We made it. 36 hours ago I left my house for the Robert Q, and we've finally arrived at our place in Agra. I think I've seen 3 sunrises since then, flying against the sun... but I don't really remember. We have to start the competition in a couple hours, so we'll try to grab some sleep before then.
The flights were scary. Our YYZ-O'Hare was delayed by 3 hours and we just barely made our connection to Delhi. But we got on ok.
In related news, American Airlines is a bunch of assholes. There was this Indian family, two parents and three young children, in the row ahead of us on our 13-hour O'Hare-Delhi flight. At any given time at least one of the kids was fussing, and one had a particularly piercing shriek that he would let out more or less on a whim every half our or so (there was something satisfying about the controlled power). They were kind of annoying, but kids will be kids, and kids will be on airplanes, and you will be on airplanes with kids. You deal.
Apparently the flight attendants didn't agree. They also didn't seem to understand their status as representatives of American Airlines, not a bunch of random passengers who might be justified in (or at least excused for) running their mouth. One stewardess passes by and, in an ambiguously humourous tone, says to the baby, "Put a cork in it," which she follows up with a sincere, "He's terrible" to the mother.
Shortly after, a male flight attendant comes up the other aisle, near the husband. He loudly announces, "I'm sorry, but that kid has been screaming the entire flight. Normal kids," he continues in his not-too-over-the-top valley boy intonation that's not flamboyant but is very confrontational, "don't cry that much. You have to do something about him." The husband is understandably offended, and they exchange words that I can't hear. The flight attendant begins to move up the aisle, shouting back over his shoulder: "I'm allowed to express my opinion and if you don't like it well then that's too bad. If you don't want to hear my opinion don't talk to me." The father explains in broken English that it wasn't him who initiated this whole mess, to which the attendant responds, "There! You're talking to me again!"
I share a disgusted look with Sam and go back to my Thom Yorke (fuck that album's good) and The Time Traveller's Wife (thanks Will, great stuff so far).
Oh, and they forgot to serve us our promised after-breakfast snack.
But I did watch the Inside Man, which was quite good.
The ride to Agra from the Delhi Airport was intense, I'll write about it more later. This is a crazy place.