The Hyderabad Airport was a nightmare. In fact, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that getting into the terminal was like having to force my way into hell.
I could not check my baggage all the way through to Oakland from Goa -- so I was lugging everything around. People five rows deep were crowding around the fence that surrounded the walkway I needed to get to to get to my terminal.
I could not see where the opening in the fence was because so many people were shoved up against it. And once I found it -- it was completely blocked by people just standing around -- not even trying to get on a plane. Once I managed to get through the wall of people with my unruly luggage, the guards said I couldn't enter the terminal until 10 pm. It was now 4 pm.
I said, "Really. Really. Are you sure? What am I supposed to do here?"
Mysteriously, the guard then said, "Okay -- go in those doors and wait there until 10."
I went over to the doors and they slid open to reveal -- hell. It was a waiting area for crying babies, screaming children, people with the flu and horrible body odor, and me -- rashy.
People were pushing up against a wall of metal mesh through which they could see loved ones leaving and arriving.
I have little memory of what I did for six hours in that room. Although, I do remember the arrival of three women wearing fragrant garlands of flowers in their hair who sat in front of me. I was thankful for this.
When 10 pm came, I was asleep in hell. Who would have thought I could be so comfortable there? I woke up at midnight and dashed out of the room to the terminal.
If I thought it was a nightmare before, it was 10 times worse now. As I do in many situations in which things are beyond dire, I check out and turn on autopilot.
Before I knew it, I was in the Frankfurt airport paying $6 for a huge salt-topped bretzel.
I got on the plane and sat next to a guy who looked like Val Kilmer and acted just like my dear friend DJ Tanner. And strangely enough, they both work in outbound strategy for high-tech companies. This guy was a good seatmate because he knew how to steal stuff from first class. I'd fall asleep and then wake up to a seat tray full of Milka bars and cups of cold milk.
I love candy. It was awesome.
He was coming from a tradeshow in Hannover, which he said was a town with nothing to do in it. Oddly enough, I've come to learn that Hannover was the first home to Battle of the Year, a huge international breakdancing competition.
Here's a video of some of the members of Last for One crew from Korea, 2005 BOTY champions. To be clear, this means that the best breakdancing crew in the world in 2005 -- was from Korea.
The Koreans manage to breakdance, human beatbox, DJ, and play the kayagum to their hip-hop rendition of Pachebel's Canon in D Major in a video that I keep expecting to be an ad for LG. They also send kim chee into space.
These are just a few of the reasons why I believe the Koreans are going to take over the world.
That is, unless the Indians put together a b-boy crew...