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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Traveling

Note: I've acquired a 9-5 job which is seriously cutting into my fun time. Adjusting to the work-a-day world has been awkward which has led to the missed postings. Bear with me while I get used to my new schedule.

Here's a post from Ben on the problems of traveling from Boston to Bangalore while the Icelandic volcano is spewing and causing problems. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.
·        American Airline flight from Boston to Chicago to Delhi with overnight in Delhi and continue to Bangalore on the first flight out.
·        Checked 2 bags and 1 carry-on in Boston.
·        AA representative in Boston informed me that my checked bags will arrived in Bangalore not in Delhi.  My checked bags ticket also shows final checked bags will arrive in Bangalore.
·        Delhi has International and Domestic Terminal separated by about 5 miles.
·        10pm - Landed in Delhi after 15 hours flight from Chicago flying north to north pole and down Russia/Siberia and Pakistan.
·        10:30pm - Went through the custom with a carry-on bag but without the 2 checked bags.
Went to the hotel and slept until 4am to catch the domestic flight to Bangalore.
·        4:30am - Checked out of the hotel and hotel driver drove me to the Domestic Terminal.
·        5am - Domestic flight terminal informed me that they do not have my checked bags and it should be in the international terminal.
·        Domestic airline, Jet Airways was helpful by hailing me a cab at a negotiated price of 150 rubee.
6am - On a way to the International Terminal, the cab driver turns the car around to go back to Domestic Airport to return previous passenger's cell phone which he forgot.
·        6:15am - We made it to International Terminal however, nobody spoke English and they were not helpful.
·        6:45am - Saw a person sleeping on the floor in the AA office. The office has a sign that says open @ 10am.
·        Everyone (Port Authority, Customs Officials, Military, Jet Airways personnel) advised me to wait for AA office to open at 10am.  Wasted 4 hours in the International Terminal playing soduko (thank god my mind was busy).
·        10am - Went back to the AA office and nobody was there.  But the door was open.
·        10:30am – Security guard on break informed me that the AA office opens at 10:30am because it is Sunday.
·        10:45am – AA staff enters the office.  Phones are ringing left and right and one AA staff takes all these calls.
·        11:30am – AA staff attends to my needs.  I filled out a form and waited for AA staff's assistant to return with photocopies of passport.
·        12:15pm – AA staff's assistant returns with the photocopy.
·        12:45pm – AA staff's assistant, staff, and I go upstairs to the other side of the terminal.  Staff requested that we wait there and he leaves.
·        1:15pm – AA staff returns and chats with Port Authority officials and we sign more papers.  Port Authority officials gave me 1 hour pass into the International Terminal.
·        1:30pm - we are back at AA office and we fill out same form again.
·        2:00pm – AA Staff's assistant escorts us the baggage claims area and the Custom's official tells the assistant that he needs PID or some form from AA.
·        2:25pm – AA Staff's assistant does not return and I run to AA office to get the Assistant to come with me and that I only have 5 minutes left to get back into the International Terminal.  Fortunately, United Emirate (UE) staff was at AA office and he said that he can help me.
·        2:28pm - I rush back into the International Terminal.
·        2:35pm - UE staff chats with the custom's official and he let's into the baggage claims area without PID form.  The baggage claims employees are having their lunch so we waited for 15 minutes until they were finished.
·        2:50pm - I got my bags after paying 300 Rubee and filled out more forms and now the bags need to go through x-ray and fill out again more forms.
·        2:55pm - I goto Inter-Terminal connection place to board a bus and waited for the next bus ~ 3:00pm.
·        3:00pm - I was informed that I am not allowed to get on the bus because my international flight was yesterday and that I needed to get a cab.
·        3:15pm - I took a cab and rushed back into Domestic Terminal and requested to be on the next flight.  Next flight is scheduled for 8pm.
10:30pm – Landed in Bangalore and went to the http://www.theleela.com/hotel-bangalore.html.
I learned most Indians do not speak English.  I.e.:
·        Do you have a shower?  Yes sir.  Where is the shower?  We do not have a shower.
·        Please wait 5 minutes = 20 to 30 real minutes.
·        My flight number is 0834.  The response that I got was 0835.
·        Flight time shows boarding at 19:35:  I say, my flight is at 7:35pm.  The response that I got was your flight is at 8:35pm.
I do not know if they are intentionally fucking with me or not.  Maybe I am delirious.
One other thing…this is the only country so far where I could use anti-diarrhea pills.  Of course I do not have any.  I think the culprit is brushing my teeth with tap water instead of bottled water.

Cheers from India,