Edit Blog Post
Published: March 19th 2012
The arrivals area of the Mumbai airport is outside!
On Thursday, we traveled from Bangkok, Thailand to Pune, India (pronounced Poona, for those wondering). Aside from when we flew to Korea, this has been our longest transportation day so far. For the sake of trying to keep things in the same time zone, I’ll start by saying we left the hostel in Bangkok at 8:30 Indian Time (10am in Bangkok, since *someone* refused to pack the night before). Getting to the airport took more than an hour by Sky Train and Airport Express train (both of which were quite packed). I was anxious, since our reservation said to be at check in at least three hours before departure (15:05). We arrived at the airport around 12:30. I was not impressed, since I knew how insane Thai immigration was when we arrived. There was a big line for check in.
Pause. I need to write for a moment about luggage. Griff was perhaps complaining (only perhaps!) about how heavy his belongings were. His stuff is packed in a large backpack (my old one), day pack and laptop case. My belongings are in my big red backpack with the day pack that can zip off. I have been so grateful for my backpack this trip. It has made long journeys a breeze. On multiple occasions, I’ve let Griff sit down on a subway because of how heavy/awkward his luggage was (for example, if only one seat comes available. Griff would often offer it to me, but I knew that he was struggling with his belongings). Part of it for me is that once I take it off, it’s a pain to put back on. Anyways, so we did our luggage weigh-in at BKK. My checked luggage was weighed first – 17.5kg. Then Griff’s checked luggage was weighed – 9.5kg. I guess I must be a tank. 😊
Anyways, so after check-in, we went to immigration. There was a line, but it was nothing compared to when we arrived in Bangkok. We waited about twenty minutes, and I was feeling a little better. They had shifted our boarding time forward a bit, so I was still anxious. Someone (read: not me) did not fill out his departure card for immigration (not the first time this has happened), and was perhaps vocal in his frustration. I’d already gone through immigration before him. I got told that I was not permitted to wait behind the immigration booth, and to go to security. I waited at the earliest place I was allowed to – the entrance to security. After waiting for fifteen minutes or so, I wandered back to immigration to see that Griff was gone. I had NO CLUE where he was or if he’d been pulled for questioning based on how much he’d voiced his frustration. When I asked a customs official, she told me that he’d already passed through. Griff was nowhere in sight at security. Keep in mind that this has been the only flight that we haven’t had time on our side to start with. I waited and went through security. Although I did not set off the metal detector, I still got a pat down because my bag beeped going through the x-ray. I’d forgotten to take my children’s blunt tip scissors out of my pencil case (gasp!). This resulted in the security officer going completely through my bag and me receiving a thorough lecture about how the scissors were not permitted (I forgot, I swear!). Still no sign of Griff, and the clock is ticking. I book it to our gate (for once the closest gate, even though it was about 500m away). Griff blasted me about why I left him.
I do not lose my temper and yell often, nevermind in public, nevermind around a lot of people. I will just say I used some “choice words” to express my frustration, considering I felt like *I’d* been ditched. Lets also say that my mouth would have been well washed out with soap at the time. I was VERY frustrated.
The flight to India felt like it took forever, based on my disposition throughout the flight. I felt like Alexander in “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” and wanted to move to Australia. I had to constantly remind myself that not only were we going to India, we were going to Sangam.
After arriving in Mumbai, we went through immigration fairly quickly, exchanged some currency and headed out of the airport. We were both quite hungry at this point, but there were no food options at arrivals. Once you were outside luggage pick-up (literally, outside), there were some kiosks with snacks and soft drinks, but that was about it.
I had realized on the plane that I thought Priyanka’s email had said something about the driver meeting us at the domestic terminal. We were at the international terminal. We flew with IndiGo, which is primarily a domestic airline, but this flight was international, and therefore arriving at the international terminal. As we later learned, they are really different airports. They share a runway, but that’s about all they share. They otherwise run completely independent of each other. When the driver had not arrived about half an hour after we got out of the airport (he was supposed to have a sign with my name on it), I called Priyanka to ask. It turned out that the driver had gone to the domestic airport, but she’d call him and have him come to the international airport to pick us up instead. They’re a thirty minute drive from each other.
So the driver comes, and we load our bags into his car. Not only were we picked up by car (which was amazing, rather than going by rickshaw at that point in time), it had air conditioning, and space. It took about two hours to drive out of Mumbai because of the gridlock, and another three hours to Sangam. We arrived at Sangam just after midnight, and by the time we talked to Priyanka, checked in and settled in, it was about 2am. Talk about a long day!
Tot: 1.139s; Tpl: 0.082s; cc: 10; qc: 45; dbt: 0.0454s; 1; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb