India: Oct 24: Flying Home

Security in Delhi on flights to America is amazingly tight. First I had to get my bag x-rayed and sealed, and get my carry-on tagged. Then I checked in (where I'm sure my bag was x-rayed again), went through immigration, and went through a line to x-ray carry-ons. Then I had to return, stressed, to immigration because the guy who stamped my tickets and forms had forgotten to stamp one particular place. Then, when boarding the plane, all bags were opened and thoroughly searched by another, independent security team. We were required to boot up electronic devices to show they all did what they were supposed to do.

At each of these steps, they checked passports. I must've had mine checked half a dozen times.

Dinner on the flight (American Airlines international) wasn't particularly good, though it's still better than the food one gets on domestic United flights.

Breakfast was good, and sizable. I enjoyed the omelette. The yogurt, though not identical to the one on my flight to India, was similarly bad, tasting sweetened and artificial.

These long flights were marginally easier to cope with than the ones to India. Carrying a six hundred page pulp novel which I bought in Jodhpur, I was a bit more prepared this time. Still, I finished it before the first leg ended. The last few hours, sick of reading, of listening to music or discussion on an iPod, and of watching television, were particularly boring.

In Chicago, I landed, passed quietly through customs, browsed a bookstore briefly, drank water out of a water fountain (quite a change!), and boarded my connection.

Relatively soon I was back in the bay area and safely at home. I was happy to take a long, hot shower.

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