Monday, November 29, 2010

India - Ensure Your Luggage Will Fit

As I post this we are now at 16 days, 16 hours and 16 minutes until our plan leaves Tucson and we are getting very close to ready I think.  The Visas are done and the passports are now back.  I've gotten some money and travelers cheques (an antiquated spelling for an antiquated product)

We have arranged for a guy w/ a sign that will pick us up in Delhi to take us to the Hilton where we have a quick overnight.   The Hilton lady said we could rent a car w/ driver the next day to do a few laps around Delhi.

Luggage is a minor controversy.  We fly American to Delhi and then switch to Jet Airways for the flight the next day and found out that the 8 (!) 50# suitcases we are checking can be left with Jet Airways the night before once we clear customs.  I was worried about having to haul them to the hotel and back along with all our carry-ons but there is happily a system in place for this.  On the topic of 8 suitcases, we are trying to do the family a solid and volunteered to bring some stuff over.  Tina's pop has taken the opportunity to claim 3 of our 8 bags.  We are still in negotiations on this point.  To do some planning I had J and T do a prospective clothing dump so I could weigh it out.  50# is the max I get free for each bag (thanks for the status AA) and we plan to use it all.  J's clothes weighed in at 22#, Sophia's a bit less and Tina's and mine at just under 50# each.  This doesn't include gifts or toiletries which aren't heavy but take up tons of room.  The net of it is I'm projecting 3.5 suitcases for clothes, 2 for toiletries + gifts and 2 for the family tax with a bit of leftover.  So far her pops has delivered 1 full suitcase plus odds/ends and promises 2 more full boxes.  I keep telling him '2 boxes totalling 100#s', we'll see.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

India - No running off to Mexico for a while

A Visa is required for Americans visiting India.  It's all the paperwork you'd expect including an application form to which is attached (oddly required to use glue) 2 passport type photos, copy of drivers license, copy of birth certificate, all along with the ACTUAL US passport.  They say they'll send it back in 7-9 days, lets hope so.   Because T's dad and by extension the kids granddad is originally from there we also had to provide her Dad's naturalization paperwork and her birth certificate proving they are all related.

The whole thing is handled through a company called Travisa that does some kind of middleman role I don't fully understand.  Again, I just hope they send me back my passport in the near future so I can leave the country if I decide to rob a bank or such.

Monday, November 01, 2010

India - Just a dash of virus please

Immunization is a probability game right?  I personally believe that I'm invincible so none of it is really necessary but if I were to get scabby-ebola-typhus it would be in India right?  Planning to go somewhere where the microbiology will actively try to kill you requires some prudence.  The kids it seems are routinely given sufficient vaccination now that they only have to take some typhus and malaria pills close to when we go.  No shots was a big selling point for them.  T just had a couple on account-a she's been before (and plus she must have some like racial defense right?).

I've had to get the Hepatitis A and B (B was a series of 2 so that was awesome) and Tetanus (that bastard hurt for a week, I think it had actual flakes of rusty metal in there).  Getting Polio on Friday and we take the typhus and malaria tablets closer to go time.

45 days to go, its coming fast.