LAST NIGHT we went to a dinner between 41st and 42nd Avenues, where a company of souls gathered to say goodbye to Sam Webster. Sam is going to Bristol University in October and temporarily leaving the Bay Area.
The venue was pretty astonishing really – an Egyptian restaurant called Al-Masri, and decked out with Ancient Egyptian motifs. That included an Isis Room, with space for 12 to eat and gaze at pictures of Isis, like this one below.
The food was great – served by a young lady who called herself Isis. Isis later danced for the company and Sam was crowned with a pharaoh’s headgear and given two staffs to cross to boot. What fun! Yesterday was also the first day of Ganesh Chaturthi, celebrated with great festivities in Mumbai and Maharashtra. ♥
CHECK OUT Subhankar’s blog, here. ♥
SUBHANKAR KUNDU, one of the leading lights of the IT Examiner in India, has started his own blog, “Explore Subhankar”. Subhankar is a reporter based in Bangalore, and together with Jayant Mishra, an Examiner freelance based in Mumbai, excelled themselves by working through the night to bring readers the latest news of the outrages.
Which are still continuing, unfortunately, as the RSS feed on the right demonstrates. ♣
THE ADVERTISING STANDARDS AUTHORITY (ASA) delivered some blows to the rump of Virgin Atlantic today for misleading customers over the availability and service in its “Premium Economy” cabins.
The ASA found that ads Virgin ran gave the impression that new seats weren’t available on something like 50 per cent of its planes, while the “dedicated team” the airline advertised were really people that also served economy passengers.
In fact, we have first hand knowledge of the new cabins and seats, because we flew back in one of them from Mumbai at the weekend. After two hours on the runway and nine hours on the fright, our bum was quite sore. The cabin staff, as always, were very pleasant, although the sight of two tall male cabin staff made us think we had double vision at one point.
But here’s a thing. Although other airlines put their staff up in nice hotels in central London, allowing the crew to see the cities they’re going to, we understand that Virgin puts them up in Slough – not the most salubrious town in the south east. They go shopping in Uxbridge, poor things.
Further, unlike other airlines, Virgin makes the staff trek to Mumbai airport dressed up to the nines in their red suits. For blokes this probably isn’t much of a problem, but a young lady on her own in India is likely to be the subject of what the local press call “eve teasing” – that is to say sexual harrassment.
Anyroad, the ASA told Virgin to remove the dedicated crew claim, to provide a disclaimer that the spiffed up seats weren’t available on all frights, and to make their copy clearer when they ran ads. ♥
THE DOMESTIC AIRPORT in Mumbai is quite a little away from the international airport – so there’s a “bus” service to convey the domestics to the elevated world of international.
It takes 36 minutes to arrive, although it’s supposed to run every 10-15 minutes. And when it arrives, it’s manned by a surly lot who seem to spend more time having fun than worrying about passengers.
The airlines do a Pontius Pilate when you talk about this particular debacle – the bus service isn’t run by them they say, as they wash their hands in faux remorse.
Still, this is India, and everything works out in the end despite constant frazzle from some passengers! ♥