Tuesday, December 21, 2010

TURKISH AIRLINES AND MUMBAI IMMIGRATION!!!!!

We are safe and sound at The Leela in Mumbai, but our travel over on Turkish Airlines was one for the record.  Our flight left out of Dullas/Washington DC on time, and was to arrive in Istanbul Airport with about an 1/ 1/2 layover.  While in the air after about 3 hours we heard hollering and screaming behind us and what sounded like someone was being assaulted.  Turkish Airlines appears to have a high number of male stewards and they rushed to the middle of the plane to find out what was happening.  It appeared as if the matter was settled as they moved the passenger to another section of the plane, only to have the same reenactment take place a few hours later.  This time the man was screaming and walking up and down the aisles.  People were clearly scared and nervous, and I'm sure people were thinking about 9-11 all over again as I was.  Within 20 minutes a group of men converged and took the tug out, and restrained his hands and I believe  his feet.  Our pilot then let us know that we would be landing in France, which we did for two hours.  Upon our arrival in France, we were met with Police, Ambulance and media.  The man who did the assaulting was carried off of the plane by about 7 men, as they  kept him restrained.

Because of this incident, our flight to Mumbai was delayed by 6 hours.  When we finally took off for our final destination,  Mumbai on Turkish Air once again, we were hoping for a smooth flight.  Once we sat down we heard screaming and yelling once again, and that continued throughout the flight.  An Oxford educated attorney from Mumbai was talking loudly the whole flight, and people were yelling at him to shut up, and he would scream back at them.  When he was told that the police would be meeting him in Mumbai, he welcomed with the laughter the thought of that idea, knowing full well that money talks.  The staff on Turkish Air were none to friendly, and I can understand after seeing how a few of the passengers acted.  When it came time for breakfast, and we were given the menu with two options when it came time to eat all that was left was eggs, which I have allergies to.  When I asked if there was anything else, I was told firmly that this is it.  I was not even offered anything else.  As you can imagine, we will not be flying them again after we return home from this journey.

Once we arrived in Mumbai and went through it immigration, this set up another chain of events.  Colin filled out the paperwork for immigration and the address that he put on it was Anand.  This set off a red flag, as the immigration officials know the hot buttons for surrogacy and wanted to know why we didn't have medical visa's, but  finally after 30 minutes of meeting with other officials  he let us go.  For those intended parent's doing surrogacy in India, just put the name of your hotel on the form in the future.  If you are going to Anand, just say you are staying in Mumbai or some other larger city. The final cherry on the ice-cream before leaving immigration was an official looking man, stopping us and asking us to come into his run down office to inform us that we owed a tariff on our luggage.  The tariff would be $100 for him, and another $100 for his friend.  At this point, this sister had about enough for one day.  I started to give him 100 rupee's, than just said to him, that he was crazy and they were not getting $100, and I threw a $20 at him.  His friend turned around and said what about his, and I told him he better get it from his better half.  These people are all immigration employees, and you have to wonder how many people on a daily basis are harassed like this.  When our car arrived from the Leela, and I told them what had happened they told us that people get like that around Christmas and New Year's, the desperation for money really comes out in full force.

With all of that said.  We are officially a family of 5. The twins were born on the 20th, and we are proud parents of a boy and girl, Alec Eion McRae & Elle Campbell McRae.  The names honor grandparents, that are deceased and one living grandparent  Dr. Eion McRae. We will see them for the first time tomorrow evening.  We are told that they are well.

As a side note, for all of you who I owe e-mails to I plan on sending out a bunch tomorrow night.  Stay-tuned!

7 comments:

Mike and Mike said...

Well congratulations on the twins! I dearly hope you don't have such a traumatic experience getting home!

Mark said...

Congratulations Crystal!
Good thing that you channeled your inner Sister. What a mess! But you have two new souls to add to your family. What wonderful news.
Take care and I can't wait for updates and, of course, pictures.
Your Friend, m.

jon said...

Congratulations to all of you! Can't wait to see the pics. I hope all goes safely with your return.

Big hugs

Jon

PS - doesn't sound like Turk Hava Yollari has changed much since the first time I had the >pleasure< of flying them in the 80's

coco said...

i see you saved the best for last... a boy and a girl, how wonderful! very happy for you guys and thank you for sharing the bbc video. merry christmas to you all

Stephaniekb said...

Youza! Talk about leaving the best news until the end! Congratulations on the twins safe birth; hope the rest of your journey to get them and then get home is uneventful!

Graeme said...

Crystal and Colin, best of luck getting your babies home quickly and safely! Thanks for posting your experiences, love, Graeme and family.

Tigerlilycat said...

Congratulations Crystal!!! Finally catching up with everything, so lovely to see that Alec and Elle have now joined the world. I bet Mark is over joyed at the thought of having a brother AND a sister. Post a few snaps when you get a spare minute...