A Travellerspoint blog

December 2016

Day One - Inter National Express

5.45. The alarm sounded. Fifteen minutes later we were struggling out of the door. Keys hon?
Yep.
Have you turned the heating off?
Yep.
Sunnies?
Yep.
Passports?
Yes dear.
Lets go.
That's how our trip to India began. I'd already forgotten to book airport parking and so Boxing Day and the 27th had been spent trying to remain calm and avoid Heathrow's monstrous £300 fee. In the end we'd settled for a ride on the National Express. 'When your life's in a mess, take the national express...' the Divine Comedy's words ringing in our ears as our coach pulled out of the fog. We sat down in darkened seats; our senses heightened by a lack of vision. It took about sixty seconds before the acrid smell of body odour attacked both our noses and palates at the same time. With every slow stretch the chap in the seat in front of us unleashed another lavender bag of his sweet scent. Laura insisted we move and so we did. The rest of the journey was entirely unremarkable.

Heathrow Terminal 4 sends planes out to the middle east. As such, it seems to have a target audience of people that need to buy, a.) a rolex, b.) a mulberry hand bag and c.) a selection of boss, cartier, gucci and zegna. We settled for a magazine, a bottle of bourbon and a packet if peanut m and ms. Though Laura did go big and have a facial whilst we eeked out out last few hours on British soil.

On board we found we sat behind an intermittently screaming child. The only problem is that when she wasn't screaming she was actually very cute. A sign of age on my part I think.

India likes it's rupees. So much so they don't let you take them out. More over, no one else can either. That means a tourist has to try and change their rupees either in India using foreign currency or by drawing cash from an ATM. But alas, India is changing its notes and the knock on effect is that when an ATM happens to have some cash within it's loins it allows only 2000 rupees out per day (80R = £1) and it charges you 200 rupees as a fee! That's before the good old British bank gets stuck in for their thirty pieces too.

So Laura and I had a grand plan of turning up at Abu Dhabi Airport with thousands of english pounds and converting it into lots of rupees for Laura and I and also Emma and Alasdair. It turns out that rupees can escape India but only to the UAE. Our grand plan was rearranged after we spent an extra forty minutes circling Abu Dhabi because there was a bit of fog. As we landed Laura and I started running. The two km dash through the airport didn't allow for currency exchange; rather, it allowed us to more quickly reap the benefits of 30 degrees Celsius and the incredible humidity. We arrived at our boarding gate with eight minutes to spare. We were a little moist. We were bussed out to our aeroplane by an Arabian Colin McRae. One poor Indian chap was suffering from the inertia generated by Colin's driving skills and quickly. opened a clear plastic bag and made that 'under-water gargling sound' as he filled it with goldfish sized pieces of carrot in what looked to be muddy water. I looked to Laura horrified. She had tears flowing out of scrunched up eyes, a beaming smile in silent laughter, shoulders hunched and bobbing up and down.

Moments later we were being told to observe the seatbelt warnings and turn off our mobile devices. The only difference was that we were being told in a Scouse accent. One day, all the world will be Scouse!

Three and a half contorted hours later we touched down in Kochin. We had arrived!

Posted by ibeamish 04:48 Comments (0)

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