/dev/india – Day 1 – The Long Journey Pt. I
I love travelling.
There’s something special about the jitters when you’re sitting on the train headed for the airport, the taste of an airport sandwich or that nervous feeling during takeoff. Travel makes me feel like a kid again – inexperienced and curious.
My day on the tenth started well enough, a good nights sleep, a nice breakfast and then taking the Arlanda Express to the airport.
From there I took the plane to Istanbul. The food was nice, a hot meat stew with crackers, and some kind of Turkish-themed dessert. I’m one of the people that actually really enjoys airline food even though it’s cold, there’s just something nice about the clinical feel of it, but I digress.
I had a two hour layover in Istanbul – the perfect time to get a coke and check my emails (of course).
The Ataturk airport seemed really nice and the shopping and dining areas were absolutely huge. Unfortunately I only snapped a picture from a café, but you can see in the background how it stretches on and on.
Then it was back to the gates to wait for the connecting flight that was going to take me to the Chhatrapati Shivaji airport in Mumbai.
This plane was one of the newer Airbuses and had a cool media center in the back of each seat.
The UI was pretty nice. I kept trying to test it for shortcomings but it worked great.
It also had a weird remote that you could pull out on an extendable cord, and if you flipped it you got this weird gamepad. Looked kind of like the offspring of an N-Gage and a Super Nintendo controller…
The media system also had a vast array of movies and TV shows (I’d really like to know the legality of those movies, I didn’t see any TV logos but some of them had FOX watermarks in the lower right corner.)
Something that Oskar might have enjoyed. 😀
Apparently calling from the plane to a landline was 8USD/minute – passed on that novelty.
It seems they are planning on offering internet connectivity on board (The media center even had an ethernet connector!) but my flight did not seem to offer the service.
Again, the food was some kind of hot local cuisine with a Turkish bakery for dessert. Very tasty.
Just slightly before our descent, we were flying over with a giant thunderstorm roaring on the horizon. It was one of these completely insane, two giant bolts per minute thunderstorm that you have only ever seen in movies and nature shows.
To top that off, we were flying just above the clouds so you had perfect vision of all the stars in the night sky, and they shone brightly, only being overshadowed by the thunderstorm.
It’s hard to explain how beautiful it was. One of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen and one I will never forget.
After we arrived at the airport I found out that you have to fill out a special arrival form. Didn’t have a pen (of course) and after scouring the vast crowd of people in the waiting hall I finally managed to borrow a pen from two Spanish exchange students and fill out the form.
After I passed customs and got my bag, I got stopped again because I forgot to fill out the entire form, so again I had to look for a pen and fill out the rest. I found one pen behind a dusty counter and picked up my ticket stub and passport to fill in the missing numbers on the form.
On my way out of the airport I was checking to see that I brought everything and suddenly realized I couldn’t find my passport anywhere. Quickly rushed back to the desk where I had filled out the extra parts of the form and it wasn’t there. Finally, after a tiny bit of panick I remembered that I had put the passport in my jacket pocket as opposed to keeping it in my bag like I always do.
Lesson to be learned here: Never put things in non-standard locations, you might forget that you put them there and almost have a panic attack as a result.
After I got out of the airport I finally met up with Oskari and Pauls contact in India, Irshad. I felt so bad for them, because my flight was scheduled to arrive at 4AM, and on top of that was an hour late. A high five to you troopers for coming to pick me up. I bounded with Oskari right away and Irshad was very nice an hospitable.
After the meet-up we took a cab to the the hotel. I was completely exhausted and fell asleep pretty much as soon as Irshad and Oskari left.
Here are some photos I snapped during the day. (Some of these are used throughout the blog post.)