Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Break Over....

Yes I am back home but this trip didn't go as I planned and expected.  This came out to be a rather bumpy ride.  Well this means that the whole trip didn't go as I had thought and to make things worse, it didn't last for that time till it was supposed to be.  The only good thing that happened that this whole mess was not created by me or was not the result of any mistake or carelessness on my part.
So I started on 9th from home.  I was going overseas to as like always, I caught a bus to New Delhi at about 9am.My flight was at 10.30pm in the evening and I was going to be at the airport at about 4pm but still I left early coz I had to pay a rescheduling fee for my ticket and I was asked to be at the airport 5 hours( yes you heard it right) from the schedule time of the flight.Nevermind I said to myself, I shall do an early check-in and would be free from all the hastle.So I started my trip on the bus.  It was an okay bus(cant ask for more in a bus right).Without any heart-breaking news in the way, I was at Delhi at about 3pm just as I thought.  From there I took a cab to airport.  Some kind of agitation was going on in the city at that time so the cab driver took me from a long and I mean a "really" long way.  Anyways somehow I got at the airport.  So as I was asked to go to the airline counter first and pay the fee so I started looking for that counter.  Well the place where I thought it would be,it was not there and it was not even near to it.  I had to go downstairs and take a complete circle to get to the office.  Anyhow, I got there and told them that I had to pay the amount.  Guess what?The officer said that its okay to pay it on the counter itself at the check-in.  I was just so much pist off at that time coz that was the only thing for which I came so early at the airport.  Well there was no other option with me else than to sit and wait for the counter to open which was not going to happen till 7.45pm coz flight was at 10.30pm and guess what it was just 4.30pm!Simply great!
Finally it was 08.00pm and I was allowed to come in the airport check-in area.  When I went to the airline counter, they said that I have to pay the amount that is a penalty for date change but I have to wait till the cashier is going to come on the counter.  I asked that how long it will take and the answer was 5/10 minutes only.  Well I can live till that time so I decided its okay.  Well I had no other choice too to tell the truth!But even after 15 minutes, there was no one on the counter.Suddnely someone came and said come with me.  I said where do I have to come when you guys have told me that payment would be accepted on the counter itself?Well I was told that cashier is at the "backup office"(means back office for us normal humans) and I have to go to him.  Well I dnt know from which hidden door that cashier got there coz all the time I never saw him coming and there was only door to enter.  Yes you are right, may be the back office has a back door too :-).Anyway I paid my fee, got the receipt and I had to rush to the counter to collect my boarding pass thinking that this is the last hassle that I am going to face today.  May be I said that a little too early  coz when I went to the counter and gave them that receipt, I was told that my luggage can't be released and I must go to custom(yup custom) clearance coz I have now got the "RR" category which means till custom wont see my luggage piece by piece and clear me, airline can't let me sit in the flight!Wow!Now that's something which I really didn't want at all.  Not that I was carrying gold or something like that in my luggage but it was just a plain trouble.  Anyways one can't do anything when all this happens so I had to go luggage area, identify my luggage and then wait, wait till the time when my name would be called or someone would come out from the custom office and say, Mr.Aman?How bad it can be waiting for few minutes?I can live with that too.  May be I was just saying things way too early.  That few minute wait had now been transformed into 45 minutes and still there was no sign that someone from custom office would come and actually bother that why we were sitting there?Oh did I say we?I guess I forgot to introduce one another fellow passenger who was sitting with me in that waiting area.  He was a guy from Khanna city, just about 20 minutes drive away from my home.  He got the same tag "RR" coz he had also committed the same crime like me, he changed the date for his departure.  Well we were sitting there, talking about when we are going to get free(if we were ever going to get actually free) and finally will make our way to the flight.  He was going to Singapore for a semi-fun and semi-business purpose.  He was just 19years old but he looked way more big than his age.  Oh I guess I forgot again to tell you where I was going at the first place right?I was going to Singapore( I guess you know it already now) for an assignment.  Well now when we were sitting over there for about 55 minutes, we had finished a full packet of chewing gums, finished our talks also, and now we were getting a bit restless!I asked the airline persons that are we actually going to catch the flight or not and he said that he doesn't know about it as if custom would say "offload" them ( means don't let us get in the aircraft) than airline has to do that as custom has full authority.  Great!What else we could ask for to hear?Well I said that would happen if someone will actually come and say this to us.  I would welcome that too at least we would be at one decision rather than sitting here.  So the airline people said that they would go and check some official if he/she is free and would ask to sort our matter.  Luckily they found a free lady custom officer who came and asked me what's in my luggage?I wanted to say some diamonds, few bricks of 24K gold but I just said that books and clothes.  She asked me to put my luggage in the scanner to verify my claim.  Sadly there were only books and clothes in my luggage so she had to say "you are clear" :-).So bad but that day I was not carrying my treasure with me!Finally the other guy also got his luggage cleared and we left for boarding.  Crew was okay and so was the aircraft.  Nothing special was there which I could figure out.  Food was, as like always, okay only.  Well it was going to be a five and a half hour flight and was supposed to land at 6.30am and I had to report at my office at 10am so I thought it would be good if I would be able to sleep for some time but somehow I couldn't get that(just like always).Well never mind, I am used to now of being awake in the nights thanks to some thoughts which doesn't leave me and let me sleep but that's a different story altogether.
Finally, we landed at Chengi International Airport without any creating any "breaking news" for BBC or CNN.I said to myself finally now everything would be fine.  But just like before, I said it a little too early.  I went to the immigration check and as I was supposed to, I asked for a 30 days stay( I was going to extend that too lately) but that lady said that she can't do that and the only valid stay I would get will be for mere 14days.BUMMER!I asked why is that so, she replied that the visa that you are carrying allows me to give you that much stay only and I am giving you a visitor's pass.  Huh visitor's pass?But I am not here for visit, I need to finish a long assignment what about that?Well the answer was contact immigration headquarters for further enquiries.  Well I got it there that travel desk back in India screwed up the whole thing.  Well first thing first and that was that I need to come out from the airport and got to my hotel so that I can change and report to the office.  My hotel was "supposed to be" Grand Central hotel on Orchid Road but somehow (I really dnt know how, to tell the truth), my booking over there got canceled and I was shifted to Hotel Aspinal  in Little India .Wow!That's what I would call "chain reaction of bummers".Oh I guess we left our buddy who was with me somewhere in between in all this ranting.  He was still with me and was waiting for his friends to come and pick him up.  He asked me to stay there with him till they wont come so I guess its okay.  Well he was quite sure that they would come as he already did call them up back there in Delhi.  But I guess they forgot or may be they never woke up as it was quite early in the morning.  Well I offered him that he can come to my hotel and can call from there to them at their hotel than he can go to them or tell them to come to him.  So we took the cab and left for my hotel.  It wasn't much far from airport and the place was okay too.  I checked in and then we, me and Prabh,(its the name of that guy whom I met on the airport.  I guess I am forgetting a lot of things to tell you) left to search for his hotel,Hotel Broadway and for his friends.  Luckily it wasn't much far from my place and was just across the next street.  We found his friends and as we thought, they forgot to pick him up.  Well I left him with them and I came back to my hotel to get ready and report at my office,Oracle University at Sun tech City.
 
Oracle University....
 
I was there at my office at about 11am.I already informed that I am coming and my training manager was ready there.  What a lady!I had not seen many  ladies who carry such a graceful persona and are so dedicated towards their job and work.  I told her the entire story that happened at the immigration check and to tell the truth , she didn't like it at all and I fully agree that there was no reason that she should be agreed or liked that as she did her job very well where it was required and now it was the job of the travel desk on my side to take care and look after.  Still she was very nice and friendly with me and she remained the same all the time till I was there.  I can only say thanks for all the assistance, guidance and support that she gave to me.  She introduced with me the entire staff over there.  I met some very distinguished persons and I must say despite being on such high posts and all that, all were very humble and friendly, something which is not so common to be seen and experienced at most places with most people.  She explained all the concepts how to perform, what are the requirements and how to navigate the systems for practise and for real classrooms?It was a little tricky as everything was so much secured and restricted in all the possible terms.  But I managed to get the things somehow.  Throughout the time, I was there, I got  complete support from everyone.  I managed to finish up the class with a good note from the participants. I am still not sure how it actually went as I yet to have receive the official words.  Fingers crossed for that but lets see.
I told you that my hotel was changed and I was shifted to Aspinal's.Well it was an okay hotel.  I mean it can be called just a normal hotel where you would find a room to sleep that's all.  My first 3 days were really bad as the room given to me was really so much bad!Somehow, on my request, they changed the room and put me into a more better one with a window facing.  Food was not available there so I had to chose a vegetarian restaurant for my dinner as I used to have my lunch in office only.  So I chose Sagar Ratna.There are so many branches of it in India and it was nice to see one back there too.  Its a  nice,neat and fully vegetarian restaurent.Manager and also the owner of it became my good friends so I got some special attention also.  Place where I was putting up is called, Little India.  Well as the name says, basically all the shops and other places over there were mostly owned by Indian people.  It was nice to have a little India there too.
As I told you that I met so many persons there and luckily, all were so much friendly with me.  In this, if I wont mention about a person or rather I should say a family,it will be completely unfair on my part.  I guess its not very common that anyone does something for someone and when it comes to a complete stranger than its a complete no-no from most of us.  But there are some who are not like that and go beyond this.  I met a family over there who supported, guided and took care of me just like my own family would do for me.  If I have to tell how than this entry would be just about those things only.  Most importantly its that feeling which you can judge that it is deep from the heart and its so true.  I am so much thankful to you aunty,Jag veer ji for everything!I cant wait to be there with you again!
Well I had to come back early as there were some problems with my stay.  In total, I would say for me, it was again a nice experience in some ways.  It could have been more exciting if things would had gone according to the plans.  But I guess there is always a next time and I shall wait for it to come.  I didn't get much time to go around and search the place.  Its a great place if you are planning to visit there.  I just took some random shots from the camera of my cell.  Have a look and enjoy them here .  I have yet to finish reading my favorite blogs and there is so much that I want to talk  about.  So keep looking.Till then aadios!!!!
 

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