I went to India, took part in a beautiful wedding, came down with a horrible case of “probably shouldn’t have eaten that” and witnessed the US make terrible choices.
It took 3 flights to finally reach the small (for India but still has over a million inhabitants) village that is Jammu, in northern India. The first flight was into Dubai. During this flight, I happened to accidentally drop my phone in-between my seat and the wall of the plane. This was half-way through me watching my second Disney film. So I paused The Frog Princess and attempted to feel for my phone. Nothing. I then ducked my upper half under the seat to see if I could spot it under on the floor, but of course I was not flexible enough to make it that far. So I then unbuckled my seat belt and wedged my self in between the seats, thinking that maybe some how I would be able to get onto all fours and actually be able to see under the seat. Naturally, all I end up doing is momentarily getting my hips stuck between my seat and the back of the seat in front of me. The leg room available in economy isn’t enough to maneuver your body around. I was about to give up and just wait until we landed to look again, but my struggles captured the attention of my neighbor, an elderly Indian gentleman, who at this point was probably wondering where my parents where and why they’d let me sit alone.
He offered me the light from my phone, but because I still was unable to find an angle where I could actually look underneath the seat, it was pretty useless. At this point, I was completely fine with waiting until landing to look for my phone, but because this stranger had offered his help I felt pressured to keep trying.
That’s when I had the brilliant idea to squat on top of my chair and swing my top half under the seat. With my legs out of the way I was able to see everything under my seat. Unfortunately, I hadn’t thought about the fact that my butt was completely up in the air… I just prayed that I would be able to get out of the position without falling, ass first, onto my neighbor.
I spotted my phone after about 2 seconds, snatched it quickly and then carefully pulled myself back up, holding my phone over my head victoriously. My neighbor was laughing incredulously at the lengths I would go to to retrieve my phone. Millennials.
Sadly, in the scuffle to find my phone, my 5 euro Danish chapstick had some how dropped into the ether, and I was not about to go through that whole process again, so I silently said my goodbye’s.
I wish I could say my struggles were over. On the second flight from Dubai to Dehli, I had been traveling for 13 hours and it was probably 4 am in Germany, so I attempted to get some sleep for most of that flight, waking up only to eat the dinner offered. As we were landing the flight attendants came through the cabin to collect left over trash and blankets, waking me up momentarily, In my delirium I saw my glasses fly off my lap when I handed the attendant my blanket, but I couldn’t find them anywhere. They shouldn’t have landed that far away. I searched for the next 45 minutes, before having this panicked feeling that maybe I hadn’t seen them at all and perhaps I had put them on my food tray. I flagged down an attendant and shared my concern with her. It took about 20 minutes to explain to her what I meant by glasses. I tried motioning to my eyes, squinting like I couldn’t see and repeating the word over and over again like a crazy person. Finally, “reading glasses” were said, and she understood what I meant, but explained that there were over 400 trays, so there was no way I would get them back. I almost started crying right there. She took one look at my face and immediately said, “But let me see what I can do!” and ran off.
After landing I was told that it’s protocol to check the food trays and they might end up in the lost and found at Delhi Airport. I was given a number to call and sent on my way. Considering the estimated population of New Delhi is 18 million, and who knows how many flights there are per day, I was not hopeful that I would ever see those glasses again, but because I have an unhealthy attachment to objects I was sure as hell going to try.
I called that number every day for 5 days. On the sixth day, I received an email saying that they had in fact found some reading glasses matching my description on a food tray from my flight. I was incredulous. It was a miracle. On the 9th day we were reunited, and there wasn’t a single scratch on the lenses.
Thank you Indira Gandhi International Airport staff!