Yes I was wrong!!
Hong Kong is not the only long airport in the world.
Don’t they say that the entire universe conspires to prove something??
They’re freaking right..!! I guess someone up there somewhere got upset that I left out Mumbai’s Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport outta my post last time.. So decided to give me the guided tour!
So after a long relatively comfortable flight back to Mumbai I finally land at the airport at 12.30 at night.
And here I’m thinking to myself that I’ll be home at 1.. Piece of cake..
I just dint realise that someone had other plans for me..
So I get off the plane and my feet are hurting like a bitch as I had been walking one or the other airport all day! And I was praying to a nonexistent god to make this airport a little less painless.
I guess he got pissed about the nonexistent comment! :P
So I get off at this random gate and the air conditionings off!!
I’m wearing three layers of clothes and it’s getting very very stuffy!
So I start walking towards immigration..
The management at the airport wanted to prove me wrong really bad as the gate they got us on?? Was the last freaking one on the airport.
When I thought hongkong was long I had forgotten that I was walking on conveyor belts there..
No such luck here.. So I’m walking past gate after gate after gate!!
And the sign still points ahead. Plus to make the journey more amazing are the mind numbingly random art choices of the authorities.
I have no freaking clue what they were thinking when they bought them!
I take like 3 halts on the way as I’m tugging a 20 kg hand carry through what looks like a couple of kilometres of hot passages.
I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.. A sign pointing right!
And I naively think that that the light at the end of the tunnel.
WRONG!!! Go to jail.. Do not pass GO.. Do not collect 200$!!
I turn into another drabby corridor with signs pointing straight ahead..
So I put my game face on and start tugging the bag.
After another couple of kilometres the fabled light finally appears!! Praise the good lord!! :P
And I’m thinking I’m finally through this.. Yay!!
I get to immigration and god has one more trick up his sleeves..
The ever present immigration nightmare..
There’s a queue that extends all the way to the damn escalator!
then I look ahead and see a much smaller line for the business and first class passengers.. and I’m daydreaming about travelling by business and standing in that small queue.. :P
The line trudges on like a line of prisoners walking towards a concentration camp, the only thought in their head is for this to be over.!
So after a good half an hour and a couple of calls from my family asking where the hell I was, I finally make it to the head of the line and show my passport to the guy at the counter. I have a fake smile on my face hoping that he doesn’t find anything wrong with the passport.. He looks at me and down at the passport.. then up at me and down again.. and I’m wondering what the hell he's comparing.. then he does it a third time!
I’m sweating bricks now.. then he looks up at me.. stamps the passport and hands it back.. I mutter a quick thank you and walk away before he changes his mind.
I look back and my daydream shatters into a million pieces.. the business class line is still stuck at the same point!! :P poor bastards.. I go to claim my bag chuckling to myself.
and here’s the cherry on the cake.. like there’s a cake.. then there’s icing on it.. then there’s the cherry.. then someone shoves your face into it!!
it’s a veritable fish market as you know how Indians can get..
people shouting out to people.. shoving people aside to get their bags.. the crowd around the belt is three layers thick!
so I patiently wait for most people to get their luggage..
doesn’t work that way.. it takes a good half an hour for the crowd to thin as the idiots put 2 flights on the same freaking belt..
I’m looking for my bag and I can’t see it anywhere.. and there I go sweating bricks again.. imagining lost baggage.. the hassle of getting it back.. losing all my samples!!
then this guy in a uniform comes around the front and announces in a droning voice that some bags have been offloaded at the end of the belt..
I rush there with some 20 other passengers..
and lo and behold!! the stupidity of the Indian airport!!
there were a good 50 bags that were the 'some' bags that they had offloaded for god alone knows what reason!!
I wade thru the bags finally finding mine between the cluster.
I lug it onto the trolley, call my family that I got it and tell them I’ll be out in 5 mins..
WRONG!! WRONG!!! WRONG!!!
I move towards the exit and slap my forehead hard!
I had completely forgotten about the bloody customs department! which I might add is possibly the only one in the world who make you scan your bags again!! all of them!! no exceptions!
so here I am.. standing in a line again.. waiting to get my bags scanned so that the assholes at the customs department can let me go!!
another 20 wasted minutes later I finally walk out of the airport to the pickup spot and my family!!
the eta was off by an hour and a half.. I reach home at 2.30 in the morning!!
so YES!! whoever up there is listening or reading this post.. I get it.. Mumbai has a long freaking airport too!! :P
I know you want me thinner!! but pretty please make it a little more fun next time!! :P