India Trip – Don’t Lose that Boarding Pass!

I took a few weeks off from my India trip blog, but before I forget.. this one is good and I’ll remember this for a long time!

When we were returning from Goa to Mumbai by Air.. this is an amusing (it wasn’t funny when it happened – trust me)…

I passed through security final security check point and my carry on bag was pulled aside for “questionable content”.. I had some small scissors in a case as part of my overnight stuff. Remember this is has been in my bag since we came to India and it was not flagged in ANY security check points neither in US nor on the flight TO Goa..

So I said to the security guy.. go ahead and take the scissors.. as I had forgotten that I even had them. They removed the offending item and I was on my way.. with my carry on bag.. Of course this is where the fun begins.

I met my daughter and we were getting some snacks pre-flight and I ask her whether she has my boarding pass and she of course says “NO dad.. you have your own pass!”. Of course I did not have it! I had left it behind at the security check point.. and in being flustered at the bag check.. I had left for the gate w/o the boarding pass.

We went to the gate and asked for a duplicate pass and of course.. the gate agent said “We cannot print  you a new pass, you will have to go BACK and get a new pass at the checkin gates”.. Panic sets in.. Keep in mind this airport is ultra modern with all the amenities you want except #IndigoAir cannot print boarding passes at their gates!

The agent tells me to go back to security check point and see if the boarding pass was pulled aside.. I race back to security and of course it’s not there.. The security officials send me to the customer security desk.. monitored by the military.. I go over to the security desk and explain to them my situation (and the officer was very very patient and helpful I must say)… he was aghast that the gate agent asked me to go back through security to get another duplicate from the check in gate agent at the front of the airport!

After I tell him my sad stupid mistake.. he asks me to go back to the gate and get the gate agent.. so I race back to the gate and ask the gate agent to come to the security desk.. so now we both go back to the security desk and she says again.. “Customer must get new boarding pass from check in desk at front of the airport”.. The army officer goes ballistic and says.. “No.. he is the customer.. you go to the front and get him a duplicate”.. After a few minutes of back and forth… the gate agent finally agrees to have a duplicate boarding pass sent back through security  gate.. so I can board my flight!

This wait was about 15 minutes.. whereas the gate agent said they would print the duplicate and be here in 2 to 5 minutes.. Well of course this was not the case.. So here I am sweating profusely at my stupidity for losing my boarding pass after security check.. as well a quite bit embarrassed. By this time my daughter is texting me as our boarding time is approaching for our flight to Mumbai is approaching…

Finally the Indigo Air customer service agent comes and gives me my duplicate boarding pass.. I snatch it and make a beeline to the gate. Can you guess what happens next???

My daughter and I are boarding at the gate and the gate agent (a new gate agent).. says “Sir you cannot board.. Your boarding pass is not security stamped!”.. So the gate agent tells me to “run back to security and get the boarding pass security stamped.. Let me lay out this scenario.. the distance from the gate to the security check point is at least 1/10 of a mile..

So now my daughter boards and I sprint back to the security check.. I ask the military official to stamp the boarding pass.. and he just looks at me in disbelief and and refuses to stamp my pass.. By this time.. I’m sweating profusely and my NY attitude is surfacing with multiple choice words about to be expounded by my vocabulary..

Luckily the security desk guy (again.. I must say this officer was totally amazing!).. sees my distress and comes over and tells the other guy to stamp the pass.. I guess he had rank.. so the security reluctantly stamps the boarding pass.. and I race back to the gate to board the flight finally!

Now lessons to be learned here:

  • Never ever assume that security in Indian Airports is consistent
  • Never ever let go of your boarding pass when you pass through security check in India.. Of course.. there is NO cellphone boarding passes.. so you are always dealing with paper!
  • Remain calm.. always say to yourself —> “This is India and you are wrong.. as they are just following their directions”.. this will absolutely nullify any anger and panic you are feeling
  • Security at Airports is very very tight… If you don’t pass through multiple security check points with the same information.. something is very very wrong.. The terrorism threat in India is taken very very seriously!
  • Stay Calm! After all you are the one at fault. even if what is the norm in America.. you cannot expect this level of normalcy in India.. even if technologically India has really surpassed America (i.e. Dual Sims Phone are the norm in India.. we don’t have ANY Dual sims phone in US!)
  • Remember that even though technology is superior in India.. they are still living in the paper world with process!
  • Always, Always, Always.. make sure your carry on bags don’t contain anything that may cause you grief.. Well how would  I know that my cuticle scissors that I’ve been taking everywhere would be flagged at this airport??

After I got on the plane.. I did a silent prayer and told my daughter of the whole episode.. She of course was laughing so hard that tears were coming out.. Well what more can you expect??

So my next post will talk about what happened with Air India on the way back to India. Again.. totally my fault.. but who knows what is can happen when in India..

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Texas – Y’all -Not gonna happen

Life has been crazy for the past few months.. Yes.. crazier than usual.

I spent most of September in Dallas for my annual visit to my brother’s place and see the Cowboy’s opening season opener (We’ll call this the 2nd annual meet of 5 lifetime friends).

We spent way too much money for the tickets, but to see the Cowboys lose by 1 point it was worth the overspending. Even as I’m not really a Giants fan… to see the Boys lose, it’s “always a good thing”. At least this year we (Giants Fans) didn’t have to walk the gauntlet of Cowboys fans booing and heckling us when they won last year on a last minute field goal!

Random Rant of the day: I was looking for Gov. Christie in Jerry Jones’s AT&T Stadium but could not see the our dear Governor anywhere. Perhaps he was at the food court??  Let’s not get started on Gov. Christie.. (Thank you for the .23 cent per gallon gas tax you signed Gov. Christie! I’ll think of you every time I fill up my gas tank!). You will always be near and dear to our heart for Bridge-Gate, the Gas Tax and your tremendous support of Trump and the Cowboys.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming:

Even as we sat 9 rows behind the end zone, I realized that instead of watching the game, I found myself watching the HUGE television for each play. Now you tell me did I just pay $300 for a ticket to watch television? oh Yeah.. I forget the cheerleaders!

I’ve been debating whether on making a permanent move to Dallas and this visit finally established one thing –> Not gonna happen Y’all. I’m a Jersey homey and I like my 4 seasons. It seems every time I go to Dallas, I’m going during the heat season. I just cannot stand this heat… Yes.. Yes.. being from India, I should be able to handle this heat, but remember I’m a New Yorker and we like to complain when we are uncomfortable.

When I was in Dallas it was 90+ degrees every day.. This is blistering heat with warm gushes of wind..You can’t go anywhere.. The only time you can really do any kind of exercise outside is before 6 AM and after 7 PM.. Rest of the time. Stay indoors and let your Air Conditioner hum.

I also realized that I really like where I live (being near the beaches, living in Red Bank, Near hiking trails and bike paths).. In Texas (Plano).. all I saw was huge mega strip malls and heat beating down on me. No Thanks.. I can stay in NJ to see my smaller strip malls and have the heat for only a few days a year!

I think the best place in Texas is Austin.. I love the city life and the campus that is U of T in Austin. I visited the state house and saw my niece! It’s also a nice drive from Plano to Austin! The culture, environment of Austin is appealing to me.. so maybe Austin is where I should go? Nah! It’s still texas and —> “Texas is Hot!”. BTW that was the favorite line of my late father.. whenever I told him to go visit his son in Dallas!

Well I’m back in NJ and getting ready for my next trip.. I’m going to India in December!

This time.. I’m gonna try something different.. I’m gonna Video Blog my trip as well as Instagram my trip.. Yeah baby.. Dad’s Taxi is finally getting into Social Media!

 

 

 

 

Pokemon Go – I’m addicted

Last week when the Pokemon Go game came out, I was determined not to be the last person on earth to start playing the game.. As you can guess, in the past, every craze that happens on the APP scene, I’m the last one to catch on.

At work during lunch my friends were discussing Pokemon Go and I decided then and there that I’m not letting this train out of the station without jumping on it. Oh boy was that an early warning sign that I should not have ignored.

I downloaded, created my avatar and went forth.. within a few days.. after finally figuring out that I needed to earn my Poke Balls by going to Poke Stops, I was fully immersed in the addiction.

Here are the signs of Pokemon Addiction that you need Poke-Therapy:

  • At first all you want to do is see the Pokemon in your world and take pics of them using your phone.. but suddenly that’s not good enough, you want to take pictures of them in their environment, because it’s easier to capture them there.
  • Taking pictures and capturing one or two will not do, you want to capture them all! How dare these Pokemon’s enter my world!
  • You start having a panic attack when you can’t go after any Pokemon’s because you don’t have any Pokemon balls.
  • You are constantly looking for Pokestops so you can reload with balls so you have enough when the Pokemon’s come at you.
  • You almost break your (“If it’s not free, I’m not gonna pay“)  mantra and ALMOST break out the credit card so you can have enough Poke balls to capture as many creatures as possible. I have not gotten to this point yet, but I feel that I will be there pretty soon.
  • You break out into a cold sweat when you realize you don’t have any Poke Balls and that you can’t get more till you go out into the REAL WORLD and find the pokestops.
  • You want to get to the next level desperately and all you are thinking about is those Pokemon creatures and how you are gonna get all of them. This is where the obsession really begins!
  • You start asking complete strangers (ahem teenagers that will look at you with disdain) where is the nearest pokestop so you can get your fix of 2 or 3 poke balls so you can continue your hunt.
  • The line between reality and virtual reality becomes blurred when all you see are Pokemon’s all around you! When you are in the real world and instead of doing normal walks, all you do is stare at your smart phone and say to yourself –> “How can I be that far away from the poke stop? I need more!”.
  • You start “googling” –> “pokemon Go hacks” so you can get yourself to the next level as quickly as possible.
  • You join a team for battle and then realize you have no idea what it is to do battle in a poke Gym.. when you get to level 5 and join a team..
  • You walk heads down and expect others to get out of your way, be they cars of be they any inanimate objects (cars, poles) You almost walk into a pole, because you can’t seem to find the poke stop even as you are right on top of it!
  • You start writing notes to yourself and adjusting your schedule so you have sufficient pokemon and me time so you can capture more Pokemon’s and go up another level!
  • You power up your app and start crying when you see all these pokemon’s around you and you see the dreaded “No Poke balls remain” indicator on your phone.
  • The temptation to stop your car and look for poke stops so you refill on pokeballs is so great, you break out into a cold sweat thinking about it.. Yeah that’s happened to me over the past few days.

There are plenty more signs and I anticipate that there will be a whole new legion of Poke-therapy sessions and support groups that will form for addicts like me. I’d like to hear from you on what lengths you have gone to feed your addiction.

This morning a friend of mine sent me a few links which I’m gonna share with you which exemplify this global addiction and the Pokemon Go Craze:

The most important thing for me right now is that I’m at  higher level than both of my daughter’s and I’m not sharing with them my tricks. There I said it!

Yes they would destroy me on a regular basis on Trivia Crack, but now I’m cracked using Pokemon Go and I have no intention of losing this battle!

No Pokemon were hurt in the writing of this blog posting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dad’s Taxi: No longer Needed

This week, the day that I dreaded finally came true. The days of Dad’s taxi came to an end.. No.. I’m not shutting down this blog!

My 17 year old daughter got her provisional driver’s license and now she is totally mobile with her own car.. A hand me down.. from my father. .. to her sister.. to her.. A 2003 Honda Civic with very very low miles..

Of course.. in my last attempt at maintaining some control I had to take some final steps to ensure her safety has she hit the perilous travails on the roads of Central New Jersey.

  • I signed a contract with my 17 year old.. on what hours she can drive using her provisional license (6AM – 11PM).. Nothing outside those hours
  • Only she can drive the car.. The car is NOT to be used by her BFF’s.
  • She needs to tell mom/dad whenever she goes out as to her destination and must text/call us that she has arrived at her destination.
  • She is responsible for ensuring car is in working order.. If any major maintenance is to be done, Mom/Dad will take care of it.
  • She’s fully insured (Courtesy of Dear Dad).
  • Drive defensively.. There is a reason why NJ has one of the highest insurance rates. If you live in NJ, you know what I mean by this.
  • No Texting and driving! Phone is to be turned off whenever she gets in the car if she is the driver.

She even started taking the care to High School!

So Dad’s Taxi is now officially out of business.. Unless of course my girls want me to drive them around when they are home!

 

 

Humor:Laugh it out

A laugh a day keeps the tears away. Laugh-It-Out

In my constant hunt for humor.. as I think the world is pretty amusing.. I was walking around at work and I saw a picture from the Laugh It Out site.

Of course me with my sarcastic humor (ask my kids).. . I had to check it out: Laugh-It-Out

Do you have any sites that are funny? Feel free to post them in response to this posting.

 

How many phone#’s do you have?

How many phones are too much? For me the number is 7. what’s your number?

my phonesToday I realized that I have way too many phone numbers, that people can contact me with. I need to go off the grid, but I can’t with so many phone numbers that people have associated with me.

Here’s my list.. How many numbers do you have? Hopefully not as many as me.

  1. VOIP Number – Cable company said.. a triple play was cheaper than double play..I didn’t need a phone at home, but hey it works! I wrote this number down, but now I can’t find where I put it.
  2. Personal Cell – This my main iPhone.. yes.. I finally got the iPhone 6. Didn’t go for the 6+ as I didn’t feel like carrying a man purse to carry that around
  3. Work Cell – Cell given to me by company.. This one is an iPhone 5. Finally I can use one cable to charge both personal and work phone
  4. Magic Jack – this is my virtual number that I bought many years ago.. and I can access it from my iPhones as well as my tablet
  5. Old Home Number – Not with me anymore.. but when people call that number they will still get a Dad’s taxi passenger.
  6. Gmail Number – Ok.. this one is too much.. It’s on my signature on Gmail and I still don’t know how to use it well.
  7. Work Phone – My desktop phone at work..
  8. Skype – when I want to communicate with my relatives back home in the motherland.. I use this.

Ok so that’s 8 ways that I can communicate with the world using the various communications devices I have. What’s the maximum number of contact numbers you can add for a contact on the iPhone? I gotta figure that one out.

One time.. my daughter facetime’d me and both phones at home went off and I couldn’t find either one.. Now that’s what you call frustration!

So how many phones do you carry? Now I have to learn all the texting Acronyms so I can text myself using LOL and OMG or if I wanted to share TMI.. I can text the outside world!

Blog of Nothingness

Is it possible to write a whole blog update about nothing? Well here’s my first attempt at this!

Today my older daughter reminded me that I haven’t blogged in weeks and I realized that she was right. I guess instead of finding reasons to blog, I keep finding more reasons not to. I think that’s pretty pathetic, but it’s a lot easier to procrastinate that “I’ll do it it tomorrow”, then actually sitting in front of my laptop and putting my vast knowledge of nothingness into words..

I keep on searching high and low for topics to blog about but all I have flashing through my brain is flashes of nothingness.  Instead of flashes of inspiration, all I seem to get is flashes of the good life if only I could win the lottery! When the Mega Millions jackpot hit half a billion, all I could do was just imagining myself hiding for a few weeks when I win. Of course that was just wishful thinking, since the probability of winning itself one in a billion!

Just like an episode of “Seinfeld”, I spend hours and hours doing nothing (if watching Netflix can be considered nothing), that my daily decompression routine has gotten almost monotonous.

Has my life gotten so boring that the best part of my day is watching recorded episodes of The Big Bang Theory. One thing for sure I’ve become addicted to this show. I watch the same episodes over and over again and find the references to geeky things so amusing. The culture of my time (70’s and 80’s) and my addiction to comics and all the geeky things I did growing up, just keep flashing across the screen when I watch this show.

I have to admit, watching Sheldon, Penny, Raj, Howard and Leonard,  interact just gives me such pleasure, it’s starting to impact my nap time when I come home from work! I find that I’m searching the TV listings for more episodes for me to record.. Currently I found 2 episodes per day to record, but of course there are many more daily episondes! I think the true stars of this show are the characters of Sheldon, Penny and Raj.. Of course you can choose to disagree..

Now on to why I haven’t been blogging..

Reasons for NOT blogging on a regular basis:

  • I’ve been searching high and low for topics to blog about and keep searching. I can’t write about work, because we all know that employer’s troll the web looking for what their respective employees are writing about..
  • Being opinionated, doesn’t give me the right to constantly write about the  wife and kids, who could easily give me endless topics to write about.. I just don’t think it’s right to constantly write about my family who on a daily basis continue to amuse me..
  • Using the excuse “too busy to blog” can be useful, but we all know, Dad can always blog about something or another.
  • Just logging in to see how much SPAM is in your SPAM folder  is disturbing. Today’s count was 48..
  • Blogging takes too much effort, whereas I could just be sitting around doing nothing or thinking about doing nothing! This is a lot more enjoyable than paying bills and realizing how much deeper I get into debt every day.. depressing huh? Who wants to read about that? No-One…

I guess I can ramble on and on for a few more paragraphs of nothingness, but I think it’s time to watch another episode of.. drum roll please.. “The Big Bang Theory”.

I think that my next obsession will be watching “Lost” or “How I Met Your Mother” on Netflix! After all I’m only one season behind for

Here are some of the shows I’m hooked on courtesy of Netflix:

  • Weeds – Watched the first 6 Seasons
  • Being Human (US version) – Watched the first 13 Episodes
  • Rescue Me – Watched the first 7 seasons
  • Sons Of Anarchy – 3 Searsons
  • How I met Your Mother – Still on Season 1
  • Lost – Re-Watching from beginning

What are some of your favorites? Feel free to share..

Of course I could always write about my new found joy of gardening, or playing (More like Losing) to different people “words with friends” on my iPhone, or the other things I can do to waste time..

Dad..

 

Twitter and Video Tweeting

Introducing TweeTube, the YouTube companion for Tweets.

After the whole world has been tweeting, I finally caught on to the twitter craze. I really have to thank my pal G or as he’s known in my family as C for introducting me to the concept of  Twittering.

Yet I digress, G can be a topic all by himself, which I promised him today during our (multiple) extended conversations. He’s on deck for future posts. G is truly an interesting character.. No, I won’t get started on him just yet.. Don’t worry G, you will be honored with your own posting..

With Twitter you are limited to short notes that you twitter to the world. Now there’s a video version called TweeTube. TweeTube is similar to YouTube in that people upload videos, yet the videos originate as a result of tweets by users! I love this concept.

With Twitter, what I like is that I can send out my random rants and raves quickly from my iPhone, so my word gets out there quickly. Especially when I need help in my technical issues related to my work.

So go and check out TweeTube… Site’s been only up for a few weeks.. very promising.

Tweet, Tweet For Now (TTFN)

Tickled by Life – Life Enhancement

I was having a really difficult at work this week. 😦  and I needed something to cheer me up.

I came across the site Tickled by Life and before I could finish reading one article, I realized that this Blog was a keeper and wanted to share with my readers.

I especiallly enjoyed the article What goes around Comes around..

Enjoy!

Blogging – Huffington Post

So I was in Barnes and Noble today with my daughter and my stash of coupons that I got from the their site. I saved a total of $15+ (and that includes the latte and the cookie that we got!).

While I was browsing and waiting for my daughter to pick up her books, I noticed the book “Huffington Post – Complete Guide to Blogging“. Now this is a book that I will buy!

I first checked out the Huffington Post site and I found this this site is amazing for the content.. not just for the content, but for the feedback from fellow bloggers in the blogging hemisphere. Even though I’ve been blogging for about a year, I now realize that I’m just a newbie to blogging and I need to learn more, so I can get my words out to a larger audience..

Now don’t get me wrong, I know that I ramble and repeat in my blogs (similar to me in real life), but blogging let’s me write to my hearts content without judgement. Blogging lets my “creative” juices flow and I guess next to Tennis, blogging has developed into my secret passion.

A few posts ago, I talked about the outrage I felt about the Mumbai Attacks, the Huffington Post carries a wealth of posts related to these attacks. I could (and probably will) spend hours here..

Anyway, even though I’ve caught on to blogging late, I know one thing for sure, I’m here to stay..

ASM