SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 2 – MONDAY, FEBRUARY 3 – NASHVILLE TO MUMBAI, INDIA:
I left from Nashville this morning as Lindsey was flying home from Zurich. Really enjoyed my 4 days with Zac and Zoe. I am the only one departing Nashville as the Bellamys leave from Dallas Fort Worth and we all meet in Atlanta – if things go smoothly. Lindsey got stuck overnight last week on her flight to Zurich because of weather. I’ve been glued to the Weather Channel for days and looks like the Bellamys are barely missing a ice storm. Nashville may get some of that as well.
My departure was delayed by a few minutes but I still arrived Atlanta on time. Had about 4 hours in the Lounge before the Bellamys arrived so I got LOTS of work done. Was going to try and get a massage but it was in another terminal so decided I would live without it. Bellamys landed on time and it’s Howard’s birthday. I had purchased him a gift certificate for a massage on our day off in Sri Lanka. That should be interesting. J We had about an hour before boarding for our 8+ hour flight to Amsterdam. We bought smoothies and skipped lunch since the meal service will begin as soon as we board the flight.
When we got on the plane, I realized all the seats had changed from when I checked us in yesterday. I was in the same seat number but it was not located where the seat map had shown. Howard and David weren’t even sitting together! I was not happy but since it was a full flight, not much I could do about it. You would think someone would see that they have the same last name and that they were sitting together when they changed their seats. The flight attendants were ‘nice” but definitely not friendly. Not ONCE during the entire flight did they refill my water glass or offer me a bottle of water. I had to get up and go to the galley and “request” it. The food was excellent though and I watched “ACOD” which was a light-hearted story about Adult Children of Divorce. Slept for 3 hours and then it was only 1 hour until landing.
We landed and thank God my email was working on my new iPhone. Lindsey’s data did not work through the cell carrier the entire time she was in Zurich so I was panicked that mine wouldn’t either. Multiple calls to T-Mobile never fixed her problem. L
We had about an hour in Amsterdam before continuing on to Mumbai – our first visit to India. It was when we went through security that I realized I forgot to bring my iPad. Fortunately I have Facetime on the new iPhone so I can talk to the Z’s. I have been a long time Blackberry user and simply cannot type on a screen. But there is this amazing “clip on” keyboard that has just been released call “Typo”. Ryan Seacrest developed it and is being sued by Blackberry. LOL. It works GREAT and is awesome to be able to have an iPhone 5s and still have the blackberry keyboard.
We landed on time and all our luggage and equipment arrived except it took Wally’s suitcase 30 minutes longer than ours! The promoter had arranged for someone at the airport to meet us and assist us through with our bags. He had the trucks there for the equipment/luggage and cars for all of us. That’s when everything sort of “fell apart”. We were being taken in 4 different directions and were separated from our luggage. After about 40 minutes of “waiting”, I finally just told the driver to take us to the hotel. Everyone arrived at almost the same time but Howard and David’s suitcases were put on the truck with all the equipment going to the venue and had to be retrieved. The neighborhood between the airport and the hotel was definitely “slums”. Couldn’t see a lot at night but enough. The hotel is really nice and the staff very helpful but super SLOW! It was 2:30 am by the time we arrived in our hotel rooms after landing at 11:30 pm! The electrical outlets don’t work with our plugs (even though we were assured they would). The hotel had to bring around power strips for everyone.
It is 5 am here now and I am going to sleep for 2 hours. We have our first show tomorrow in Mumbia and then fly to Goa on Wednesday for a show. From what everyone has said, the Bellamy’s music is played here all the time and the shows will be sold out!
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2014 – SHOW IN MUMBAI, INDIA:
Feeling a little “shaky” after only 2 hours of sleep. Nothing coffee won’t cure though. Definitely no time to exercise this morning but “maybe” had time this afternoon. My room was too cold when I went to bed, so had to get up and put on socks. Then my nose stayed cold the rest of the time. J
Breakfast buffet was spectacular. Omelet station and everything imaginable – American and Indian – on the huge buffet. Saw most of the guys down there including Howard. I went down at 8 am, so everyone was up pretty early.
Off for the first “adventure” this morning – sound check. It’s a shame we don’t have any time here at all to “explore”. The hotel we are staying in is located right on the beach.
We were supposed to leave the hotel at 11:30 am to go to sound check but of course, we left “late”. Traffic was bad but not horrendous. It was supposed to be a 30 minute drive and when we reached an hour, I was getting pretty upset. Suleiman started talking to the promoter in Hindu and then he rolled up his itinerary and started hitting him on the head with it. I found out once we arrived that the stage wasn’t set up (and still wasn’t when we arrived) and the promoter didn’t want me to know it. So he told his drivers to just drive us around for an hour or more!!!
The venue is nice – outdoor –and a large enough stage. The promoter’s son rode back to the hotel with me. He’s 18 years old and said his friends are coming to the concert tonight because they all listen to and know the Bellamy’s music. Pretty cool.
I came back early from sound check so I could meet a couple of journalists who wanted interviews. Of course, we chose the time that a wedding was taking place in the hotel. We couldn’t sit in the lobby but found a coffee shop where they could talk.
Had a really quick dinner at the hotel restaurant and it was amazing. I had the Green Curry with chicken (and NO rice L) and so did the guys but with rice. The wonderful thing is….the food in India has been awesome….unlike in China where the Chinese food really sucked.
Had to rush to get dressed for the show. The venue was PACKED once we arrived. Our contract said 1,000 to 1,500 for the capacity but the promoter “fudged” on that number. There were more than 2,000 in the audience. There was a “cover” band singing country songs as the opening act. They were good but it was strange to me because all the musicians sat down to play!
The Bellamys took the stage to thunderous applause and screams. I swear the fans knew the words to every song and sang along with them. It was amazing. I’m going to check because the Bellamys may be the only country act that has performed in India and Sri Lanka. They were especially enthralled with the pedal steel player because they have never seen the instrument or a musician play it here in India.
The show ended on time but there were a lot of VIP’s waiting for autographs afterwards. Traffic is always horrible but even more so when the show was over. As we were driving around this morning, I asked if all there was a low income and high income area of town because all we had been seeing were “slums”. I was assured that we were in the “middle income” part of Mumbai. A 900 square foot apartment costs One Half Million Dollars U.S.
It’s after 1 am and I’m dying. Got to get some sleep. We leave at 10:30 am tomorrow to fly to Goa and perform. Goa is more the “countryside” of India and our show there is supposed to be packed as well.