Friday, December 13, 2013


I flew on Qatar Airlines for the first time ever for this trip, and it was the quickest and most efficient way to get to the U.S.  I paid a nominal fee for an upgrade to business class from Dhaka to Doha because I wanted to sleep a bit for the 5 hour first leg of the journey if possible.  I departed around 3 am I think, and after worrying so much and not sleeping, I got a glass of champagne (complementary with said upgrade) and slept like a baby until we landed.

Once in Doha, I only had about an hour to get to the next plane and tried to see if I could get an upgrade again and what it would cost.  They were not so friendly at the counter and said MAYBE...but it would cost $2,500 cash to do so.  Not happening, I don't normally carry around that much cash and if you do...I'll send you my address and you can share.  Thankfully I was able to convince the unfriendly lady at the counter that I was not comfortable travelling alone from Doha as a single woman and could she please at least get me a seat between myself and the next passenger.  She obliged with a nice eye roll and as we departed I noticed that it was a pretty empty flight and several people even had no people sharing seats and could lay out across several economy seats.  I probably could have been one of them had I not opened my fat mouth at the ticket counter!  I had one seat between myself and nice gentleman who's wife was across the aisle from him.  I wasn't worried about any funny business and was able to rest against the window and drool and snore as much as I pleased.  You may be thinking I am a bit paranoid, but I have read stories about women getting harassed and groped on flights no matter the locations and on some flights I have taken in South Asia, it is not uncommon to have people having very loud conversations standing up while leaning over your seat inches from you to the person next to you. I wanted to avoid anything like that considering I was flying for 14 straight hours from Doha to Chicago and just wanted to sleep.

I arrived at O'Hare and got my bags and went outside to try my luck at finding my ride.  I was hit with a blast of cold air--November in Chicago, Duh Carrie--I had the equivalent of thin pajamas on and flip flops.  My awesome brother-in-law picked me up and knew right where to find me, which was awesome considering I had no local cell phone and had just enough quarters to call and leave a message with my sister that I was through immigration and would go outside the international arrivals doors to wait.  My ride even gave me a little siren "alert" pulling up with his fancy police vehicle that made me happy!

He gave me a crash course in what to expect and dropped me off at my mom and dad's house so I could pick up a car, the convertible my dad no longer drives because he was in a terrible car accident while working and driving a minivan several years ago and broke his neck and miraculously recovered, but is not comfortable with driving anymore.  Can't say I blame him and that is a whole other story of arriving at a hospital to an uncertain situation.

It sure was great to see my dad and knowing that his mom was not doing well made it a bit hard at first, but I was so glad to be there for him and her and knew that I was ready to help in any way.

I went to the hospital and into my Gram's room and I was greeted with the most beautiful smile and look of surprise (no one told her I was coming, and she was totally with it and knew I was living in Dhaka) and oh how she was so glad to see me and I knew I was in the right place at that very moment.