"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Sunday, January 11, 2015

India, Ch. 5, Dinner in Kabul

An adventurous life does not necessarily mean climbing mountains, swimming with sharks, or jumping off cliffs. It means risking yourself by leaving a little piece of you behind in all those you meet along the way.~ Shawna Grapentin

I had breakfast in Kabul, Afghanistan.   It consisted of a delicious corn and bell pepper omelet, cantaloupe, chicken sausage, and a croissant.

Earlier, I had eaten a lunch-type snack in Sweden.  Prior to that, dinner was somewhere over the western Atlantic.   Air India woke us every four or five hours to feed us, then turned off the cabin lights so we could try to go back to sleep.

Breakfast in Kabul, chicken sausage, potatoes, corn and bell pepper omelet, fruit, croissant.

A snack in Sweden, cheese and whole wheat, tomoto and cucumber on white, with sweet bread.

Dinner somewhere over the western Atlantic.  L-R, LadyFingers (stir-fried okra), chicken and rice, asst. veggies, and kheer (vanilla pudding with rice noodles).

I was successful at the eating part, not so much with the sleeping part.  I sat next to the hull and could lean against it, but it was still uncomfortable.   Every once in a while I realized my mouth was open, and figured I had been asleep.  If only the seat next to me had been unoccupied, I could have curled up on two seats and slept the night away, but it was occupied by a woman and her husband.

Look at the legroom and the cool pockets on the outside of the pouch!

Look at the bottle bag.

These was one great benefit of having the woman sitting next to me, though.   She could tell me what I was eating.   Meera was her name; her husband’s name was Balaji.   They live in Wellington, New Zealand.

By the time the flight was over, I learned they both were lawyers in New Delhi for ten years, then had moved to New Zealand to be teachers in an experimental educational program there.   They have a son in college in Utah, and they had visited Niagra Falls before boarding this flight, which explained why Meera was wearing a pair of snow boots.

Meera struggling into her warm snow boots.

I also had an invitation to stay with them in New Zealand, as well as their home address,cell numbers,and e-mail address.  At the end of our 14-hour flight, as we were standing to deplane, Meera turned to me and told me how thankful she was that I had been seated next to her.  “I had just said goodbye to my son,” she explained, “and I was feeling very low.   Now I am fine.”

We got off the plane and went our separate ways, but three lives had intersected for a few hours and all of them were enriched beyond measure.  

Meera and Balaji.

 Some photos from this leg of the gtrip:

Leaving JFK.

See?   Rightover Kabul.

Look at Number One of the prohibited items.

And finally, 
New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport.  Note the hands design on the wall.


  1. I'm thrilled that you are now able to share some of your experiences and that all is well with you. Sweden and Kabul and New Delhi...awesome.
    Meera and Baliga look like fun folks. So glad you had the opportunity to connect with them.

  2. It's always nice to have seat mates that are pleasant, and then to add to that, interesting. Sounds like you lucked out! So good to see a post from you. Do you know what the hands on the wall at the Indira Gandhi Airport are "saying"? Does it say something in sign language? This is certainly a far more modern airport than I remember from my visit in 1996...Nice... Love and hugs to you Jeanne. Patti and Cap

  3. Y-O-U G-O-T M-E !! .. YOU GOT ME GOOD !! .. I am in Hong Kong and just spoke with Patti and had hung up the phone when I checked this Post. I nearly jumped back up to call her to say ..

    "Oh My Gosh ! What on earth is she doing in Afghanistan in Kabul !!" Since Patti was in bed to go to sleep I did NOT call her over this unbelievable piece of news ..you being in Kabul. I wonder how many others 'bit at this .. hook .. line .. and sinker' ..

    Dinner over the Western Atlantic sure looks good .. love it .. So good to get some word of your doings .. Smiles from Cap and Patti ..

  4. seems like a good trip so far. Hope your expectations are met. what do the wall hands indicate ?
    India always is represented as crowded and your photos certainly show that. Enjoy! Hugs, B & B

  5. Good thing Pablo didn't try to stow away. . .