Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dubai-Baroda-Goa-Baroda

Thought for the day:In three words, I can sum up everything I've learned about life:"It goes on"...Robert Frost.

Sorry,sorry,sorry!!I thought I mentioned in one of my previous posts that I was off to India on 4th evening, for a sixteen day sojourn. Thanks, everyone who left concerned queries in the comments section. It's great to know that people care!Always!

Today morning, we returned from Goa. So, let me begin at the beginning, as usual. This time,I knew I'd have excess baggage, since this might well be my penultimate trip to India, before moving back permanently.(Touchwood, all going well!Pray,please!).Let's see,let's see. So, I did some quick calculations. Emirates allows 30 kgs. My estimate of the baggage weight was @ 40 kg, give or take 1 or 2. So, considering their excess baggage charges per kg, I was wondering what to do and what positive thing would land up.(No pun )..and,it did..I got an email from them, asking if I wanted to upgrade my ticket to business class for a nominal extra price, which was much less than the 10 kgs excess charge I'd have had to pay. So, I snapped up the offer, never having travelled by Business Class in the past. Packed all the bags on the last day afternoon, as usual. This friend picked me up,dropped me at the airport, and I entered.

Fascinating, as always- terminal 3 of Dubai airport, which is exclusively for Emirates at present. A quick checkin(Guess what-the baggage weight was 42 kgs!LOL- thank heavens for that quick decision...no excess required), a good one hour spent roaming around the Duty Free which stretches from one end to the other, right from the music to curios to tobacco(Not for me.LOL), etc. Went to the area for my flight gate...ohhh, no..before that,let me describe the special lounge for Business Class passengers that I visited out of curiosity. It's nothing less than the magnificent lobby and restaurant sections of a five star hotel.mahogany panelling on walls, fountains, wooden flooring...and, there's a number of foodie areas, with complimentary food, which ranges from salads to fruits to desserts to my favourite tea, besides juices. It was the first time I found thinly sliced potatoes with light lemon juice and a bit of spices to be so tasty. Then, a small slice of wholemeal bread with salads, a good helping of fruits of the tastiest variety and I was feeling totally satisfied, tummy wise and in general. Also noticed a spa section, but, was running out of time, otherwise I'd have checked it out as well.

Then,off to the zone for my flight's Gate 213. Annoucements began after half hour. Business and first class passengers will board first.Voila, I was up instantly and at the announcement dais(Or is that dias?). And, trooped off to the aircraft where also the entrance for BC and FC is separate from the 'lowly' Economy. Entered! Wow..what a seat(On line checkin, so I got a nice window seat with my lucky number 4)!I'd hardly seated myself when a steward rushed up with a smile on his face and a welcome on his lips...got me a nice small juice, followed by the air hostess bringing a warm scented napkin. The steward came back and, on an impulse, I asked him if he could click my pic on my cell phone.."Of course, Sir! And, we also have a polaroid camera on board..let me get that!" So, the cell phone pic's clicked.And, he gets the polaroid and clicks...comes back in a second to show me the neat-o result. "Let me put it in an album for you, Sir", he says...and, comes back in a minute with the pic mounted in a nice one-photo album.

Then, along comes the special menu for my review and selection..took a nice tomato soup with the usual veg meal(They also had dhokla, since the flight was from Abad, but I didn't opt for that) since I was already pretty happy inside with the lounge meal. The air hostess came along, wanted a look at the pic, admired it(Ahem!) made pleasant conversation about where I'm going, how far Baroda is from Ahmedabad, et al. I made myself comfy after that meal, with the footrest going up and the seat going back...totally relaxed postition(So nice, compared to the congestion in Economy if you're stuck in a middle seat) and went into my usual half-asleep mode with an ole episode of Friends on one of their many channels being my choice of seeing-but-not-seeing. Incidentally, there were only four of us in the full Business Class section, so we got a bit more attention than usual. The plane landed, I again got priority on landing, along with the other three, and a special mini bus took off with just us four in it. No wonder I love Emirates! Their pleasant service is unparalleled and, it's not just Business Class-even in Economy, you're made to feel right at home, albeit, a wee bit less than the extra special treatment in BC. Aah!!This special treatment can be quite addictive.

At the Abad airport, there was a small rush, as always, since some other flight had also landed.(I hoped that it was not from the US of A). We were all handed over a form to fill, and, then sent for a quick check from a row of docs seated there. Ya- it was a check for the much-feared swine flu. When my turn came, the doc said' Say Aah!!'poked a light in my mouth, stamped the page and I was off to the baggage conveyor belt.

Here also, I saw my baggage instantly, since it was marked'Priority'! And, in fifteen minutes, I was out of the airport to where my pick up vehicle driver was waiting. By 6 AM, I was in Baroda! Feeling as fresh as ever.What a contrast compared to my last trip by AI Express.Ah well, it takes all kinds of experiences to make up one's travel portfolio, na!!

Baroda was just one day. And, in the evening, me n the family were off by Baroda Express, for Mumbai. A bit more on that coming up in the next post.

Before I forget, I've clicked quite a few pics this time.Will see if I can put some up here.Otherwise, what net album would you suggest as being the fastest to upload?

Joke for the day:
A blonde walks up to a guy in a blue bathing suit and says:
"Did you know your eyes match your swim trunks?"
He says'Why? Are my eyes bulging?'

Till next time, keep smiling.

6 comments:

austere said...

Welcome home!
Just hear the glee in your voice!
Ahem ahem business class and all, pampered treatment! :)

Have a superb holiday in Goa and just for once you could eat some cashews, no?

On a side note, noted and appreciated how you totally paisa vasooled the lounge facilities.

Lazy Pineapple said...

hey....busy busy business class man...good to see you back :)

Cool experience :) and am sure you made the most of it and even flirted with the air hostess. Good going...look forward to your snaps try picasa fron Google.

AmitL said...

Hi,Austy..thank you, thank you!!:)Yep-glee in my voice is right.

I'm already back from Goa..one more week in Baroda- EME Temple, walks in Sayaji Park, tea at the larri, etc...nice na?

HAHA!-yes,indeed,I did paisa vasooled the lounge facilities.Wish I'd had more time. If there's a next time, I'll probably go 3 hrs earlier than the mandatory hours.:)
----
Hi, LP-tku,tku..haha-keep guessing, re the flirting part..and,tks for the picasa idea..let me try in a day or 2.

Keshi said...

WB Amit! I was wondering where u were :)

42K? What do u carry so much! LOL!

My mum is alot like u when it comes to excess baggage! *lol*

But Im the total opp. I like to carry very lil when travelling...thats cos I need alot of space for my clothes HAHA!

Emirates..mm tho Im a member of the Skywards club, I dun really admire their service at the airports!

Keshi.

Ritu said...

You even sound FRESH :-)

Loved the joke too :-D

Alka said...

All in all a good experience. And a spa at airport? :-)