Anxiously boarded the flight. I was on an aisle seat. No no one in the middle and an old lady next to that. It was all middle aged men in front, on the side and behind me. Felt a bit uneasy, even to have eye contact. Not sure why. Thought it might be a good idea to break a conversation with the old lady. Unfortunately that didn’t go too far as she didn’t speak any English and my Hindi stopped at “Acha”.
I took my tab out. Taking refuge under my writing seemed wise. Drinks started flowing. I noticed that extra calls to attendants were made by neighbors for more Singapore sling (a Singapore special cocktail made with Vodka and everything else).
Thought to myself, “of course it’s free, bloody Indians ” while sipping my own free Sav blanc. Although, stopped with my second glass, as I wanted to have my wits about with this mob.
My neighbors were getting a bit roudy and boarderline harrasing the flight attendants. Half way through the flights they managed to completely reck the toilets. I had to wait until the attendents could clean it up. “Typical” I muttered again to myself.
My eyes were getting weary. But no chance of getting any sleep. What’s worse than a crying infant is a bunch of over age badly behaving men.
Thankfully the flight wasn’t as long as the one between Australia and Singapore. Finally landed in Mumbai. Customs and Immigration was long and tedious. Then another long queue to get some Indian Rupees. Met up with two Aussies and a Kiwi. They all thought I was Indian. Vehemently had to detach myself and say no I am Australian with a heavy tinge of the tan due to my Sri Lankan heritage, but Noo…, not Indian.
I had to go in search of Niranta transit hotel. It was now that I started to look around the airport. For an Indian airport it looked very clean and modern I thought. Directions to Niranta was very well sign posted.
Was greeted by a couple of smiling faces and nodding heads. My bags were taken for security check. Check in was pretty quick. I did mention to them that my sister in law would join me around 1.00am or and if that was okay for her use my room to have a quick wash and what not before our next flight. I was happy to pay extra. To which they obliged. Gave hubby a call and sent mum a txt. Had a shower and got into bed. It was around 11.30pm. I was very tired after the two flights and jet lag. My phone rang at about 1.30 or 1.45 am and it was Jan. She had cleared customs was going to get some Indian Rupees and head to the hotel.
I gave instructions how to get there. I got changed out of my pj’s. My excitement of seeing my buddy overstepped my patience. I thought I will go up and meet her at the money changers. It’s only then did I notice that there was thomas cook right outside the hotel.
Halfway through to where I changed the money, which was right next to the baggage claim, I saw two more queues for the same task. Taking the 500 rs notes out of circulation has sent the country and every visitor into a massive panic.
Anyway as I was passing this queue, I see a familiar face, at the same time she sees me as well. She left the queue, the bags and everything, came running with open arms. It was well worth the jet lag, lack of sleep and crammped feet. I had to remind her to go back to her bags and the queue. But, then lost my patience to wait anymore and suggested to get it from Thomas cook near the hotel.
Just as we got there, the counter girl turned down the customer in front of us saying she has run out of money. We kept the bags in the room and went looking for another money changer. After a few disappointments we finally managed to change some currency.
By this time there was no time for any more sleep. We had a quick wash and got ready for our next flight.