Indian Journey Part I: Road to Hyderabad

June 18, 2010 in India, Travel by pacejmiller

I am not a happy flyer.  In fact, before I discovered the miracle cure of prescription anti-anxiety medicine, I was a pure vomit machine whenever I took an airplane flight.  A post on this miracle cure is long overdue and I promise I will do one soon.

Anyway, the road to Hyderabad, India (where the wedding is) was, as expected, not great.  We took an afternoon flight from Australia to Hong Kong, arriving in the evening after almost 10 hours.  I was pretty drugged out, but I do recall watching 2.5 movies (which I will review) and playing a lot of Bookworm (I think that’s what it’s called).  The food was surprisingly good.  I may have imagined it all.

After a one hour stopover, we boarded the next flight to Delhi, a 5-hour journey that got us there at 2am in the morning.  I can safely say I slept the whole way through.  My first glimpse of India was naturally Delhi international airport.  I was expecting a lot of things, but to tell the truth it was pretty much like any other airport.  Not grand but not a dump either.

We cleared customs and followed the signs to the domestic terminal.  As it turned out, we had to catch a bus from the international to domestic terminal, and it was actually a very long bus ride, at least 10 minutes.  On the way there, we passed dozens of people sleeping on the grass outside the airport, giving us our very first taste of India.  It was a bizarre but eye-opening sight.

We ended up having to wait around 4 hours in the domestic terminal for our flight to Hyderabad.  However, instead of sleeping like I should have, I ended up plonking myself in front of the giant TV watching the replay of game 5 of the NBA Finals that I missed.  The Lakers and Celtics are probably my two most hated teams in the league, but I couldn’t stop watching.  And thankfully, my second most hated team (Boston) pulled out the victory.

The 2+ hour flight from Delhi to Hyderabad was a struggle.  This was our third flight in 24 hours and it was our least comfortable one.  We sat right beside one of the emergency exits, which meant we could not recline our seats.  What followed was an agonizing struggle to find the right position to sleep in, which we never did, both ending up with sore backs and necks.

And finally, at just after 8am, we arrived at our destination, Rajiv Gandhi Airport Hyderabad, supposedly the no. 1 airport in India and the world according to some survey.  Didn’t look like it to me.  But don’t take my word for it.  By now, after 3 flights, over 17 hours in the air and 5.5 hours on the ground, and a cocktail of flight medication (topped up once), I had become horribly unreliable.  I was out of it, but we still had to make our way to the hotel.  I stumbled out of the airport with our luggage, looking for the taxi stand.

Indian Journey: An Introduction

June 18, 2010 in India, Travel by pacejmiller

And…we’re off!

One place I’ve always wanted to visit is India, and I made up my mind long ago that I would visit the day my best mate (an Australian-Indian) gets married over there.  I thought this was at least another 5-10 years away, but to my surprise he (now living in Singapore) told me around April this year that it was happening, and it was happening soon.

So this will be the first post of a series covering my short trip to India to attend the wedding in Hyderabad, followed by a tour to Delhi.  It will be in the tradition of my European Travel Diary and my Taiwan Adventure, except this time I feel like doing posts by themes rather than purely by chronological order.  When it’s all done I hope to set up an index page for ease of reference.

I’ll also throw in some posts of other writerly things I’ve been doing along the way just to keep things interesting.

Stay tuned!