Continued from Day 10585…
Tuesday, 14 August 2018
0727 h: I have high hopes from today. Let’s begin. 15 hours to go.
1044 h: Breakfast done. Kitchen and bathroom floor cleaned. Off to the Waschsalon now. 12 hours to go.
1149 h: Back from the Waschsalon. 11 hours to go.
1248 h: Folded laundry. Packed my bags. 10 hours to go.
1458 h: Cleaned the toilet. Applied hair oil and face mask, and shaved my beard. Off to shower now. Less than 8 hours to go.
1528 h: Shower done. Off to get chocolates and some lunch. 7 hours to go.
1708 h: Back with chocolates, chips and gum. Trains are running late. Change of plans- I’ll be taking the bus to Hauptbahnof. 5 hours to go.
I’ll be travelling through tomorrow’s Independence Day. I’ll reach home in the early hours of 16th. It’s Pakistan’s today. Here’s wishing another 72 years of progress and more progress to both countries. (Also read: The Pakistanianish Penguin)
1907 h: Ah, that nap was much needed. 3 hours to go.
2108 h: All packed and ready. It’s dinner time! 1 hour to go.
2145 h: Alright, let’s go! See ya on the other side.
So, here’s the plan:
22:41 – 22:45 Train (RE 56916): Aachen Schanz (Pl. 1) – Aachen Hbf (Pl. 3)(Edit: I took the bus)
22:51 – 00:27 Train (RE 10145): Aachen Hbf (Pl. 2) – Düsseldorf Flughafen (Pl. 1)
23:41 – 23:45 Train (RE 56920): Aachen Schanz (Pl. 1) – Aachen Hbf (Pl. 3)
23:51 – 00:44 Train (RE 10147): Aachen Hbf (Pl. 2) – Köln Hbf (Pl. 3)
01:07 – 01:47 Train (RE 10641): Köln Hbf (Pl. 9) – Düsseldorf Hbf (Pl. 7)
02:21 – 02:27 Train (RE 10159): Düsseldorf Hbf (Pl. 17) – Düsseldorf Flughafen (Pl. 1)
06:40 – 08:00 Flight (AF 1107): Düsseldorf DUS 06:40 CEST – Paris CDG 08:00 CEST
10:30 – 20:20 Flight (AF 192): Paris CDG 10:30 CEST – Bangalore BLR 23:50 IST
Wednesday, 15 August 2018
2210 h: On the train to Hauptbahnhof. Düsseldorf Flughafen in 130 minutes. Just need to make sure I keep awake, because train only stops for a minute.
0038 h: Reached the airport. Checked in- Seat 14A on the Embraer 190, and 21B on the Airbus A330. Nice numbers! Now, we wait. Air France app has this cool feature where it keeps track of planes travelled in. By the end of the day I’ll have unlocked the A330.
0255 h: Three more hours until baggage drop. The check in counters are closed. There is no staff. I went to the restroom and took a selfie, because why not. A bathroom selfie is off my list of things I thought I’d never do.
0313 h: Giant pivot joints!
0346 h: My body aches from all that cleaning and luggage lifting earlier today. That was too much physical effort than my usual. The first plane out of here at 5 am is to Ibiza.
0543 h: INDEPENDENCE DAY! I’m so tired already. Another half hour to board. I have a two and half hour layover in Paris also.
0848 h: Paris! The officer who checked my passport at the terminal greeted me with a namaste the moment he saw Republic of India on the cover, that is so sweet!
0905 h: Two hours to board. Like always, I bought Düsseldorf and Paris fridge magnets at the respective airports! Now I have Aachen, Dreiländerpunkt, Amsterdam, Köln, Düsseldorf and Paris. I missed out on Kathmandu, Abu Dhabi and Frankfurt because that was before I started collecting fridge magnets. I couldn’t keep my eyes open on the first flight. The short nap seems to have helped.
0944 h: Independence Day at the Paris Aeroport! 10/10 for effort, but that’s an African elephant. Indian elephants have smaller ears. French people are adorable!
0948 h: Sunil Chhetri is here. Should I go ask for an autograph?
1002 h: I got a picture with Sunil Chhetri. All I could say was “thank you sir” when I could have said so much more. Like how proud I am of him, or how I much I follow both the Indian national and Bengaluru FC teams. But, never mind. I would say it is the best day of the month if it weren’t my birthday month. That is going up as my profile picture.
1027 h: Aw, they wished us Independence Day over the announcement system. I take that back. The French are super adorable! Boarding now. See ya in the right time zone.
Thursday, 16 August 2018
What a day! Yesterday just kept getting better and better. I was upgraded to business class, they gave me independence day goodies, and a glass of champagne which I traded for banana juice. I had never travelled business class, the hospitality made me so awkward. Actually, I couldn’t care for the extra hospitality and food options, but the one good thing I liked about the business class over economy was the extra space to spread my legs. In a 10-hour flight, that made all the difference.
The Bengaluru airport was still in independence day spirit at 1 am. The one festival we owe to the British. Without them, we wouldn’t have had this holiday. They’re responsible for a lot of Independence Days all over the world. We need to give credit where credit is due. Independence Day is not a religious holiday, unlike Diwali, Holi, Eid, Christmas, Buddha Purnima, Guru Nanak Jayanti or Mahavir Jayanti. There’s no excuse not to celebrate it. Group hug means group hug. Yes, you too, atheists.
I didn’t do much all day, except eat and sleep. Let today be my one cheat day of this month. That being said…
I’m back in my favourite time zone!
Friday, 17 August 2018
Pakistan threatens to ban Twitter on grounds of violating the constitutional realm of legitimate free speech. “Out of a hundred requests from Pakistan to block certain offensive material, roughly five per cent are entertained. Twitter ignored all the remaining requests,” Director General of PTA’s Internet Policy and Web Analysis, Nisar Ahmed, told the committee. Pakistan isn’t the first country to run into problems with internet social media. The debate is still open- so what is legitimate free speech?
In other news, India lost their three-time former Prime Minister yesterday. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a true leader. Great man. Some of his parliamentary speeches are legendary. #Respect
Saturday, 18 August 2018
I spent most of the last two days bossing Alexa around on the Amazon Echo Plus. I played with the lights, and of course made it answer weird questions. The monsoon is heavy this year. 324 people have died. The media is already comparing it to the Great Flood of 99.
I’m going on vacation with my parents, but we cannot seem to decide where- (1) Sikkim; (2) Assam, or (3) Andaman Islands. The west side is ruled out due to monsoons. The east side of India gets the retreating monsoon, and that is still two months away.
India are batting first at Trent Bridge. Kohli got out for 97. India ended day 1 at 307 for 6. We watched the Hindi remake of the movie Chef. Beautiful movie.
Tl;dw Don’t have sex in space. Earth is better.
I came across this beautiful India-Pakistan love story:
(Related: The Pakistanianish Penguin)
Continue to Day 10591.