Kenya – Day 7

Kenya Day 7

June 7th, 2010

*All information valid on the date of writing. Please check for the latest with other sources*

Continued from Kenya – Day 6

India hits you like a slap in the face but it is the slap of a mother,  hard and stinging but at the same time familiarly warm and strangely comforting.

As we alighted onto the soil (or tarmac) of my motherland and my mother city, the all pervading humidity constricted us and we hastened into the air conditioned terminal to extricate ourselves from its clinging grasp. We headed right away to collect our bags and complete customs formalities. At the baggage conveyor belt, trolleys run out fast and one has to be pretty quick to fetch them. We however were not, so K and v1 set off to scout around for one, while v2 and I kept keen watch for the luggage that was going to come out last anyway. How is that for optimism?

With another queue at customs, the already damaged holiday aura was slowly beginning to evaporate and reality was beginning to nibble and along with other chores to be attended to, thoughts of getting piles of dirty clothes cleaned, slowly invaded my mind. When our turn came, the officer there taking one look at the pitiful amount of luggage and deciding it was not worth his while asked us to move on. I of course tried hard to cast furtive glances at our dirty laundry bag, hoping he would get suspicious enough to want to open it, not wanting to be the only beneficiary of its effects but the clever man, probably having being tricked thus by several housewives returning unhappily from their travels, did not fall for it and waved us on without even screening our bags. To those who think I am being silly here, let me tell you that I had a friend who would place used underwear in every bag when she used to travel many years ago during the days of customs harassment and when the hapless fellow tried to open the bags, she would announce in a loud voice that there were only unwashed undies there. Of course no self respecting customs man would want to wade through that and they would hurriedly let her go. This way she managed to squeeze through quite a number of items without duty 🙂

We had to go to the domestic airport and we headed for the inter airport shuttle buses that ply between the 2 airports. This is a free service and there is a constant stream of these buses. The queue system is followed here. However, if there are passengers who are late for their flight, they are given priority. It will be useful to mention here that Kingfisher and Jet air have a domestic check in counter  at the International airport and those who are heading for these flights, can avail of their boarding pass right here. We were booked on Spice Air and hence had to check in at their counter at the other airport. The queue moves fast. One has to display the air ticket/boarding pass and then one can enter the bus. Hand luggage can be carried inside and bigger pieces are deposited in the underbelly of the bus, to be retrieved at the destination. The trip is done in 15 mins and after another 15 mins of retrieving bags, we were in the domestic terminal. Being not even 5 am, we had to wait on the seats for our counter to open, killing time until 6.30 am, a task that we were well qualified to make a career of by now 🙂

Spice Jet eventually opened their counter and armed with our boarding passes, we went on wearily onto our final wait and fortunately we did not have a very long one. The call to board came by 7.15 am since the plane was far away and we had to take the bus to get there. All strapped in by 7.40 am, I was actually wondering if luck was actually going to fly us off on time. Well no such luck and no fault of Spice Jet but we had to wait for runway clearance, that came a good 30 minutes later. I however, had no trouble with safety being given priority over punctuality, especially since that had been a week of near air and runway misses,  a fact that the old newspapers at home later conveyed to me. And a fact that I was happy not to have known earlier. At times ignorance is bliss.

Water was served on the flight (yeah I feel the need to mention this after my trip to Kenya :-). It was a foodless flight though, a fact that had not been clearly specified while booking. Dreaming wistfully of ‘flightless food’ we lay back on the reasonably comfortable seats as we flew for the next one and a half hours towards our final destination.

9.30 am and the plane touched Bengalooru, my ‘ooru’ at last. There is such a feeling of familiarity and comfort in one’s own city. You look around with a confidence that you do not feel anywhere else, taking in the sights and atmosphere that you had been temporarily separated from and there is a feeling of ownership, that this is my land and my space and here I am master, as you stride out of the building into the open air and breathe deeply of it, not minding its high levels of pollution at least for those first few moments of returning home!!!

There are several ways of getting back to the city from the airport including pre paid cabs, Volvo buses or even having your call taxi awaiting your arrival, among other methods. We however, chose to take the metered cab. This would be the most economical and convenient way for a family of four or five to be transported. The cab was a Renault Logan and had enough space in the boot for an average amount of luggage. It has no carrier though but some of the bags can also be accommodated inside, along with the passengers. This was a Sunday again and we made it back home in less than 45 mins. Home that was waiting all cleaned and ready for us, with even our lunch on the table. How miraculous is that? As miraculous as having your domestic help come in earlier and set up everything. I love you India 🙂

Basics done, we hit the bed and if you permit me to repeat, we never got up till morning 🙂 Not true though. I attended mass on that Sunday evening. After all, we were back home safe V sound V thanks should be given to the higher power who showers blessings so freely on us V keeps us secure in the palm of his hand.

On my return from church however, I went back to sleep again for the next few hours, dreaming about Kenya, this wonderful piece of land that was just out of this world or should I say ‘Out of Africa’!!! Kwahiri Kenya, goodbye until we meet again.

The End


About Currylines

A food and travel enthusiast who plays with words
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