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Published: July 21st 2017
It was that time of the year again when Swati and I start making plans for our annual summer vacation. Actually it's more of a monsoon vacation as that is the time when our business slips into off season. However it coincides perfectly with the holiday season in Europe. Last year, our travels took us to Switzerland and France where we were accompanied by my childhood friends; the Chitnis's and the Mirajkar's. We had a blast and as is the norm made a pact to travel every summer together. By the time summer turned to winter and winter to spring, the pact was forgotten or buried under the debris of everyday grind and responsibilities. Unfortunately this year Mirajkar's would not be able to make it. So it was going to be Swati and me along with the Chitnis's that is, Akshay, Pradnya and their 5 year old daughter Anvi. We were all gungho about doing a UK trip but by the time we could all get together and search for a good deal, UK tickets had shot through the roof. Luckily though we came across a great offer for Greece! We decided to freeze on it. However the cheap flight egyptair
had a long layover at Cairo. Not wanting to spend hours waiting at an airport we decided to extend our trip by couple of more days and include Cairo as well. Including Cairo in our iternarary gave us two advantages other than the obvious avoiding of airport layovers; 1) we would be stepping on a new continent and seeing the magnificent Pyramids and 2) gave us a legit, self convincing alibi to justify the extra money we were going to spend just to avoid few hours of discomfort.
The bookings were done, visa's obtained, forex arranged as the Day day arrived 20th July 2017. We had an early morning 0235 flight from Mumbai which would reach Cairo at 0500 hours after 6 hours in the sky. That meant the night was going to be spent sitting, groggily waiting for the destination to arrive. As we approached the gates for departure Akshay noticed there weren't many passengers, which meant chance for empty rows of seat. Since childhood Akshay had been the most wily and quick thinking friend of ours. He purposely boarded last which gave him the opportunity to know which all seats were going to be vacant. Through his
charm and desperate want for a night's sleep, Akshay could make the air hostess divulge that row number 38 was completely unoccupied. So leaving our wives at our designated seats Akshay and me occupied a seat each on either side of the aisle of row number 38. We were happy and at the same time relieved when boarding was completed and nobody joined us in the row number 38. That meant all four of us were going to have 3 consecutive seats to ourselves and could stretch and lie down the whole flight. The feeling was as though we got business class seats at the price of economy. No sooner had the flight taken off smoothly, all four of us spread on the seats, pulled our blankets, adjusted our cushions and were already dreaming of doing the Egyptian dance atop the Pyramids.
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