own name for a week in any paper. Grrrr!!! And if it is possible I don’t want to fill any forms, unless the ones I had filled does its purpose. I guess this is all part and parcel of moving to a new country and all…but I need a break! And when you have forms which have small space to write your name and that isn’t enough to fill your long name…another Grrrrr!!! moment. I think what my friend and his wife are doing is wise. They haven’t named their child (a boy) yet and he is already a couple of months short of his first birthday (auspicious times and all). By now he might as well name himself and that wouldn’t be a bad thing, even though I am not sure what name he would choose since he can hardly talk.
I am not a “formal” person. I don’t do formal in conversations or in clothing. After, I don’t know when was the last time, a very long time I had to dress up formally today for an event. Turned out that it wasn’t a necessity 🙄 After going through the trouble of shopping, trying out clothes, wearing formal shoes etc etc etc (you have no clue to the amount of whinging I did during the shopping. Mr. M should be applauded just for putting up with that) I might as well be in my jeans and tops. Formal clothes in India is different from formal clothing in the UK and I now know that I am not good with either. Give me casuals any day or my lounge wear.
Today is one of those days when I needed a extra cup of ultra strong South Indian Filter Coffee to start my official day.
It is not a TGIF for me, at least not yet. After a lackluster night, the early morning cup of Indian Masala Chai didn’t wake me up. So I had to get my coffee fix in office while I am waiting for people to start the conference. I don’t like it when people schedule these demos and conference calls at the last minute, especially on a Friday. Don’t these people have a life? or know what it means to reach Friday after jogging through the whole week? I am just waiting for the day to get over. God, give me strength.
Warning: Gonna be a long post because of the incident during the flight
Every once in a while during my flight journey I end up having someone sitting next to me who would be so weird that I end up having some story to tell someone about it. The flight was already delayed by an hour because of a technical issue with the door. Thankfully it was properly fixed and not ‘patched’ by any intermediate fixes like we do in our software 😉 While waiting at the gate, I keep looking around for people and what they are doing, how they are reacting, who wants to be the first in the queue for boarding etc etc. There are always people who would go with their Economy tickets when the call was Business Class/ First Class and get turned back. There is not a single time I haven’t met at least ‘one’ of them. I wonder why they would do that! OK, let me get back to this weird guy. So this French guy was sitting 4 seats to my left and was trying to chat with an Indian (of course). Why was their conversation weird and why did I actually pay attention to it? Because the French guy spoke french and the Indian guy spoke English and neither of them were able to understand the other. The French guy was trying to strike a conversation and the Indian guy didn’t know how to respond, so he was mostly smiling and shaking his head. Well, now you know why that caught my attention.
I think you know where this is heading, right? Well, as fate would have it, once I placed my bags in the cabin, I went to freshen up and when I was back I saw this French guy in my seat. Whoa!!! OK!!! I tell him that the aisle seat was mine (I endured the middle seat on the way to London, and made sure that I did not repeat my mistake) and he was looking at me like I was crazy. Then I had to show him my ticket and then he was like ‘oui oui’ and moved to the next one taking my headset with him. Some more of the hand gestures to get it back from him. And after that I opened my Kindle, as usual, and started with my book, wondering what is in store for me. The Indian guy on the other side tried to strike a conversation with the French guy and well, you know what happened. It was a repeat of the earlier performance. What I didn’t expect was that this French guy turned to me and started to speak in French and wasn’t even slow. Now, it was my turn to look at him like ‘he’ was crazy and told him ‘I don’t speak French’. For that he said ‘I speak French’ (the only English line he knew, I guess) I almost rolled my eyes and told him ‘OK! but I dont’ and added some hand gestures. He didn’t seem to be bothered and kept talking to me. How am I even supposed to respond to that? I smiled and asked him ‘You speak English?’ and he was like ‘English?’ and shook his head no. I said OK and went back to my book and didn’t respond to his lines after that. Why bother. The Indian guy on the other side tried to help him but again to no avail and finally found a representative of the BA who spoke French. After that, all was well and calm.
But not for too long. After the 5th hour or so, once I had my book finished I decided to take a nap and was doing well with it for almost an hour when I heard someone very close to my left ear talking (the French guy was to my right) I woke up only to find the senior official of the BA air hosting team asking the French guy if he was smoking in the toilet. The senior guy was flanked by the French speaking guy and another assistant. Little did the guy know that the French guy spoke only French. He told him that he could smell cigarettes on him and that another passenger recognized him coming out of the toilet followed by some smoke and that he would be warned this time but if he continued he would be arrested in India. He was so angry and he spoke without a pause even though he had a good control of his tone. The French guy, well, he listened to all of it, obviously not understanding a word of it. Then the French speaking assistant came to help and translated it word by word (I am just assuming it) and this guy was vehemently denying it even though he had cigarettes in his pocket. I was caught up in between and was watching them like a tennis match.
After that excitement and all, I couldn’t go back to sleep. But that guy didn’t have any such issues. After mumbling himself to sleep and drinking some of whatever he had in his cabin baggage, went back to sleep. I started on another book and before I could put it down after an hour, he got very comfortable and I almost thought he was going to keep his leg up on me, the way he moved around and laid on the guy on the other side. Now I was fully awake to make sure that he didn’t turn to my side. And in a few minutes, he removed his shirt too. Good Lord! I almost called the assistants but then he put it back on after a few minutes. Thank Goodness. And before we got down, he was talking to the other Indian guy in French telling him something about how he was scolded about smoking and was mimicking the old senior assistant who scolded him in English.
How is he even going to survive in India, without any English knowledge? Not many people know French here, let alone English (languages, I mean). When the other Indian guy was asking him if he had any friends here, he was wondering ‘friends? why?’ It looked like he got the first ticket he could get and just got on. Will he be able to survive here? He might be able to. But it is going to be some painful start and I hope that he is not ripped of whatever money he has. Since I can’t smell well, I couldn’t say anything about the smoking but if everyone else could smell the smoke on him, then he definitely did put everyone else on danger by doing a prohibited thing, in a flight nonetheless, which doesn’t earn him any points. And two guys on the left seat were having a huge discussion about this guy for almost half an hour after the smoking incident. Seriously, why do I end up being part of these kind of events.
My office car parking isn’t all that great. But there are three levels (including the ground level) and I usually park my car on the first level where one section has double parking in it. And I happened to park there because it is closer to the lift and easy to park too. The ‘request’ that is put up by the security team in a small paper that is glued to the wall for those people who end up double parking behind a car to leave their keys with the security/driver so that in case of need they can move the cars and not trouble the owner/drivers.
Day before yesterday I wanted to leave home a bit early because it was getting very cloudy and it looked like it was going to rain very heavily and I didn’t want to get stuck in traffic for hours when that happened. So I go to the parking lot by 4.15 pm and I see a car parked behind mine. No other cars are double parked else where. Just that one car behind my car. Just My luck (no, not the movie title!) I check with security to get them to move the car. He goes and checks and comes back to tell me that the owner/driver of that car hasn’t left the keys with them. WTH. OK! (deep breathing) I asked him to find the employee to whom the car belongs to (they should have a database even though I wasn’t very sure of it. The last time I had registered my vehicle with their system was around 5 years ago) and he says ‘no, maam. There is no such database anymore.’ OK! (shallow breaths) I asked him to get the facilities team manager or the security manager pronto. I have never ever raised my voice with service people, because most of the time they try their best to do their duty and are often the scapegoats for the mismanagement from the higher officials. When the facilities and security manager (both of them in fact) turned up, I explained them my situation and asked them to figure out a way to get my car out. I was packed on three sides by cars and by wall on the other side.
They tried to figure out the owner of the car using the registration number but ended up nowhere. It was registered in a name that wasn’t in the employee database. I was rolling my eyes. Did they really think that everyone uses cars that were registered in their own names? Hell, I have been using a car which was in my dad’s name for almost 5 years now. After me pestering them and them finding no other way, they made an announcment in the system used only for emergencies asking the owner / driver of the car to come to the parking lot immediately. It was already half an hour past by then. We then waited for 15-20 mins more. No response. They were fiddling their thumbs and thinking what to do next. I was all for reversing my car with full force and hitting the double parked car and damaging it. I would have done that if I didn’t have so many witnesses. I even asked them if they would look the other way round if I did that 😉 One guy told me that it would be futile because the hand brakes were on and that stunt would end up damaging my car more than anything.
Then they sent an email to the list which has all the employees registered in it. No response either. A couple of employees came down to check out what the deal was that made these people announce and send an email. It was already 45 mins past then. Finally, when it was close to an hour, everyone lost their patience and they were getting the scale and screwdriver to open the window or call the towing service to tow the car. They got their tools and were about to try and remove the beading on the window, when the owner of the car next to mine came down, looked at us and hurriedly took out his car. Now the car to my right was moved out and I had enough space to take mine out by squeezing it in. It was a tough one and took a lot of manoeuvering but finally we all did it. It was more than an quarter and an hour by then. Yet still we couldn’t figure out the owner of the double parked car.
I came home after struggling through the peak time traffic, which was my purpose of starting home early and wrote a very strong email to the management about the loop hole in their system for managing situations like this and the fact that this was the second time I was facing this, except that this time it was more than an hour of everyone’s time that was wasted. All because of one idiot who did not have the common sense to leave the keys or his number with the security and didn’t bother to respond to the calls/emails. I wanted to write “Shame!” using a marker on his car, but unfortunately none was available with anyone at that time.