Friday, March 05, 2010

What a trip

Back-from the shortest Dxb trip I've ever made(5 days). As usual, the trip was full of the usual observations and fun. So, let's go back to Sunday morning,@ 530 AM.

Got the usual missed call from my usual taxi guy.(He's the owner of the Travel Agency). Off we left,for A'bad. The usual silent roads, the occasional car or truck careening by, driven by road hogs who're encouraged to fly on empty roads. Well, after a bit of chit-chat, I dozed off. Suddenly, I woke up and saw that we'd missed a truck by a few inches- courtesy, my friend also feeling dozy at the driving wheel, in spite of some nice songs playing on the radio(In fact, I think nice songs make a driver doze off even more-am I right?). Luckily, nothing happened, we stopped at the first petrol pump-rest house and he splashed some cold water on his eyes and face, to ensure he remained awake. Haha!:)
Reached the airport-nice and early at 7 AM, or so I thought. Why? As usual, everyone had the same idea- the flight was full, and everyone arrived early. After a queue at the X-ray machine, a queue at the check-in, a queue at the passport control and a queue at the boarding gate, I felt quite tired. Oh, yes- observation time. First, there was this Uncle- came with a ticket dated 28.03 and wanted to board on 28.02. There was some argument, but they finally managed. There were the pigeons, merrily flying about, watching the chaos on the ground below them, and settling on the advertising frames on the walls, ready to drop something on anyone who stood below them.:)

After passport control, I looked at the timetable on the wall, and it showed that the flight was one hour late. Anticipating what would happen, I quickly went through to the boarding gate zone, and took a cuppa tea from the store  there and sat right opposite it, in what I call my 'foodie observation seat'. And, then they descended- the hungry hordes, I mean. People who'd probably not had dinner yesterday, in order to enjoy the flight food. Now, with the flight one hour late, they felt famished.

The veggie puffs had already disappeared. In a few minutes, the two dozen odd samosas disappeared. Then, the veggie sandwiches. Then, the hot water for tea and coffee. The guy had to go out and get more water for the tea, since people kept asking for it. He also got refills of the samosa tray. And, I actually saw two people coming with their fingers pointing at the samosa tray from afar- probably afraid that someone'd take them before they did. They banged their fingers on the glass showcase of the foodie bar to get the guy's attention, and were satisfied only when the samosas came their way, hotted up in the microwave. Ahhh-the look of relief on their faces when they were eating, made my day-and,I'm sure this was their second round. Or, maybe the third. (It reminded me of the hefty kid in the ole 'Bombay To Goa', who would rush to trays of eatables when the bus stopped at a rest area, as soon as his parents removed the hanky tied to his mouth. He'd shout 'samosaaaaa' and attack)

By this time, the second tray of samosas had also finished. And, people were still standing there, staring wistfully at the empty tray.Some stood with their hands on their sides, and decided to take another round of tea/coffee.

Finally, the boarding announcement- and, people rushed(Now, for those who haven't seen the airport, the boarding gate zone room is suitable,for maybe 400 passengers. Imagine the full flight capacity people rushing to be first in the queue, to ensure the plane did not take off without them, and that they got their big fat hand baggages fitted in the overhead lockers before anyone else did. That reminds me, I was travelling light- it's been my life's dream- to carry much less baggage than the limit, to have the check-in person ask 'only one bag, sir?', and for me to reply' yes, yes, I travel light, you see'. No excess baggage payments. (In fact, I've become quite an expert at ensuring that a bag's weight is @ the allowed 30 kgs, since the last two years...touchwood). And, I got my wish both times, this trip. Proudly told them @ my travelling light always. Since I only had the laptop to carry into the cabin, I was relaxed. And, observing people huffing and puffing to drag their bags, even with wheels, pulling the bags over people's feet, even, made me grin away to glory.

Entry to the plane- this time, they connected the ladders to both the front and rear of the plane. So, as expected, the people entering from the front had seats in the back and vice versa. And, of course, the families and friends who had seats separately, wanted to 'adjust' with others so that they could sit with their near and dear ones for a full 2 hours and 30 mins. So, after every 5 steps, we would have to stop, as people from both sides tried to cross each other, and, the hefty ones got stuck in the aisles-either they themselves or their bags, that is.

One lady got totally bugged and asked the purser where the flight supervisor was- 'It's a cattle market in here', she said. And, the guy says'I'm the supervisor,but if they allow entry from both sides, what can I do?'. Well, finally, all settled down. Flight departed.

Well, these people, fed up as they were(Pun intended, to include the heavy food they ate), believe it or not, were thrilled to stuff themselves again when food was served in the flight. In fact, in the row next to me, some people actually ordered an extra tray of six buns. Amazing!!

At 1230 Dxb time, we landed, and, as usual, some eager people began unsnapping their safety belts, even as the plane was cruising- I'm sure they're paranoid about planes taking off without letting them off. The usually calm air hostesses got a bit bugged and had to shout to people to remain seated. As soon as the plane stopped, the madness began again- specially those who'd exchanged seats, but not the baggage already kept in overhead lockers. So, the ones five seats away shouted to people behind to get their baggage down, or, rushed towards the back, and vice versa. Me and my laptop were calmly enjoying the moments.

Reached the airport terminal.(It connects directly to the flight, so no bus trip involved from plane to terminal). And, I again marvelled at the opulence of terminal three. It's so huge, I can never imagine the biggest of crowds creating-well, a crowd over there. Space for everyone. And, the height-nearly equivalent to five storeys of a building, makes it even more grand. Stood at the conveyer belt, waiting for my bag to be spat out. I call it 'spat out', coz that's how it works- there's a slope up which baggages come, a horizontal surface, and then, the sensor tells the 'surface'- 'Spit'- when there's no other bag at that moment on the conveyor belt, in front of it.(I want to carry a very light bag once and see if it gets spat right out of the conveyor belt area...LOL)- I did take some snaps last time-will upload them later.

Walked out calmly- no hassles here, also. The pick-up guy from the hotel was waiting, with my name plaque in hand. And, reached the hotel. Next part in next post.:)

(Note:All pics this time are goog-led ones)


~ Lopa said...

hahahaha, crazy post Amit, I am smiling as usual while reading it :)

Btw my observation at A'bad airport is, I wonder if that airport samosa is tha tasty? As i have never got to taste one...hehehe

Travelling has taught me the same, travel light. It is never possible with India visit though with too many stuffs for gifts and too many things for us while coming back, almost everytime we have to parcel something so that our baggage are not over the permitted 20 kgs.

But while we are travelling in Europe, initially we both were same, we both wanted out laptops, then i would have my purse and then our bags, and our laziness in going early to check-in luggage as we will check-in on-line so that can just be airport 30 mins early...but that resulted in tiresome journey with managing everything.
So now we only take one laptop, i usually prefer iPhone for my stuff, and borrow his laptop when i really need a laptop. We try to pack only one bag for check-in and if its long trip, one additional hand luggage.
Life is a learning experience they say....hehehe

looking fwd to next post :)

Lazy Pineapple said...

what a sweet post...
I am missing Indian samosas for over 2 years now and I literally drooled on the laptop after reading your description.

BTW the Bombay to Goa kid screams 'Amma Pakoda' :P

How many samosas did you have?

Alice in Wonderland said...

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog! Luckily, we have a more sedate, slower pace of travel here!

austere said...

What a ruckus at the airport! Seriously, can't be as bad?

Glad about that close call- you woke up right in time. phew!

AmitL said...

Hi,Lopa-yes,it's always fun-Abad airport,coming or going..:)The airport samosa?Arre,yes,it is,and the puffs,too..Hope ur flight is on time next time,only then u'll be able to enjoy them.:)
OMG-you have the same probs for travelling-parcelling stuff to make it less than 20 kgs..well,I've decided to come out of that hassle,now..specially since most of the stuff we get from there,is already available here,too.:)
Hi,Alice-tks for visiting here-always welcome..:)
Austy,arre,u have to see it to believe it-it's worse-I just try to make fun of a nerve-wracking situation.:)
And,the close call-yes,so true-it just proves what they say-one goes only when one's time has come.:)