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Archive for April, 2011

We planned a 3 day visit to Seattle, WA (to brother-in-law’s place) in March 2011. Well, I have posted about the Seattle visit in my travel blog and here I am going to write about the fun I had with American Airlines while traveling there.

I had to fly there alone as my husband (Saliya) traveled there a day before for a conference. I was to leave from Indianapolis, IN airport on Friday evening and arrive in Seattle on the same night. Well, it was one hell of a trip. My route was Indy to Chicago and Chicago to Seattle. First I got to know that my flight to Chicago is going to be delayed by one hour when I arrived at Indy airport. It was a 1 hour transit in Chicago. So I was kinda worried and asked the American Airlines officer at the gate, what will happen next? She told me that I would still be able to catch the next flight as it departs from the same terminal and same concourse and the flight from Indy to Chicago will take only 45 min (not 1 hr). So I thought ok, I’ve got 15 minutes for the transit then. Fair enough.

However the flight got delayed another 15 min to take off. The passengers were worried and stewardess told us not to worry because the flight will take only 35 minutes. Ok again, fair enough!! Finally…the flight was on a runway of Chicago airport after 35 minutes. Ok cool it worked, I wanted to quickly get out of the plane and run to the next gate from which Seattle flight departs, but wait…..our flight stopped in the middle of nowhere. We didn’t get a gate for clearance :shock:. The stewardess announced that we have to wait like 20 minutes till we get a gate to get off. The passengers got pissed off at this time and some told that they will never fly with American Airlines(AA) again. Everyone was worried about the flights they have to catch and finally stewardess checked with the airport and announced……

Flight to Korea is gone……

Flight to Seattle is gone……and the list went on.

Finally…everyone’s hopes had gone:). If I am correct we had to wait about 45 minutes till we get a gate. Seriously, why can’t they provide a ladder or something to get off if we like and show us some way out? :razz:. However finally we got a gate and got out tired and disappointed. It was around 10 p.m. then. Oh!! the Chicago airport was not the same as what I’ve seen in day time. It was so deserted and I got to know that there is no other flight till next morning. Actually it was a situation to panic for a novice girl like me…but, don’t know why I didn’t. I was more thinking of how to write a blog, pointing at American Airlines :). Certainly, it was their fault.

So I followed the other passengers to an AA counter. They decided to give us coupons for dinner, breakfast and for a hotel room to spend the night. Saliya insisted me(via phone) not to go to the hotel by a taxi because we can’t trust taxi drivers in Chicago. Spending the night in that deserted airport was not practical either. So I was waiting in the line to get the coupons and to ask about transportation options too. My husband, parents, brother-in-law and friends were always in contact with me via phone. So I didn’t feel alone, the only thing was we were apart from hundreds of miles :D. Our friends in Bloomington wanted to drive there too. It was so good of them but seriously? now they are the ones who should pay for what American Airlines did :roll:? No way!!  So anyway we decided to wait and see what the officer says.

Ok, I asked her whether I can get a hotel nearby so that I can walk. She checked and yes, there was this Hilton hotel next to the airport (It was the only good happened for the day). So I walked there carrying my heavy laptop and the hand luggage. It was a long way but good thing was that I could reach the hotel from inside of the airport. Finally I arrived in my room and informed everyone that I am safe though I was half dead by that time :mrgreen:. Hmm…what a day!!

Anyway..the next day was good. Everything went right. I could catch the flight to Seattle in the morning and arrived there on time.

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ICC cricket World cup final, 2011 was held in Mumbai, India on last Saturday, 2nd of April. The qualified teams were Sri Lanka and India. We all Sri Lankans had high hopes on the World cup. We all thought that the team would bring the cup home. Obviously the Indians thought the same. Anyway just one team could win and that was lucky India.

India performed really good. Bowling and fielding were great. In my view what Sri Lanka missed was the team spirit. There were several reasons for that. First they did a huge change in the team at the last moment (four players were replaced). So it is obvious that they lacked the proper coordination.  Then the bowlers didn’t succeed. The newly added players Nuwan Kulasekara, Thisara Perera and Suraj Randiv were not much successful in bowling. But it is not their fault. As I believe the fault was to do such a vast change in the team for the finals.  They couldn’t get enough wickets.We can’t put every responsibility on Malinga’s and Murali’s shoulders. So they couldn’t get the job done alone without help from the other bowlers. Next thing was fielding. Simply it was pathetic compared to Indian team. They could have blocked many boundaries, missed an important catch. This could have been a win for Sri Lanka if the fielding was good. At last there was no luck with us. Angelo Mathews got injured and that’s why he was replaced. Murali was having a leg injury. So he was not able to do his best and it was a huge loss for the team. All these facts led us  to a defeat. Yes it was painful. We didn’t lose hope till it comes to last few overs but finally India won by 6 wickets. Sri Lanka lost finals last time (2007) to Australia, but it was not this painful. Maybe it’s because we knew that we got defeated that day not because of the team or bad performance, it was rain and bad luck. But this time we could have done better. Things just went wrong.

So this is the 2nd vice championship we won consecutively. It is a great achievement anyway. Apart from that, there were some important and historical moment through out this tournament. The most important thing was Murali’s (Sri Lanka) departure from International cricket. Muttiah Muralitharan nicknamed as “King of Spin” is the greatest spinner ever in the planet, and the highest wicket taker in both test and ODI.  So Murali said good bye to International cricket after the tournament. Also it was Sachin Tendulkar‘s(India) last Worldcup tournament. So one great bowler and another great batsman ended their world cup cricket careers together. Scott Styris (Newzealand), one of the cricketers I liked from my childhood, also ended his career with semi finals of this tournament. Well, it happened to end with Murali’s last ball in Sri Lanka. After the tournament, Sri Lanka team captain Kumar Sangakkara announced his retirement from captaincy.

Afterall it has been a great and eventful tournament though we lost the championship. I know everyone did suffer. The team, people, everyone did. But they admit it with patience. They dearly welcomed the team home as always and let the team know that they are still their heroes. We saw  that how much the disappointed team appreciated their love and humanity. At that moment I realized that there is much more to feel in defeating too……unity, humanity, love and affection.  Well, that is Sri Lankan identity. They just lost the cup but they never lose their dignity.

So I am wishing the team a fruitful future, you are really capable of bringing the 2015 cup home. Best of luck. and finally……..Hats off to the great nation with patience…no matter what they have the strength to take it humbly. If they lose, they do it in style…. & that’s why this nation doesn’t lose their dignity !!! Proud to be Sri Lankan !!!

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