Kaylie O’Connor – January 17th -The Flight Home and Customs Experience

With excitement in my bones I boarded the plane to go home at 3 am on January 15th. Getting through customs in India was easier than I thought it was going to be. We were asked whether we had been around livestock, where we had traveled and what items we were bringing back home. I believe we were asked about livestock and areas of travel due to diseases that we could get from animals as well as illnesses like malaria that could come through mosquitoes. I imagine that the amount of items we were returning with was a safety precaution, but I cannot think of what someone would bring on the plane that would not be caught in the scanners going through security.

The food on the plane was not what I expected. I expected we would have more curry and rice meals on the first flight, but instead we were given an odd concoction that resembled chicken and mashed potatoes (I can only speak for non-vegetarian meals). This could partially be because we were on a flight leaving India, but it could also be due to the fact that airplane meals need to be simple enough that a majority of people would enjoy it.

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Even though we were only halfway through our trip, I was so excited to reach Amsterdam. Being able to have coffee that was sweetened as well as find some resemblance with the culture around me was comforting after two weeks abroad. Since I had a bad experience with the Paris TSA, I was apprehensive, but overall my experience in the Amsterdam airport was short and sweet.

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Sleeping was difficult during the trip, but I was able to get a few Z’s in on and off throughout the two flights. Being able to stay occupied with movies also helped the trips go faster.

When we landed in Minneapolis, I could not have jumped off of the plane quicker. American customs took more time than the customs we experienced coming into India. The first main difference I noticed was that people lined up and waited, while at the Indian customs at the beginning of the trip it was not unusual for someone to cut in front of you. That’s something that was regular all over India and was hard not to be offended by. In america we wait our turns and go one by one and it’s not that they’re being rude, that’s just how the system works over there.

Once I got through the first line, the picture taking and verification process was pretty quick. They asked similar questions of us as they did when we left India, and within 20 minutes we were out of the airport, on our way home!

 

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