Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Journey, a Destination

It’s been a while since I last posted. In all probability, the next post may take a while as well. I intend to make the most of this post and say as much as I would like to.
First things first, I was in between jobs and time was at a premium. I started my Career in the Cement Sector, Moved on to Apparels and have now joined a Beer Company. In short, I have now worked in Roti (not really, but allow me the poetic license! and the nutrients are in place), Kapada and Makaan industries. What do we need to survive in this world? Just about that and possibly a credit card and an e-mail ID can be thrown in and it would be perfect! So that sets the agenda for the future, Banking and IT to be the future entries on my CV. Sheer genius, I must say!

To begin at the beginning, after three and a half breath-taking years which I thoroughly enjoyed - except maybe the last 6 months - my last job had started feeling like a chore and it was time to move on, which I did, and here I am, drinking too much beer and it’s not always free, contrary to the expectations of my over enthusiastic beer guzzling friends and family.

One of the first “events” in my new assignment was to take a flight out of the much maligned Bangalore International Airport, which I did, having some trepidation about distance to airport, time taken etc. The distance was exactly 50 km point to point from my house to the Airport – one point to the critiques. However, the time taken, I realized was not significant, 03:11:23 to 03:54:04 – one point to people who believe in taking flights which maximizes the productivity of the day. My suggestion, don’t take any afternoon flights; you won’t get much work done at your destination anyways. In short, it’s a good airport, yes the distance is too much, and yes the connectivity can be bettered, till then, smart travel should help and you can always catch up on your reading, which we hardly ever do nowadays.

The circuit started with a flight out to Cochin (God’s own country is Gods own country!) followed by a flight to Chennai culminating in a day spent at Pondicherry (This isn’t so far removed from God’s own country, is my opinion – The Kind Sir has Dual Citizenship, I guess). The trip followed on to Hyderabad - and yes Rajeev Gandhi International Airport is a few notches better, aesthetics wise than our very own BIA. Shopping Experience, however, is better (make that significantly better) at BIA. But yes, taking off from Hyderabad and landing at Bangalore is decidedly a humbling experience.

I have taken other flights since, and my feelings about BIA remain the same.

I was in Istanbul in the last week of July, the city of two continents, but hardly in an identity crisis. In fact it was a city so sure of itself it gave a new definition to confidence. Wide, well developed roads (with footpaths – Having been in Bangalore for 4 years, I always thought footpaths were a figment of my imagination, mind you). Tramways, people always on the move and of course the belly dancing, you must admire the women for their fitness level; actually, you must just admire the women! Wow! I think I can get away with saying that the Istanbul Roads are inspired by those bellies!

The ride from the Airport to the city is brilliant, you catch the city in its various shades while the Sea remains a constant.

We flew Gulf Air, and on three out of Four Gulf Air Flights we took, the Cabin Crew was brilliant (or seemed brilliant in relation to the fourth one). Unfortunately, on one of the flights, precisely, Gulf Air Flight from Istanbul to Bahrain on the 30th of July (GF 44, 1500 HRS Istanbul Time) – The Airhostess had an attitude bigger and heavier than the rock of Gibraltar and the supervisor was not much help either. Reminded me of traveling (long, long ago, the memory is so feeble) on a state transport bus between Delhi and Roorkee, believe me, the experience is comparable. No, cut that out, the State Transport was better. I would like to fly Gulf Air again, but currently am working on the probability of encountering the same crew again! My math’s a little rusted.

Thankfully, the next stop was BIA (Bahrain International Airport, to be precise) and the Duty Free there makes you forget all hardships. We shopped till we dropped, especially since we had 4-5 hrs to kill. And this you must note, after three days at various locations, we discovered free drinking water here, a total savings of 2 Euros – just right for my coin collection.

Good Old McDonald’s was there in its full glory. Just never realized that a Burger would cost so much!

A last word, I suggest the Indian Govt. change the value of the Rupee to about 100 Euros, otherwise every time you spend money while you are abroad, you spend only small change (an Euro at a time for about 500 times) there and come back home having lost a months salary!

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