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May 22, 2010

Scary experience at yosemitepinesrv.

Filed under: Uncategorized — neosurya @ 12:21

We had just checked in into our cabin at Yosemite ( after a long trek, and we find water barely trickling in our bathroom and the kitchen. A few minutes later, there is no water. We were six adults and two toddlers aged about a year and half. All needed to use the bathroom and we needed the kitchen water to make food. There were two guys working on some water pipes next to our cabin. We figured they could tell us what to do, and asked them about the water (Very politely). One of the guys says that the hot water heater was needing some fixing and suggests that we use a tap outside the cabin for water. Hmmm…. So, how do we use the damn bathrooms…. I discuss with other folks, come out and request (Politely, again) that he need not fix the heater and could just give us cold water for an hour. One of the guys gets violent with us and says that he would beat us up if we ask questions about the water supply. No bones broken, but some very serious threats were given. There was a more elderly chap who remained sane, but did little to stop his colleague’s belligerence.

Most of us were quite shaken. Some of us contemplated calling 911, but we felt that the guy just blew off due to stress. It was a different matter that he should not have shown his workplace stress on us. We tried to reach the management, but the after hours number that they had advertised went to an answering machine. The water eventually came, we spent the night and checked out the next day. We wanted to pack up and leave the same night, but could not depart with two kids in diapers crying for food. And at 9:00 PM in the busy May night, finding a place to stay in Yosemite would have been well neigh impossible. The RV park seems to be quite popular, and this was probably a one off disgruntled employee. But it was very unpleasant and disrupted our plans.


May 5, 2010

Travel by Air India and comparison with Lufthansa.

Filed under: personal, travel — neosurya @ 11:34

We recently traveled by Air India flight from Delhi to Frankfurt and then from Frankfurt to LAX by Lufthansa. This was our first flight by Air India. So, how was it – Good interiors. Crowded staff. Good food.

Interiors: The flight interior was refreshingly different from any of the international flights that I have taken in recent days. It was definitely Maharaja interiors, with almost everyone having great legroom, and a personal entertainment system.

Staff: The ground staff were friendly, they were going out of their way to help people with children and elderly passengers. The staff in flight were weird – there were at least 2 flight attendants who were not doing anything except instruct other flight attendants what to do. I could be mistaken, but the body language and behavior of these folks was paternalistic even toward passengers.I even overheard one flight attendant lecturing a passenger: “You should not ring the bell too often, I know my duties and I will respond when possible.”

Food: Good, typical North Indian fare.

Our onward flight from Frankfurt to LAX was on Lufthansa. The experience on Lufthansa is usually very German – no-nonsense, no frills, just travel. It is like other things German, like their engineering – dull, but will get the job done. Interiors were composed of plain vanilla seats, no personal entertainment, legroom enough to survive the trip without complaints. Service was OK – one attendant was particularly rude, but you do end up finding a bad apple on most flights. Food – taste OK, quantity enough to make you survive, but you would search for a restaurant the moment you land.

So, the comparison:

Food: Both are on par.

Ground Staff: Air India is slightly better on this one.

Air crew: Air India is so bad that it would make passengers never take another Air India flight again. Lufthansa is also bad, but it is bearable.

Interiors: Air India better.

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