The AF Airbus A340 that flew the CDG-DEL route on July 31 as AF148
Apparently the rains decided to show up in strength as I arrived in Delhi. There were a few bumps as the A340 descended in the cloudy darkness, with occasional flashes of lightning, to Delhi's IGI International airport and it started raining just a few minutes after touchdown. And it continued pouring -- thunder, lightning, and a loud pitter-patter on the roof -- till the morning. Thick, blinding rain. The kind one sees in Bombay in the monsoons.
I must say I'm pretty pleased with Air France -- courteous and friendly flight attendants (with none of that attitude that I've seen so often on NW and CO flights serving the India routes), amazing leg-room, the best recline I've ever experienced in coach and pretty decent food too. A definite relief after the Delta flight from Atlanta to Paris. Delta has newly refurbished 767-400s on the transatlantic routes -- leather seats, personal video monitors -- but the recline and legroom were atrocious. Absolutely atrocious. I could barely extend my legs before the knees were scraping against the seat in front.
Didn't watch any movies though. I started the Harry Potter novel (Deathly Hollows) as we pushed back from the gate in Atlanta and finished just a few minutes before touch down. Apart from catching as many z's as I could in between, that's pretty much all that I did on the long journey. Definitely a page turner! Wow! The ending was somewhat anticlimactic. I guess I'd psyched myself up for something totally bizarre. And I thought there were some profoundly Christian undertones and imagery. Even the lame-ish "happily-ever-after" Epilogue. I think I'll do some surfing around in the blogosphere on this ... it's something that I never have bothered to so far with the Potter series, which I've enjoyed, well, simply as a story.
And Harry Potter is definitely a conversation starter -- one of the flight-attendants (in an accent that could very well have been Fleur's!) stopped as she saw me, nose-buried in the book, "'Arry Potter? Very good! I love ze ending ... it is so ... so ... good!" The Immigration officer at Delhi wanted to have a look at the book. "Have you read it?" "No not yet, but let me skim through it at least!" He did stamp my passport too ... :)
Now to stay awake, and tackle a couple of online finals for my philosophy classes. Never actually taken an exam in different country from where the class is, before! :)