I’m going to be using my blog as a bit of a diary over the next month or so to detail my adventures this Summer… the last few weeks since I finished my first year of Uni have been jam packed with working, sleeping, eating and this last week was even busier with socialising and yes, my birthday. But simultaneously I had been preparing for another adventure, applying for a visa, booking flights and organising some work experience. Before I knew what was happening I was off and away… making the long journey to Heathrow via the Underground, then flying with Emirates to Dubai and then Delhi.
The flights were as one would expect, having flown a reasonable amount… New York earlier that year and to Madagascar in 2010 I was comfortable with flying and transfers, I must say the service I received was extremely good which cannot be said for some airlines. On my flight between Heathrow and Dubai I sat next two very friendly South Africans, they had just finished a 7 month work placement in London with their employer and were now being transferred back to Johannesburg. We enjoyed some time chatting about the places they had been, it appeared that they had taken full advantage of this opportunity travelling far and wide with visits to all four countries of the United Kingdom, and to almost half the member countries of the European Union in that time but they were now very glad to be heading home.
As we came in to land in Dubai the view was astonishing; it was around 3am and yet the whole city was lit up with a Golden glow… and as the airplane descended I could make out the flyovers, the houses that looked like Mansions and the lights…
In Dubai, there was little time to do anything, so I shall have to make some effort on my return journey to try ‘Cold Stone Ice Cream’ which was recommended to me by a friend. The flight had arrived late and so I had little time to stop for anything. We boarded and on this flight I had some sleep which had evaded me on my previously.
One thing I have noticed about those of Asian origin both this time and from previous travels is that they do not have the patience we in the UK take for granted, before both flights an airline official outlined the boarding process to customers whilst urging us to stay seated until called. However, 80% of those who I thought to be from Asian origin took this as a signal that they could board the plane leading to frustrated appeals from the airline official for people to stay seated until called. I found this highly amusing, yet I wonder whether part of the meaning (the announcement being in English) was lost on those whose understanding of English was not as good as mine (although I have no doubt their understanding would be far better than mine with Hindi). However, I do remember that previously when my whole family came to India in 2006 and we went to Kerala for Christmas there had been plenty of pushing and shoving to get on the plane long before the airline had announced the start of boarding, however the difference being this was a domestic flight and I suspect things may have changed over the past 6 years.
Once we had landed in Delhi I found my way through security and customs easily with my luggage and set off to find my cousin, Amogh. I reached our pre-arranged meeting place, Pillar 16 and he found me there. After greeting each other we made our way to be picked up by the driver and travelled to the house.
The journey from the airport was a trip down memory lane… the sights, sounds, smells all combining bringing back memories of my time in Madagascar and my last trip to Delhi. The young children running up to car windows at the traffic lights to flog toy airplanes, the old man wheeling his stall piled with fresh oranges carefully stacked along the side of the road, the motorcyclists weaving in and out of the rest of the traffic, some alone, some with a wife or sister sitting side-saddle, the tuck-tucks (thats what I think they’re called!), the bus packed to the brim with passengers… and the noise… the blaring music from cars, houses and shops, the horns as cars weave through the traffic, overtaking each other, manoeuvring for space… and so much more!
Getting back, I was fed and showered and then spent much of the afternoon reading and sleeping and generally resting, coming to grips with my jetlag.
That evening we went out, leaving quite late… it was an interesting night… – all to be revealed in the next instalment…
Got questions? Comments? Write them below and I’ll make sure to respond…