Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Roman ruin (and I'm in ruins)

Done before India. Unrelated to India. Them's the breaks.

He's mine, all mine!

We got home night before last and today I woke up with a head cold and sore throat. It doesn't help that it is again (still?) very cold and snowy, and I have to go out in it to do some errands. I'm procrastinating by blogging, you see.

I just have to kvetch some. Don't read the following if you don't want to hear my personal pity party:
The trip home was utterly miserable. Beyond miserable. In order to get home, the following was required, sequentially:

1 hour taxi to Hyderabad airport
3 hours wait in Hyderabad airport
9.5 hours flight to Frankfurt
3 hours wait in Frankfurt airport
plus 1 hour delay
plus 1 more hour delay in plane on tarmac
9.5 hours flight to Denver
1.5 hours wait in Denver airport, including new extra-belligerent security measures
1.5 hours bus to Boulder station
taxi ride to house

I am sooooo wrecked. To make matters worse, I injured my back in India about a week before we left, what apparently may be a "torn annulus" (a disc problem). Sitting hurts it, a lot. Do you think I had to do any sitting on the journey home?! I went to a doctor in India a few days before leaving, concerned because I was going to have to sit so much to get back to the U.S., and he pretty much steepled his fingers, looked thoughtful, and then asked me what I was going to do about it.
(He did prescribe me a muscle relaxant, one of which I tried the day before we left to see if it would help. It put me into such an awful state--like what I've read as a bad drug trip--near-hallucinations, depression, and lethargy--that the minute I got my head straight again, I promptly threw the rest into the trash.)

The final flight (Denver to Frankfurt) had to be the worst ever in my long history of flying. We were of course in "sardine class," and to my great horror, not one, not two, but three (bad luck comes in threes, no?) toddlers were seated directly behind us. Imagine three toddlers on their very worst, loudest behavior...for nine and a half hours. I had earplugs in and then special earphones over that, to absolutely no avail. Due to the delay in Frankfurt, I finished my last book (note to self: never let that happen again) and all the magazines on the plane were in German. (Oh, and did I mention that the man in front of me was very large and with his seat reclined, I didn't even have room to put my tray table down. Oh, and that Delhi belly had finally caught up to me about 3 days before we left.) Oh well, I thought, make the best of it, watch whatever stupid movies are available on my little individual movie screen on the seat back in front of me. Fifteen minutes into my first movie, both my screen and The Husband's (next to me) died. On the entire plane, only ours died. Every seat on the flight was full. The flight attendant did everything he could but could not revive our screens. "It's just plain cruel," he acknowledged sympathetically, and later presented us each with a small bottle of in-flight red wine, each housed, sausage-like, in one of those horrible synthetic navy-blue airline socks. It was quite surreal.

I'm very glad to be home and with my fur babies again. If I go brave the outside now to go walk them and then go to the store to restock their dog food, perhaps they'll pay me back by keeping me warm the rest of the day.

More art on my website:


loriann said...

That sounds awful Jala! Isn't it wonderful to see those fur babies? Don't they just make your day?
It's so good to have you back again. Welcome home!

Anonymous said...

hi Jala
good to hear you are back a little worse for wear but safe and warm. you'll look back to this experience and laugh... give it about 20 years though:))

anupam said...

hey jala!

what happened to your back sweetheart? Indian Climate did not suit you ? :(
There is nothing like home sweet home home!! I find my home in India the most comfy place in the world :)

Love ya..

Janelle Goodwin said...

Your trip home sounds like a nightmare. So glad you're back safe and sound. Now you can finally stretch out and relax in quiet.

Anonymous said...

What a true survivor you are and by your description it seems you hate travel the way I do.
It's not lost on me the following:
Never travel with fewer books than you think you'll need, and that of the entire plane, ONLY yours and your husbands screen went out.
Hindsight consolation: probably you'd never have seen the screen given the angle of pitch of the man in front of you who can sleep the sleep of the dead while you sit and twitch for 9 hours.

You did not, I'm happy to note, leave any part of your descriptive humor behind.

My prescription given without the steeple like placement of hands?
Stay home, rest, take a few animals under the blanket with you ( how cute are Rumi and ML ! ) and make hot chocolate. A lot of hot chocolate.

And welcome back home. Getting to St Croix will be very easy by comparison so think about THAT!

Jala Pfaff said...

Hi Loriann, thanks! Yes, the fur babies make it all bearable, somehow. Dogs and cats--they are magical.

Hi Rahina - Thanks. You're probably right. :)

Hi Anupam! How fun to see a comment by YOU here! :) No, as you know, the Indian climate definitely does not agree with me, but in this case, it was more the lifestyle that did me in--all the sitting. I only sit a few hours a day at home, and take a lot of walks; in India, it was like 12 hours a day of sitting. My back really rebelled.

Hi Janelle, thanks. I am indeed relishing the quietude and the ability to recline. :)

Hi Bonnie! You've just cracked me up with the comment about not being able to see the screen anyway due to the large guy in front of me. :)) I really like your prescription (though perhaps it would carry more professional weight if you steepled your fingers?). Does eating chocolate count, or just drinking it? 'cause I been doin' a lotta eatin' of it. You cannot get edible chocolate in India--just one reason I could never actually live there.
I am very much looking forward to that relatively SHORT journey to St.X. Call me a princess, but boy do I hate being confined, cramped, and uncomfortable. Can you do anything about the possibility of toddlers behind me?

Sheila Vaughan said...

Welcome home Jala. What a horrendous journey back you had but before long those memories will fade a little and the sweet memories of India was re-surface. Lovely to see you and your work (and the kitty cats) again.

suzanneberry said...

Oh my gawd!!! sounds like a Seinfeld episode and you were George! i would have had to end it all somewhere over Frankfurt i'm afraid. positively horrible. i'm a control my enviornment kind of person and i would have freaked. you handled it well. glad you're home and resting. feel better. amazing work as always. happy new year! feel better. i'm sorry it was such an awful trip, but i really enjoyed reading it.

Jala Pfaff said...

Thank you, Sheila and Suzanne! (Suzanne, believe me, I WAS freaking out.)

Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

You. Go. Right. Ahead. Kvetch!
What a trip - nooooo, not with a bad back!!!!! Thank goodness you're home and can get snuggles from your furry friends...

Sherrie Y said...

Why is it always the RETURN trips that are so awful? The best international trip I ever made... perfect, hassle-free the entire time, was ended with a 36-straight-hour return home. (It was supposed to only be about 18 hours, start to finish.)

What's that line about things that don't kill us making us stronger? Yeah. Right. :-) Welcome home.

eLIZabeth Floyd said...

Hi Jala, I am getting to this post late, and totally commiserate! I am so sorry to hear about your back injury and that you had to travel when it was flaired up like it was! Take care and find comfort in all you do,