Posted by: canaryinacoalmine | May 12, 2008


Hi you,


**This is more of a diary for me, so years later I can look back and remember this experience


After just returning from dinner/drinks with the pilots I will work with for the next year, the nature of this blog is about to change drastically.  I’ve taken on a huge risk.  I’ve singed on with a family who is based in Bombay (Mumbai, India), we fly into dangerous and exotic places.  Bangkok, London, South Africa, France, Kuwait, Calcutta….etc…


Indian culture is different than American culture. . Both of the pilots I fly with are Americans. One is retired two times over and the other is but a mere nine years older than me; he and I hit it off from first meeting. I knew I’d get along with him when we were walking around London and said, “Why do they make all the police and traffic men dress like second rate Village Men?,”. He’s the type of guy I’d have as a friend had we not met through working together. 


I’ve learned, I may be kidnapped in certain countries because of the way I look (red hair and American accent), I know I may be kidnapped at any moment. I know there are people out there who are going to want to harm me simply because  WHO I’m working for.


Prior to dinner with all three pilots (India based plane – India requires you to have an Indian Pilot on board at all times) Dave told me “Captain” (Indian pilot) was explaining more of the Indian culture to me.  After a son or daughter gets married the family will remain living in the same house.  Our Indian “Captain” is married with two small kids.  Curious as I am I inquired how that works and no one wants to threaten murder..  He (Indian Captain) and I had somewhat of a communication breakdown.


J: “How does this work? Does everyone get along? I know from my  own personal experience living in close quarters with my family after ten days I wanted to take an ax to their heads.”


Captain; “No. No. You don’t understand we all live in the same house and under the same roof..


Captain and I went around several rounds in communication breakdown – he was not able to understand my explaining to him that families fight – I know it would be hard so I wanted to know how it worked … how he made it work.


Enter Dave (pilot I get along with from California (good looking surfer type guy)

“He doesn’t understand the question you’re asking. I know from reading the newspapers in Mumbai when families start to fight  a brother will kidnap, violently rape a wife and then burn her.  They use the excuse the wife disgraced the family.”


Captain: “Yes, now I get you.  The police not to long ago were tired of a family fighting so they burned Mother and Child. THE POLICE!.”




J: “Well, I will do my best not to disgrace the family.”


I am afraid of fire and heights!


I’ve only just begun this journey and can bail anytime I decide to do so.  I left Houston Friday for four months. 


*****The thing about traveling****I may be seeing the world on someone else’s dime and putting away money tax free. It’s really hard not seeing my friends.  I know – woe is me- the average person who doesn’t travel for a living won’t get it.  And I don’t expect them to understand such.  I’m going to truly circumference the globe a few times over, it’s really lonely.  


I’ve always loved deeper than I should and held on to people harder than they’ve held on to me. I read people and know I’m water in their earth; they take me for granted and say, “See you when you get back…have a safe flight.”  I’m going to have to end a few friendships due to their actions before I left.  I want to think there is an excuse but there is not. I know I expect a lot out of people however, it’s only because I know what I put out to be their friend. 


And then there are my Cathy’s who say, “What! Dinner tonight? I need my Tornado and will miss you terribly,” after I cried at dinner she said please call every day, she got it, her and Darren will miss me.  I’ll miss seeing her belly grow like poison ivy.    I’m not just a party or going out friend to her.  She’s a sister I chose along with Shelley, Linds, Shana and my Tiffy.


When I return, there is a chance some of these people I can flip a coin on will come back to my world for strictly social purpose.  And if not, well, fuck em’.




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  2. Just be safe, Jess. You’re a friendly, trusting person and that’s great and one of the things your friends love about you, but, if you want to stay safe, listen to your Uncle Jim and trust no one. No one! Seriously, Jess, just keep your wits about you and be suspicious and safe. It’s only a grand adventure if you survive long enough to tell the tale.

    As for friends… Well, think of it as a Darwinian experiment in friendship. Those friendships that are strong will survive. And who needs the other ones anyway?

  3. He’s right. Be very careful.

    And I got five bucks that says you’re gonna be sleeping with the surfer pilot before the four months is up 🙂

    I can’t wait to hear/read all about this new life of yours.

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