Editor’s Note: Acclaimed Seattle-based children’s rock band The Not-Its! is one of the musical headliners for Buddy Daddy Family Bash, a three-day event billed as India’s first-ever live family-entertainment festival. Guitarist Danny Adamson will be sending us reports on bringing their brand of American “kindie” music to this new audience of parents and his experience introducing his family to a new culture.
By Danny Adamson
Let’s just say that planning an international Kindie Rock trip to India may not be as easy as one might think, or be the quintessential picture of the rock star lifestyle.
Getting travel visas for this trip literally dominated our lives for a month and extremely stressed us out for the last two weeks before we left. This involved someone from the band driving or flying from Seattle to San Francisco three different times to try push along the process. It boiled down to me being in San Francisco the day before we were supposed to fly to India, so that our 13-person group (five band members, five kids and three spouses) could obtain the visas we were still missing. We finally called in a favor of a friend of a friend of a friend, who worked for U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington. This person got me a direct contact at the India consulate who let me come into the consulate, where nobody else gets to enter, and make it happen under what must have been serious pressure from our senator’s office. Perhaps something about the importance of our trip and our being cultural ambassadors for this event, or some mumbo jumbo like that. Woohoo!!!! I finally received the last visa around 7 p.m. (yes, they stayed late for me) and rushed to the San Francisco airport, booking a one-way flight to Seattle in the car. I returned home at 1 a.m. with the plan to head back to the airport for India in eight hours.
The next day, Tuesday, Nov. 10, was officially Day 1 of the trip. This involved two flights — one from Seattle to Tokyo and then Tokyo to New Delhi, both over 10 hours each. My two boys (Henry, seventh grade and Elliott, fifth grade) are great travelers, as are the other Not-It! kids. They knocked out the two flights with a full menu of free, new-release movies from Seattle to Tokyo, and a fairly empty plane from Tokyo to Delhi which allowed most of us to stretch out and sleep across a few empty rows. We arrived in New Delhi and made it through customs by about 2 a.m. to find our driver (and new friend) holding a welcome sign with “The Not-Its!” written on it. You really haven’t arrived until your name is on a sign held by a driver waiting for you at an airport.
The late night drive from the airport consisted of: not stopping at red lights, driving past numerous stray dogs and cows walking or sitting in the street, weaving in and out of traffic and almost bumping up against a few other cars on the road. We checked into our hotel and crashed by about 3:30 am after a little more than 24 hours of straight travel. Excited to have my kids’ minds blown by India and to see the festival grounds tomorrow!
Note: The next installment of the Not-Its! tales of India will appear tomorrow on the National At-Home Dads Network then come back to City Dads Group the next day.