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Breakfast at the Sheraton

"This is your captain speaking. As you may have noticed we have started boarding earlier than normal, hoping to be able to leave early and escape the increasing mist that is limiting visibility. Unfortunately we have not received approval to take off and will have to wait and see if the mist clears up". Of course the mist didn't clear up. It got worse. So we waited, and waited, and waited until four hours after boarding, around half past five, we were informed that the flight would not depart until 18:30 that evening. Probably because the crew had to get some mandatory sleep as well. We were unboarded and together with passengers from other flights were shipped off to various hotels.

 

At the Sheraton, where we were dropped, chaos erupted when three busloads of travellers wanted to check in simultaneously.

An improvised 3 person bedroom
Eventually though we got a room. Since rooms were only given to pairs of two we invited Judith to sleep in our room so she wouldn't have to join a stranger. It must have been around seven when we finally received our key and sat down at the incredibly decadent breakfast of the hotel to grab a bite before catching some z's.

 

The third bed they had promised to place in our room was nowhere to be seen, so Bart made an improvised one by taking all the remaining pillows and cushions from the couch. We had just turned of the light when the doorbell rang. The extra bed. Under hilarious circumstances the hotel staff set up the bed while Bart gave instructions and a couple of minutes later he was down in his new comfy crib.

 

We woke up after a couple of hours from the sound of Judith's telephone. Her boyfriend was waiting at Schiphol; the delay of the flight had not been posted on the Internet. A note from the hotel management informed us that the busses for the airport would leave at 14:00 AM.

A visit from the window cleaner
Around the same time a window cleaner appeared on the outside of the building ... But another note from the management ensured us that he could not look inside.

 

We freshened up and Bart went down for lunch. Judith and I had eaten too much at breakfast so relaxed some more in the room. At two the busses would pick the stranded travellers up to bring them back to the airport. Before we caught one of the busses we decided to grab something to eat at the lunch buffet, and I helped myself to a selecting of the deliciously looking deserts, not having had that many deserts in the last two weeks.

 

Our splurge in luxury ended when we entered the bus and drove towards the airport. Murphy's Law seems to be applicable on days like these for the bus broke down even before reaching the outskirts of Delhi.

Changing busses
We had to wait for nearly an hour before a replacement bus arrived and we were on our way again. Fortunately we had more than enough time, so we got our new boarding passes, changed the remaining rupees to Euro and went through customs.

 

Even though the fog was already getting thicker again outside, as the evening fell across Delhi, we departed exactly according to schedule at half past six. Another positive thing was the movie that would play during the flight: Singh is Kinng! With English subtitles! Hurray! The subtitles answered some question I still had about the movie, although I had understood it quite well without them in August.

The flight itself was without problems and we arrived at Schiphol around half past ten. Judith had a surprise pick-up at the arrivals hall but Bart and I needed to run for the shuttle bus back to the Van der Valk hotel, which had just left (too early) when we arrived. We decided to grab a cab and after picking up Bart’s car we were making fine progress on the way southward, arriving in Uden shortly after midnight, where Bart dropped me off.

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Breakfast at the Sheraton
Breakfast at the Sheraton
An improvised 3 person bedroom
An improvised 3 person bedroom
A visit from the window cleaner
A visit from the window cleaner
Changing busses
Changing busses
New Delhi
photo by: peeyushmalhotra