Sunday, November 22, 2009

If I can't teleport, I wish I could at least time travel...

...and then I would take myself back 6 weeks ago to the beginning of my trip to India (or maybe 5 weeks 6 days and 19 hours ago, to have the pesky flight and baggage collection part out of the way...). Of course, even the time on the plane was somewhat exciting - already feeling like I was half there, with a full flight and only 10 Australians perhaps on it...all the rest Indian (even though at least some of them were actually just Indian origin, and making their first trip like me...). And then, when I had my first sighting of the lights of Mumbai...and then, when actually landed (can remember the feeling 'I am officially in India' lol)...and then waiting on the tarmac oh so impatiently (and remembering the impatience Russell Peters talked about in his act)...and then when at last moving off the plane and the excitement of being a little tiny bit 'out' in India as exiting the plane....well, was just amazing...and still remember the mixed feelings of excitement, trepidation, and impatience to be 'out in India' so well!

Other memories of my arrival:
- the flight attendants spraying the plane on arrival (bringing back memories of arriving in Perth back in the 80s)
- being asked by another flight attendant if I had 'done this before', and her wishing me luck when I said I hadn't (and feeling momentarily brave...)
- experiencing my usual 'yes, I know I am following 100 or so people from my plane, but am I going the right way' nervousness...I don't know why I have this, but it happens without fail in every airport I ever arrive at, including that of my own city...
- fixing upon a fairly tall pair of women from my plane and deciding to follow them (at a distance...but I felt 'as long as I can see them, I am in the right place')
- everything being so easy once in the H1N1 line...people telling us where to go, and then so quickly through customs, and talking to the customs officer about where I was going (and yes, next time I am going to Kerala as he suggested :D)
- arriving quite early at the baggage carousel and very quickly learning that you stand right up against the carousel and defend your territory (one of the big difference between travel in India and Australia - in Australia people tend to stand 1m back from the carousel, while in India standing 40cm back means there is space for someone to squeeze in front...)
- talking to a lady originally from India, now living in Sydney who was standing next to me - and so lovely, she even waited for me after her own baggage had come through just to make sure mine came out ok.
- suddenly emerging into India! in a much more dramatic way that I had imagined, with the feeling of entering onto a stage with a huge audience -feeling very conspicuous and torn between walking slowly to find a sign with my name, or getting out of that area asap to a less conspicuous place.
- trying to locate the driver from my hotel, and the happiness and relief when I did.
- waiting for the driver to bring the car (and ok, I was doing this even before boarding the Singapore-Mumbai flight) and checking out the other Australians from the flight (particularly solo women) and being immensely curious as to what their story was - did they live there? were they brave solo travellers? joining a tour? I really am just so nosy...
- driving the short distance to the hotel, and even at 3.30 in the morning everything seemed wildly exciting - the heat and humidity, the style of driving, the buildings, the different vehicles, the closed shops passed
- the very odd feeling of arriving at a silent hotel at 4am and checking in - 4 people in attendance, but oh so quiet
- being unable to sleep from the excitement of it all until I saw a hint of daylight through the curtains
- as I remembered, taking photos of literally everything - the view outside, the hotel room (I was determined to record everything to add to my tripadvisor reviews...), the room service menu, the breakfast, and even the key!

It seems a little odd to include a photo of the bathroom so that is out, the room was a bit messy by the time I photographed the bed etc so I won't add that, the key photo is really boring so not that is a photo of my first meal (breakfast) and of the view from the room (I sooo loved the greenery)! Ok, now edited to include photos of the room (oops should've taken before it was trashed), hallway, bathroom, menu etc...


  1. I remember the first time I visited India, I was so scared to get off the plane! I wondered the heck what would be out there!!

  2. Oh yes kismet, for sure! Especially as (and I did search for this) there are not any videos of 'how it looks upon exiting Chhatrapati Shivaji airport'...but there are so many warnings of being inundated by touts wanting to arrange for you to be driven at 5 times the normal rate to a hotel other than the one you want to be at...but instead it was so very orderly... Funny feeling, that mixed excitement and nerves (I was definitely on edge, was a very fine line between super happiness and super panic)...and really not knowing... Since you say 'first time' I gather you liked what you found as much as I did :) (and ooh veteran India traveller...I wanna be one!)

  3. I was on Qantas. I think it is usually something that the country wants (like it was Perth that used to demand it on flights arriving here).

    You are good if you are consistent - I try, but occasionally forget (especially at 4am lol), and do seem to be a really quick room-trasher...I will post the bathroom photos on tripadvisor when I finish my reviews...I am dopeytwo on there...

    Yes, most hotels seem to have the smartcards - stayed in a few that didn't though...including of course the youth hostel and one in Jaipur - I must say, it is great fun to stay in one with an actual key when you are accompanied by an American, as some of them :D seem totally unable to cope with this retro technology... I take photos more because of sentiment...I hate to forget things...and save absolutely every scrap of paper and detail that I can...

    Messy? Me? Hmm well um I am half super organised and neat, and half terribly messy (Gemini thing...I blame everything on that).

    And yessir, I will get on with day to day descriptions very soon...and next trip I am going to keep it as I go...for sure!

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