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!