Liam gets us home
Friday, January 3 2020
somewhere over the 'stans, Central Asia
I awoke seeing the credits for Little Miss Sunshine scrolling by on the screen in front of me. The xanax I'd taken early in the flight had conked me out so effectively that I'd missed the whole movie. This likely placed our airplane somewhere over the 'stans of the former Soviet Union. Our plane was traveling on a much better great circle route towards New York, and would pass near the northern tip of Scandinavia and then over southern Greenland. Perhaps the lower-latitude flight to India had been to better benefit from the prevailing westerlies; obviously minimizing the battle with those would be most prudent when heading back west.
Eventually I drank some vodka (I still had some remaining from the stash I'd brought from America) and took 100 milligrams of diphenhydramine, though I never managed to get a good run of sleep again for the rest of the fifteen hour flight. Fortunately, the plump Indian woman in the seat by the window of our row somehow only needed one bathroom break on the entire flight (I required two).
I managed to watch all of Little Miss Sunshine in a second attempt, and later I watched a fairly bad teenage coming of age movie entitled Paper Towns. The problem with it can be summarized in one scene: the prudish reaction of the other kids in the car when one of them decides to piss in a can so as to avoid a pit stop. Any kids acting that way would never do anything interesting enough to make a film about. The selection of Hollywood movies wasn't great, but if I'd wanted to watch Bollywood flicks, I would've been set.
A "breakfast" was served about ten hours into the flight, and then "liquor" was served at about two hours before arrival, followed soon thereafter by a meal they called "lunch." They had to feed us something, and apparently they felt the need to call these meals something as well. Though we were in the air about fifteen hours, only three hours of time passed on the globe beneath us due to our constant crossing into timezones where the time would an hour in the past.
We landed at JFK at about 6:00am local time, just as the the first light of dawn was starting to illuminate the world. It was the first daylight we'd seen in approximately 23 hours.
Possibly due to the fact that we'd been on a plane carrying few American citizens, the line through immigration was as short as we've ever experienced it. And for some reason there was no customs at all.
We'd arranged for our housesitter Liam to pick us up, and within a couple minutes of our getting out to the pickup area, there he was, complete with the dogs Ramona and Neville! It was the easiest airport arrival ever! Liam drove like a maniac all the way back to Hurley, often exceeding 100 miles per hour, but I figured that if he hadn't wrecked yet it was unlikely he would wreck on this drive. Despite his questionable driving skills, he'd been perhaps our best housesitter yet.
After pulling all my nasty clothes out of my backpack, I jumped in the bathtub to wash the airport off of me. There was no telling what germs and poisons I'd picked up from all those gloomy hours on that plane.
I had one healthy shit in the brownhouse soon after getting home. But the second one, which happened after my bath, was so liquidy that it sounded like I was pissing from my asshole. Clearly something was a bit off. But, unlike most diarrhea, this didn't hurt at all. I climbed into bed at around noon and slept until about 5:00pm.
Meanwhile Gretchen was watching some teevee, though eventually she joined me in bed. And then I heard her vomitting. Something was wrong with her too. She complained of intestinal distress and sore legs. And it turned out that we weren't the only people from our India trip who were experiencing illness; Savanna and her mother Diana were both hospitalized and put on IV drips when they arrived at their Munich layover.
At about 2:00am, I was still experiencing painless diarrhea, but I was feeling healthy enough to take an ambien and help it along with a little booze. Before we'd left for India, Gretchen had prepared me a bunch of small "stocking" gifts for "Baby Jesus Day." This included a fair number of small bags of SkittlesTM, which I'd been devouring since getting home. I don't have much experience with this form of candy, but they suited my mood, perhaps because they were the complete opposite of Indian food (being sweet, fruity, and not in the least bit oily).
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