The eagle has landed……
Hello from India!!!
Where shall I begin!?!?
This blog details the exciting trip my great friend Amber and I took to India in 2006.
Here we go! Sit back, grab a beverage and travel with us across the world…….
We started off in Calgary, got our tickets from the agent…she was quite disappointed to tell us that if we wanted to sit together, there were only two seats left together on the whole plane, and boo hoo…they were in the emergency exit aisle….awwww….so we suffered with three times the leg room of everyone else….someone had to make the sacrifice, and we were just the girls to do it. More of the plane adventures later….
So we go get a nice hot cup of one of the Fivebucks coffees….and lo and behold, we were labelled as bomb making terrorists for wanting to bring our hot drinks through security. No can do. We had to gulp them or toss them, only to have another Starbucks just on the other side of the security fence. So, through we go, no problems, until they wondered why we were setting off the alarms when walking through the metal detectors. Turns out we had buns of steel afterall…or rather the zippers in our tear away pants were causing a problem…but quickly resolved.
After we boarded the plane, we settled into the trip nicely. We had an amazing view of the toilet and then it became a sport watching people try and open a push door! One poor woman didn’t quite figure it out in time, and was sans a receptacle de barfo! The poor flight attendant had to wrinkle her nose as the dealt with the mess, and spray the room with copious amounts of air freshener.
Then, we became “those girls” who started causing problems for the flight attendants. I was accidentally ringing my buzzer and the purser would come….and then Amber practically started an electrical fire when she spilled her apple juice on the tv remote and all down my pants. We then had to make them aware of the fact that my chair was set to auto recline. No sooner was that dealt with, but the people in the row next to us started to tell the poor purser of their misfortunes with their tv’s etc. He settled it all by getting us drunk on champagne. lol
Our stayover in London was supposed to be 90 minutes, but was shortened to 20 as I needed to have the old body cavity search when they found my fork and explosive sunscreen that was 1oz over the legal limit. Who says cavity searches can’t put a smile on your face? 🙂
Our next leg of the journey was another gruelling 10 flight. My keen eye however detected a flaw in their seat assignments….Amber and I were in a row by ourselves, and beside us there was another row with no one in it. Amber quickly saw the vision I had for us, when I prodded her into sitting in the other row by herself. No sooner where we situated, the wheels went up, our heads went down, and we woke up 7 hours later somewhere over the United Arab Emirates to be fed some curry samosas for breakfast.
Our breakfast came with some sort of green soupy thing that we didn’t know what do with. I asked the guy beside me if it was a dip for our fruit….he said no it was a lime pickle dip for our samosas, like a ketchup. Alrighty then…. It was then, even before we landed that Amber discovered she didn’t like curry….it was going to be the start of a culinary adventure for her to find things without curry in it!
There was no one else on the plane with our good fortune, unless you were in the ultra first class that had actual beds in them!!! Crazy what you get for an additional $4000 per ticket. We however, got free socks, toothbrush and eye goggles!
Upon our arrival to Bangalore, we gathered our chainmail wrapped backpacks, where Amber discovered how much heavier her pack was when the day pack portion was zipped onto the reg portion. I became sad to find out we weren’t in Nepal, and I couldn’t get a Sherpa for her…..Robaxacet will become her next best friend perhaps….
Sonja greeted us with a big smile and open arms for which we were grateful. We were also greeted by 900 taxis, palm trees and weird Mr. Mee-ah-gee type trees (remember them from Karate Kid?). Driving at night wasn’t so bad as we only had to dodge homeless people sleeping on the streets, there were no cows out and the dogs were curled up on the sidewalk. Later that morning was a different story however!
We went back to Sonja’s hotel room for a shower, and a real toilet! YAY! I forgot to mention how sorry I was not to have my camera at the ready for when Amber saw her first squattie! She did however take a picture of it for proof for her girls back home. For those of you who don’t know, in other countries there aren’t always regular toilets. There are toilets on the floor that look like urinals laid down that you need to squat over top of, for both #1 and #2!
We went for breakfast for only a dollar, for all three of us, where Amber confirmed her dislike of curry… We all enjoyed some lovely chai tea though.
I should have placed a bet with myself how long Amber would keep her vow of not doing her souvenir shopping on the first day…..it wasn’t 20 minutes after we left Sonja napping, Amber was haggling over some stuff…can’t say what and spoil the surprise though. Laden with things, we trotted back to the hotel to get ready for our flight to Goa. Soon, she started unloading some of her packed things into my pack to make room for her purchases….I quickly warned her that I wasn’t going to be her sherpa for her purchases and she only laughed……..help!
Her turn to laugh at me came a few hours later when we were on our flight to Goa. I was in the aisle seat, Sonja in the middle and Amber at the window. The curried cucumber and tomato sandwich I had was not sitting well in the midst of being tossed in the air….we had hit some air pockets, and my lunch was getting tossed around pretty good. Subtly I searched for my own receptacle de barfo in case I needed to make a deposit. I was a bit cranky and ordered Amber to sit back so I could see out the window to get some perspective and bearings. We landed soon after and I went from a whiter shade of grey/green to my regular pasty self.
No sooner had we landed, than Amber was snapping pictures of our plane/airport, when we turned a corner, saw a “No photos allowed” sign, adorned with a guard holding AK-47’s….or where they AK-46 1/2’s? Not sure, but they were big, black and looked deadly. Not sure where Amber hid the camera with lightening speed, but she did walk with a bit of limp for a few minutes!
The next few moments are spent moaning about how hot and sticky and did I mention hot we were? Good thing no one had an egg at this point, or we could have fried it on the pavement. Another good thing is we are here in spring, and not the hot summer season, where it is 47 degrees per day…whew! We are suffering through 35 degrees….
The lanes here only show 2 lanes, but it certainly only a suggestion, as sometimes there are 4 or 5 cars, trucks or scooters across each lane, driving on the left hand side, avoiding cows, goats, dogs and others.
We went to Anjula’s open air flea market last evening. It is the largest in India, and we only saw 10% of it, but probably saw all the same things three times over. Bananna and apple pancakes don’t have curry we discovered, so Amber had them again for breakfast today with chai tea.
We felt like old people as we were in bed by 7:15 at night, complete with our mosquito net above us. Lucky to have that, as it kept out the frogs, coackroaches, centipedes and moths too. I was attacked by a frog outside our room last night when I took it’s picture. As it leaped for my throat, fangs bared….( I think it was a vampire frog!) I protected myself with my thumb and let out a blood curdling scream…Amber was too scared to come rescue me as I heard the bars being put across the door and the key in the lock turning…she had already decided I was to be the only sacrifice that night. She would save herself for tomorrow night’s frog ceremony! If only she could find enough garlic to eat today for her own self preservation…. She is sitting here laughing at me as I type this, but they say that laughter sometimes stems from nervous truth!
We are now off to find a travel agent to get us tickets to fly to Dehli, as we have polled taxi drivers, hotel owners and the general unwashed masses (literally) and the consensus is that it will be more long and ardorous than we have to spend in our time budget this trip. I say “this trip” for I can already understand Sonja’s desire to return. There is no way we can even appreciate 10% of what this country offers in only two weeks.
After that, maybe rent a scooter for this area (it is much less populated and dangerous on the road here, don’t fear) and do some toodling around before hitting the beach for maybe a dip and then a massage.
Love to all, we really enjoy reading your comments.
A&A in India!