Wednesday, 23 January 2008

First Impressions

This write-up saw its beginning on a train to Rome..the first time I saw an Italian fight – and by that I don’t mean a single Italian – but an bunch of them fighting – amusing it certainly was. There were the both of us watching them bemusedly!

Italy, France – I’ve always thought of traveling to – somehow never thought it would materalise – even after sitting on the KLM flight – even after landing in Schipol Airport in Amsterdam. The whole experience has such a surreal feel to it. One always visualizes something and now all of it was right in front – some different – some quite the same.

We have decided to take a long yearly holiday (to clarify long is defined as around two weeks). Europe we picked to start with. Too broad, so the search was narrowed down to Italy, France, Holland, Germany & Austria. Too many countries to fit in our ‘long vacation’, so we knock off the last two places and juggled around the first three!

We landed in Amsterdam at around 10 AM on 1 June 2007. The series of events prior to all this were not a very encouraging start to a vacation. Our flight was to take off at 12:50 AM – which meant we’d have to leave home around 9:30 PM. I was home at 8, at 8:30 there was no sign of Tarun. Finally, at 9 he walks in drenched! Guess what ! as fate would have it we were to witness the first monsoon of 2007! Mumbai’s way of bidding adieu – a very messy one at that!

Well with the rains, taxis and autorickshaws alike are choosy about where they’re headed. The International Airport was clearly off limits – except for one lone chappie – God bless him – although he added a disclaimer to the journey – “Meri gaadi mein wiper nahin hai – bahut dheere chalaoonga” Well, did we have a choice?!
Looked like Mumbai’s farewell party was to last the entire journey to the airport.

Wet bags, wet jeans, not the best way to land up at an immigration counter. Anyways we got over the usual formalities etc etc – we’d web checked in therefore swooped to the luggage counter. Point to note here, we are thoroughly pampered lot – all our automated counters are manned!

Anyways at this point the passports & visas came out. Our visa commenced on 1 June 2007 – and here we were standing at the counter at 11 PM on 31 May..immigration here we come was very far away. To say the least, CS Airport has nothing of amusement value, and the little there is, is on part with European rates. I guess they’re doing the least they can to prepare us for the days to come.

We the Cinderellas finally arrived at the immigration counter and crossed over! Yay yay! Our holiday had started! Announcement “ The KLM flight to Amsterdam has been delayed – please remain seated until further notice! What!! All we had to keep ourselves busy were a bunch of lousy duty free shops and a highly overpriced handicrafts shop – which even foreigners were looking at in the most peculiar manner.

Speaking of peculiar, listen to this bit! Our ground steward was a cheerful sardar who insisted on making 2 sentences of conversations with all around. With our turn coming up, we asked him the obvious, about the flight delay. With a fairly dumbfounded blank look he starts with..”Sir, there is a tachnical (to be read technical) problehh…the knitting of eyebrows & the stern expressions he was countered with made him immediately change his statement to “ there is a tachnical wather problem sir – and we are working on rectifying it” !!!!!! Luckily, KLM had thrown open the entire food court, much akin to a food court helping us divert our attention to more important things – free food!

Well apparently, about our flight, it’d been diverted to Ahmedabad as it ran out of fuel - so it spent three hours there refueling, then another 2 hours hovering over amchi Mumbai and then finally landed. Aaaaah..4 AM finally saw the announcement..which I can’t quite remember but it said something about the flight taking off..Finally..

T is very good with the words..hence asked him for his thoughts on our trip to Europe, here goes.

It was like an oasis in the desert ~

It was like an egg before boiling ~
I take your leave here, requesting you to ponder on the second statement..


Zee said...

how can u make irresponsible statements about eggs esp with bird flu doing the rounds in west bengal????

Aiswarya said...

Sounds like a perfect holiday to me, compared to the stuff I normally go through. Now the best bit, and then.. what happened?!

Ankur said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ankur said...

me like the use of CS airport... never heard tha before

Still searching said...

What does 'an egg before boiling' mean?!! that it's raw?!!

cant believe u had such a tough time getting there!

and where are you planning to go this yr?

SS said...

Well this year has 3 options, one of them being the country you live in!
As for the comment please check with T when you meet him next!

Horn Please OK! said...

I think you should write some more about the Euro-trip. Between the two of us, we should be able to re-create all the memories.

Ummm ... on second thought, best not to !! :D