Saturday, March 15, 2014

Of water served with a lime twist

Spicy Saturday
(This post has been selected by blogadda for its Spicy Saturday Picks on March 22, 2014)
Having embarked on the first phoren journey with exactly four tick-offs from my quota of transgressions and a little loss of self-confidence because of certain events at the airport, I covered the flight from Mumbai to San Francisco with relatively less amount of excitement and adrenaline rush. From the usual I-have-paid-for-this-flight-so-I-can-take-as-many-chocolates-as-I-wish lady to the I-want-a-glass-of-water-even-if-the-fellow-passengers-are-still-not-settled gentleman,in-flight experiences those days, even on international routes, were not very different from what we see today. However, one small incident gave me a sneak peek in to what I was going to endure in a few days. This is what transpired ...

Air Hostess (AH): Good evening sir! What can I get for you? (Pushing the big drinks trolley)

Ruminating Optimist (RO): Can you please get me a glass of water? (Feeling thirsty and dehydrated, with my facial expressions leaving no doubt about my state)

AH: I beg your pardon!

RO: Can I please get a glass of water? (Mind you, I was concentrating more on getting the damn pronunciation right. So emphasis was on the wa- of water which, coming from a newbie, sounded more like whoa- or voa- ... anything but what it is supposed to be. The -ter, as they say, was lost in pronunciation.)

AH: OK sir. (With an amused look on her face, what with the funny pronunciation.)

In around five minutes, there she was, with a glass of water in her hand, nicely garnished with a lime twist.

AH: Here you go sir.

RO: Thanks! (Feeling nice that she took special care to add the lime twist - what better than that when you want an energy boost. The glass was empty in a single gulp.)

The air hostess left a little more amused. I however felt a bitter taste in my mouth - may be the lime twist was not fresh.

After going through the bunch of newspapers and magazines I had picked up in the waiting area at the airport, I decided to shift my attention to the movie that was being played on the screen. However, the really uninteresting movie, coupled with the fact that I had no "good company" on the seat next to me and the taste of not-so-fresh lime twist in my mouth, I soon started getting a headache. Yes, movies released in 2006 with five-letter names starting with V- and ending with -h are capable of aggravating your headache when you are forced to watch them on the common screen hanging from the ceiling seven rows up. I waited for the headache to subside, assuming air pressure problems in the aircraft were the prime reason (did somebody say "incomplete knowledge is more dangerous than no knowledge"?). With no signs of recovery, I again requested for whoa-ter from the still amused air hostess, swallowed a pain killer with it, and tried going off to sleep, but to no avail.

Through all this, the air hostess' how-can-this-guy-be-so-silly look did not go unnoticed. Though there was no lime twist this time (may be I didn't look that dehydrated), I still had a bitter taste in my mouth. Damn the painkiller ... I should have checked the expiry date. But why was she giving me those looks? Anyways, the Mumbai-Frankfurt leg of the journey got over, with some Asian-Veg meals thrown in between. For a change, they offered, and I accepted, apple juice, and the rest of the journey was smooth.

On the Frankfurt-San Francisco leg, when it was time for another hydrating exercise (why do they insist on hydrating so frequently), the gentleman sitting next to me requested for whoa-ter, with his -ter too lost in pronunciation. He was served the familiar-looking drink, in a familiar-looking glass, with the familiar-looking lime twist, but the not-so-familiar smile on the air hostess' face while serving the drink (as against the amused expression in case of the other air hostess). I asked for the same, and got the same, with the not-so-familiar smile. The taste was absolutely the same. How in the world can they once again serve me whoa-ter with a stale lime twist. Losing my patience, I stood up to check with her. My eyes then fell on the bottle from which she poured the drink for both of us. It was my turn to be amused. It read in bold - S.M.I.R.N.O.F.F. Tick tick five!

And then, I started replaying the events of the day, or night, depending upon which time zone the flight was in. The air hostess' first amused look (alcohol and thirst-quenching?), the lime twist (energy boost, eh?), second amused look after my single gulp (vodka, bottoms up?), headache and the bitter taste ... all blocks of the puzzle started falling in place. However, one piece of the puzzle out of reach of my comprehension was to find out how was the sound of -ter lost in pronunciation the same as -dka lost in pronunciation? I needed to know because somebody's misinterpretation ended up making a teetotaler sip vodka for the first time in life.


  1. it wasnt anyway the Boeing 777!!

  2. haha :D a vodka twist. I am still wondering how the ter and dka got mixed up.

    1. Perhaps the -ter never came out of the mouth ... trying to focus on the pronunciation, it got lost inside.

  3. This post has been selected for the Spicy Saturday Picks this week. Thank You for an amazing post! Cheers! Keep Blogging :)

  4. I don't think anyone can understand your situation better than I do. After having lived 5 years in one of the most amusing countries Sweden , I can write a book on such experiences in life. But they aren't happy and fun when you experience them compared to when you remember or talk about them. In fact some of them are quite agonizing but hey that's life outside India and it isn't always pretty:(

    1. Certainly agree with you Swati. However, looking back, they are always worth some smiling moments. Interesting to see Sweden being called an amusing country. Was there for a few weeks. It was fun. Of course, you would have gone through many more amusing moments in 5 years :)