In Transit

5:30am. Mark and I spend a half hour wandering around Frankfurt Main, looking for some signs of life. I have refused to leave the airport to wander around the cold drizzle of pre-dawn Frankfurt (40 degrees farenheit), dressed for arrival in Chennai (kurta, pyjama, and sandals). “We have 5 hours here, what are we going to do?” He whines. “Sleep!” I reply. “Not a bad idea.”

We have both been sleep-deprived for the last week, staying up until 3-4am every morning, communicating with people about the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, and how we may be able to help given the timing (fortuitous?) of our trip to South India. Mark, in particular, has had vitually no sleep, trying to clean out an office holding 18 years of life as a lawyer. Neither of us remember take off at 6:30am yesterday from San Francisco.

6am. My head on a bulky backpack (what is that lump just underneath my neck? oh, a flashlight), my knees draped over the armrest of the two-seat chair in a walkway leading from our landing gate to Terminal B, I doze in and out of sleep, a New Yorker magazine on my stomach, with the incessent clatter of luggage wheels on the pebbled rubber Perelli floors, the occassional electronic beeps of the electric “cars” taking the elderly or families with small children from terminal to terminal, the stamping walk of confident children, and … oh no! – the very loud squeeks of a little girl’s light-up sneakers … and beneath all that noise, a steady medium-loud snoring coming from the chairs next to mine…

7am. We leave the comforts of the hallway and go through passport control to get to the main hall. As we walk forward, looking for a place to eat, we run smack into a free Internet station – Samsung’s e-lounge (plug). A not-so-quick checking of email (if I were Mark, I would say that this keyboard is “out to get me” – the “y” is where you would find the “z”, and the “m” sticks), and it is already 9:15am.



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