March 21, 2011
On the 14th of this month I flew to one of the finest cities of India, Jai Pur
(its actually written Jaipur, but built by a King who goes by the name Jai Singh so I have the audacity of creativity to change it like that)
I flew from Bhubaneswar (This was built by the Gods, believe it!! or not!!, NOT !! OKay I like that) to Delhi and from Delhi to Jai Pur. I had to wait in Delhi for 5 hours and it was not a bad deal given the recent make over in Delhi has made it a truly international airways port, except what has not changed is not quite difficult to comprehend.
SO I thought why not also write about the things that I did not like, as I posted a few nicer things about the new airport on twitter, such as cool internet connectivity and great connecting experience to other parts of the country
(except not much trafic flows through such a line compared to some of the best airports in the world, But given that I have traveled a lot to international destinations and has had elite privileges let my opinion count, humor intended)
Lets give new Indian ventures a hands up and expect better in the future.
SO my onward trip to Jai Pur was free from any troubles. After 5 hours of connecting wait at Delhi I changed planes and flew to Jai Pur which is a less than hour flying. At Jai Pur airport the experience was good, its also a very swanky air port and I got a prepaid taxi (to my hotel) Now this is a catch.
It cost me INR 230 for the prepaid. While returning though I had to pay only INR 50 that too for a taxi service that comes from another place and reaches your hotel, then waits for you and takes you to airport. That huge difference is a form of Governmental corruption. Aankh mein banduk dikha ke loot. Nobody cares nobody lodges a disagreement.
(I know what would be the response to such a lopsided scheme, well on an average you pay only INR 150. NO. its only 2 or 3 kms from the airport and the best fare is INR 50, or else one wouldnt have worked at that price, and so many passengers have to pay INR 230 when the real price is INR 50)
I stayed on in Jaipur over 3 nights and on the last night I visited the spendid and obviously a richer and disciplined city, over the late afternoon and evening. It was galactic. I saw almost all the monuments this city is famous for. Well, Hawa Mahal and Birla Temple I saw only from inside my cab. I saw Jal Mahal as close I could after I get off my car and took a few pictures.
The city palace which is a marvel and Amer Fort Palace I visited for about an hour each. Actually in Amer Fort base there is this Governmental cottage industry that show cases the rich heritage of Jaipur. Jaipur produces colors from spoiled fruit juices and colors its fabrics and sales them. What a saving. They have marble structures and Jewels. The also have stones for which Jai Pur is very famous. SO I purchased some sarees and I purchased a ring for myself.
ONE thing about Jaipur you must know if you visit that place is they have what they call 100 gram blankets. Literally that light. SO double size quilts and blankets come at 300 grams each and I purchased one set. NOW funnily enough they have many different names. One is called Madhuri Dixit set (the popular actress from Indian tinsell town, Mumbai)
I purchased the Maha Raja set though, I didn’t want to get enticed while sleeping and dream that popular musical (Dhak Dhak karne laga…) It was a fabulous experience and one thing about Jai Pur cab drivers was they were not trying to swindle some more money as can happen in a few different places acrross the country. Then I had another funny experience in Jai Pur that I dont feel like telling now, but its a story, may be another time. Its a very funny one though, so remind me another time.
But Way back from Jai Pur I flew to Delhi in the wee morning. My cab called in 5ish in the morning. I started from Jaipur 6.30 am and riched Delhi and set myself by the arrival gates by 7.30 am. My flight to Bhubaneswar? AT 5.30 in the evening. 9 hours wait considering one spends some time for security and check in. SO I swooped in through airport security.
What I did not like is the guards are sitting apart at distances and asking each other with instructions. Some what lazy. But I went through the security. Then you meet another security. I take out my laptop and put it in a plate. They dont even ask you what they need you to take out and put in the plates. Some times they ask you to take out the coins and glasses and cellular and sometimes they just ask you for the laptop.
In any case I put my laptop and went through to the guard. He swipes that scanning stick and asks me to go back and put my cellular. SO now I put my cellular in a plate as my other bags have passed through the Machine. I collected my bags and walked through a 100 meters and upstairs to enjoy my newly built Delhi port. I am sitting for about 15 or 20 minutes I got an announcement in my name.
It was possibly the 1st ever or at best 2nd ever call made in my name. SO I am like YEY. Are they going to ask me to go and put up in a hotel and come back only an hour before my flight. They can not afford my longish wait or something. It causes extra burden on the Government. SO I came down but it still didn’t dawn on me I left my cellular at the security. They directed me to the booth where a few cops were keeping an eye. I say, wow, cops (and Indian cops).
I idenitified my cellular and begged for it. The man who was holding it asked “Whats the number?” I was like 9437…. he is like “No its make number or something” SO I said I dont know. May be you open and find. The other cop there was promptly retorting ” This is your mobile and you dont know ” I was like DO I have to, because its my mobile, I own it only recently. SO he was still being rash and said something one would only say to some kind of loose cannon and who he would be trying to discipline.
(I obviously dont like such treatments)
I think this was only the second such rash experience from security.
(May be there were more but understandable, but these two were not expected from security in international airports, may be others do but I dont)
SO I shut back, DO you know the number on your laptop, because you own it? He was like one removes the battery, and I was like what about its mac address and other numbers, do you know it because you use it. Then he was mur murring and shutting up. The other cop close to me was taking the number and I was trying to be as polite as possible.
These are Indian cops, poorly trained and richly uncivilized, behemoth. God, you name it. Anywhere in the country you go and prove me wrong, 100 INR each time you prove me wrong, But the other such rash experience was in La Guardia, New York, what was it? Well I enter La Guardia the last time, in 2008, departing for home, SO obviously I had a lot of luggage and I can not carry them all without a cart. Now they put all carts locked, outside but I didn’t have change.
SO I carried my luggages half way through, inside, to get some changes from enquiry. You can not get anything outside, everyone is walking in or going out but no one is sitting there, no booths, no counters) Now my luggages are in, the enquiry isn’t having any change. I alreadychanged two airports that day and this one is connecting me to India from USA.
SO I put my luggage at one place, thought I could quickly get some changes from near the airport check in, get a cart and carry my luggage. But I am aware I can not leave my luggages. SO only for couple seconds I left the luggage, a security officer came to the luggage shouting “whose luggage is thi?”. SO since I was only a few meters away from it yet, thankfully, or else he was going to take me into a security office inside the airport and gave me an earful, I said MINE.
He was shouting and sayig why you left your luggage. Since I was tired and somewhat sweating from all the travel since the morning, about 7, 8 hours, I tried to explain why but I was trying to actually which is normally not the case. He shouted back, “Dont shout at me, I am the security”. I was really mad at that son of a … He was 50 0r 55, shouting at a passenger for a good enough situation even after he knows whats the situation and I never even left my luggage.
May be he didn’t yet understand my situation. I was trying to get a cart which they have no way to get once someone is inside the airport unless one has change, But I have to ran out of my changes, possibly from the bus, cab, food, anything. SO since he did not allow me to speak I was going GUNG HO without speaking a word. HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMUNNNNNNNNNNNNN….and pointing my fingers at cart and my luggage and the next possible men and women sitting at various places.
Some one from the airline checkins came and helped me with the luggage so there wasnt even a need for a cart any more. I only had a cabin bag and a laptop with me and I didnt have to care untill I arrived in India.
But these Delhi airport security folks were behaving the same way. The guy that was wandering there came and said a few words and the man who was taking the number says “We are doing you a favor and yet you are angry” SO I was like “aap mere upar favour kar rahe hain, wakai, aur iske liye main aap ke upar shukr gujar hoon” Truly a favor, thank you. And the cop who was wandering comes and says “You are thankfull and you are speaking like there is a conflict here”
SO I went like, how can he behave like that, if its your mobile you must know some God damn number that is inside, and I dont even know what number you are talking about. Does he know the numbers of his own laptop? SO it was all set, the man who was taking the number was gleefully thankful to me for cooperating and giving him a polite standing gesture and I was so to him, and it all ended in a thank you thank you.
Now comes the 9 hours wait. There were sevral flights flying through the day to my destination but they made me wait so long. And on twitter I say my Indian connectings are the best. I dont know how to explain that. Patriotism or something?? I am not sure.
The other thing I did not like about Delhi airport was the crispy chicken sandwich I ate at 4-Fingers at the airport. The chicken was so hard and too much fried and flesh-less that I trashed it, ate the rest of the sandwich. But all other places like Yo China and Mc Donalds, CCD etc they were really good. They have a good open lounge for spirit, you may wanna try it.
(On the forward trip I was very spiritual yeah, but they did not have good collections, There was a plaza for elite members and I wasnt one, I just reminded myself, previously I was a elite card hiolder in Sky Team and Delta, which did hgelp me a great deal around the world.)
Overall it was enjoyable. Oh yeah I saw the movie “Robo” on way back from Delhi, but could not watch the last 5 minutes as we reached the destination. Could they fly the plane some more time if the movie isnt finished??