Friday, August 6, 2010

A view from the Top---(Foreign travel and International Experience)- Take one

Disclaimer: My name is Simba and I am not a racist :-|

     In March 2009 I got an opportunity to go abroad for a competition.It was called ELSA WTO Moot Court Competition.We were a team of four members .One guy and three girls.Now I will not bug you with boring details of the competition.Will just tell you that it was held in Taiwan and during our return journey we made a stop at Hong Kong for a day.
Haan so I was going abroad for the first time so naturally I was bubbling with excitement.Everything was a brand new experience.First visit to the international airport.First international flight.First Duty free shopping :D
We boarded the flight from Mumbai's Chattrapatti Shivaji Airport.While  waiting for my flight I explored the duty free shops.Girls and window shopping/shopping can't be separated.I spent a good half a hour drooling at the chocolates section.
As soon as I entered the flight ,the porcelain doll like air hostesses greeted us with their smiling faces and some said mumbo jumbo in Thai( i think) My mind shouted "Chinki Air hostess!!" with glee.Then the other stupid part of my brain said "Eh? You are travelling in Thai Airways what else did You expect?" :-|
Photo Courtesy-Yours Truly
Then I saw another species of people in the flight.They were called Flight stewards. I had never seen these species in domestic flights.So I had always assumed that they were now extinct :-|

Communicating with the Chinki flight attendants posed a serious problem and led to comical miscommunication.The Guy team member (who will be henceforth referred to as Bemused Gujju Chokra coz he was a bewildered Gujarati Guy n th e trip) in the  asked the air hostess to get him a pair of headphones but she got him a glass of water, he explained again what he wanted this time he got a blanket. :P

Having comfortably settled in and explored what all the tiny buttons at the armrest was for,I put on the headphones and was flipping channels, when a air hostess stopped in the aisle with the drinks trolley.The other two girls in my team asked for Vodka and I watched them in horror half expecting them to become drunk and start some sort of drunken ramblings.When the air hostess asked me what would I like?
"Do you have any apple juice?." I asked meekly.I am a teetotaler u see.One of my ambition in life is to make it to the "List of famous teetotalers " in Wikipedia.(Yes Yes such a list does exist in Wikipedia) .That just goes to say I want to be famous :D Bemused Gujju Chokra asked for the same.He too is a teetotaler u see, minus or plus the ambition to make it too the list i am not aware of. .Then I made another shocking discovery.You can ask for as many glasses of alcohol or juice as u want :-o . Now I seriously expected to see drunk people stumbling or tumbling down the aisle. :-|

Then we were served something the Chinkis called food :-| .I looked at the wrapping on my tray.It said Oriental(oriental matlab south Asian ) vegetarian dinner.I took out the aluminum foil covering and peered inside struggling to understand what exactly they had served me.I poked at it with my fork, turned it over , sniffed it."Ummm ",I said to myslef looks like cottage cheese but just plain white cottage cheese with little red colored sauce in the side? I took a tiny bit of it and daringly put it in my mouth.Nope not cottage cheese I concluded.Oh!!!Then realization dawned on me ."This is tofu (also called dofu )".I had heard about it and seen pictures of it too .Now those of you who still have a bewildered expression on your face Tofu is a soft, bland, white cheese like food, high in protein content, made from curdled soybean milk: used originally in Oriental cookery but now in a wide variety of soups and other dishes.  --courtsey :P )
Tofu :-|
 .But it didn't taste good so i put the tray aside.I then turned to salad.There was Kaccha babycorn kaacha lettuce and other kacha vegetables which I had ,all the while feeling like a cud chewing cow (I am a non vegetarian btw..i asked for veg food on flight because i was not keen on experimenting with their non veg food ).I attacked the dessert (strawberry jelly)then.
Soon after that lights were dimmed and most people fell asleep.I looked to my right.My teammates were sleeping like babies.No doubt the Vodka they had consumed had something to do with it.I on the other hand am unable to sleep during flights(include train journeys bus journeys and car journeys also to that.Light sleeper you see. :( ) So i was fidgeting in my seat.One particular button in the arm rest caught my eye."What does this button do?" My mind said exactly like DeeDee says in Dexter's laboratory.Unable to hold my curiosity I pressed it.Ting!! Nothing happened.Oh well ! I said but just then a smiling air hostess appeared beside my seat enquiring what did i want?
"Eh?" I looked at her perplexed.She jerked her head towards the glowing button and again asked "Ma'am you called? How may I help you?"
Oh!! That's the call button I realized.
"Ummm...Hmmm Could u please get me a glass of apple juice?" I replied almost inaudibly.

A I sat sipping away my apple juice.I felt the plane jerk a little.Then another jerk.I cast aside my apple juice and quickly fastened my seat belt just when the pilot announced." We are passing through turbulence. Please fasten your seat belts." Another jerk. I tightly clasped the arm rest holding on to dear life.I glanced sideways .My teammates were snoring away. Blissfully unaware what was happening and that I was freaking out.I felt like shaking them awake and saying "Wake up!!!We are about to die here!!".But we didn't die  because the plane was soon out of turbulence area..Phew!! Maybe i should start drinking.That would help calm down the hyperactive brain of mine! :|

A work of art depicting the Sagar Manthan
at SuvarnaBhumi Airport.

On our way to Taiwan.We had a transit at Bangkok airport.We had to change flights there.We reached Bangkok's Suvrnabhumi Airport.I was mesmerized by the splendour of Bangkok airport .It was huge!!.I thought it would take a person at least a day to explore it all.In several places in the airport there were works depicting Hindu mythological events.

Chanel Outlet at the Airport.
I was walking in the airport taking it all in when I saw something which made me stop in my tracks and made my jaw drop."Is it what i think it is? No cant be! I Look again.Yes!! it is :D." There standing in all its splendour was a Chanel Store. I love all the Chanel outfits which the Hollywood and Bollywood  actresses wear.Automatically my feet started towards it.I entered it expecting to be transfrred into another world. A world of Uber Chic fashion."But hain? Whats this?The showroom looked pretty normal to me".I saw some dresses.One caught my eye.I stole a surreptitious glance at the price tag did the mental calculation of converting dollars into rupees and then put it back with a forlorn expression on my face.

There was a three hour( i think) halt at the bangkok airport.The remaining part of the journey and foreign travel part i will cover in my next post.Till then stay tuned :D :D

P.S: I had meant to keep this post short.Next time se.Promise!! :(


  1. :-)
    Awsome work!!
    Hahaha . .bemused gujju chokra. . :)
    Keep writing!!

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  3. Awesome simba! Pls keep writing more..have become an ardent fan of urs :)

    Thank God u wrote part 2 of the post..otherwise i couldn't wait longer...impatient arien che :-w

    had fun reading this one =)