In captivity

Location Holding cell in the Indian airline office | Mood Tearing hair out with boredom | Date 25 August 2005
Author (full name): 
Franny Armstrong
Holding cell in the Indian airline office
Tearing hair out with boredom
Mobile phone ringtones circa 2001
Sore stomach muscles from too many sit-ups
25 August 2005
Current crisis: 
In captivity
Current silver lining: 
Found street cafe selling masala dosas

The Chinese water torture is nothing to the Indian "After Some Time" method. What happens is that you meet up with someone who is, for example, starting up a new low-cost airline and who you are hoping to, say, feature in your documentary. They say that they are going to meet with you, but first just have to finish something, so please wait in this small room that looks suspiciously like a police cell (and I've been inside an Indian police cell or two in my time) . After 10 minutes they send someone in saying it will be another 15 minutes. In an hour they send tea. In two hours it will be "after some time". Then "definitely before the end of today". Then more tea. Then Mr Wadia has had to go somewhere but he will be here and can meet you "tomorrow or maybe the next day".

We can't even read our homework - I'm on "The Carbon War" by Jeremy Leggett and Lizzie's on the classic "The Party's Over" - cos we left them in the hotel. So we've been doing press-ups and sit-ups and pretending we're Sarah Connor in Terminator 2.

We have now waited six days - six days! - between consecutive shots. If we'd known we'd have six days off, we could have gone to visit Luharia or headed for the beach or something. As it is, we've been waiting in the cell going slowly mad.