Wednesday, November 14, 2012

India: Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) to Delhi

Ladi and I woke up at 3:15am to make our 6:05am flight. Our taxi driver was racing the streets like he owned it and though we were running late, he managed to get us to the airport on time. The only issue was that it was the wrong airport. I asked Ladi to stay in the taxi while I checked our flight details. Our flight info stated that we were flying out of Trivandrum International but we should have actually been in the domestic airport!

Ten minutes later we raced over to the domestic airport and confirmed that we were in the right airport. At this time its 535am, our flight is boarding so we race to the check in counter

Ro: I am so sorry we are late, we went to the wrong airport. Sorry
Attendant: Miss, I'm sorry the counter is closed

My eyes grew bigger in shock/despair
Attendant (laughs) : Please put your luggage here

Not funny! I started laughing eventually, run to the security gate, five people ahead of us, as soon as we exit, we are at the boarding gate.

A few rows in, we find our seats and I say to Ladi, these people better hurry up, we have been waiting!

India: Delhi ~ Day One

Ladi and I checked in the hotel, that was very seamless. We ordered delicious biryani and aloo gobi (potato and cauliflower).

Time to go sightseeing

Sunday, November 11, 2012

India ~ Repost "I Saw The Real India!"

Ten months later, I saw the real India lol, read post from Sooraj's blog

"I Saw The Real India!"

Dedicated to a friend, who insisted

Perhaps it is borne out of the need to see something very different from their own surroundings and the world they grew up in, but whatever the reason, many travellers use the word "real" to denote something negative - like poverty or corruption. Some travellers aren't satisfied that they have seen the "real" people until they have seen someone dying of hunger. Maybe I should not read too much into this, because when we say that we have seen the "real" face of a person, more often than not, it means we have seen their less than good side. But I still cannot shake off my belief that the word "real", in connection with travel, has been blatantly misused. Why should you go to a one room mud hut to meet a "real" person? What about the rest of the people? I concede that sometimes a tourist is so insulated by the machinations designed by the tourism industry for the comfort, and exploitation, of its guests, that they often come away with a very different perspective of the daily realities of the natives. But it has been my long standing view that true understanding of "real" can never be achieved without using true scales and measures whatever be the experiences you have - insulated or otherwise. I believe understanding comes from within. Here, allow me to quote The Doors, "People are strange when you're a stranger". As I'd mentioned before we will always judge others using our own standards not theirs. Wherever we go, our sense of reality is determined by the yardstick that we carry within ourselves at all times. "Real" is all around you - you just have to see it.
Oh, let me just come to the point. Don't come up to me and tell me that you want to see the real India unless you have a very good answer to, "Oh, so you think I am a fake Indian from fake India?"

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Where did Friday go?

Left London Thursday November 8th at 10:35 for an 8 hour flight to Mumbai. Arrived at 110am on Saturday, what happened to Friday? I missed it

Spa Bliss

Ladi and I took a break from the hustle and bustle and signed up for a spa package including mani, pedi, facial and massage.

India ~ same same

In Thailand, I would ask questions to compare information and the answer would usually be "same same". As Ladika and I drove through the city looking for saris, she asked about the quality of the outfits of one location compared to another, the driver advised "same same"
Was that a means of advising that the quality is similar or simply a way to divert from the original question?

India~ Mumbai ~ Vaguely familiar

Even though this is my first time in Mumbai, it seems vaguely familiar. There were parts of East Santa Cruz that reminded me of Downtown Kingston, specifically Papene. While I could not understand any of the non English signs, the city still rendered a feeling of "home"

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Plans~ a false sense of security

I left work promptly at 4pm, caught the 4:05pm LIRR to Jamaica and walked into terminal 4 literally the same time as Ladika. Perfect timing or what? Not only were we early but there were only 2 people ahead of us on the queue!

We checked it, received our boarding passes and were advised that despite the snow storm, our flight was scheduled to leave on time at 720pm! Perfect!!! Right?

At 720pm our plane was still in Washington DC because JFK was closed to incoming flights, of course flights were allowed to leave, but there were no Virgin Atlantic planes!

At 9pm,we were still hopeful because we had a three hour layover in London before our 1035 flight to Mumbai. At 12:20am, not so much. We boarded in a very chaotic manner close to 1am.

Our flight arrived around 2PM the following day, clearly we missed our flight. After approaching the Virgin Atlantic counter, an older gentleman informed us to step aside and wait on another line because we missed the flight and its only one flight per day.

While plans may make you feel secure for a certain amount of time, there is so much uncertainty that you just need to do your best to be proactive and then deal with everything else that comes. Who could have predicted a snow storm a week after a hurricane on a random day in November?

The result: accommodated in a very nice hotel in London with dinner, hotel/airport transfer and cheap wifi included.

Tomorrow Ladika and I will go to the airport and figure out everything else.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Be careful what you wish for

Moving from Jamaica to NY produced moments of culture shock. I was so surprised that strangers didnt talk to each other, I mean I know mommy told you "not to talk to strangers" but now you are old enough to make discernments, talk to them!

I sat on the train reading my Kindle and the following conversation occurred:
Random boy: yo miss, excuse me
{Ro delays but eventually looks at boy}
Random boy: Can you sing?
Ro shakes head to motion "no" in an attempt to quickly end the conversation
Random boy: Do you go to CCC?
Ro shakes head no, I have visited CCC (a large church in Brooklyn but not in several years and never participated actively)
Random boy: Do you live in Brooklyn?
Ro shakes head yes
Conversation dies down...

Random boy: yo miss, you sure you don't sing? Have you been in a music video?
Ro: no
Random boy: I know you from somewhere
Ro: I have a familiar face

As the train pulls into my station, I am relieved and exit as fast as I can without making it obvious. He exits too.

Random boy: you are very beautiful
Ro: thank you so much {genuinely}, have a nice day