Travelblog on a short business trip to India.
Besides working I’ve also had the opportunity to visit some nice places between Pune & Mumbai for just one day.
Day 1 – Sunday Februari 23rd, 2014
Amsterdam – Mumbai / Pune
On my ‘day off’, the alarm sounded at 6 o’clock. I guess that’s the price to pay for a short business trip to India.
This time not on a holiday but for business. A relatively simple task, a migration from Exchange 2010 to Office 365. Fine by me!
I arrived at Amsterdam Airport Schipol around 07:30 and had no trouble to self-check-in my bag and pass customs.
After a quick walk by some of Schiphol’s gates (I was searching for a MD-11, that unfortunately wasn’t present at the time), to gate E2 for the flight to Mumbai.
I only just snapped the photograph of the aircraft that would be conducting the flight to Mumbai when the boarding started. One might call it boarding, but I had to undergo a questionairre by the security staff. They wanted to know what I was going to do in India, who arranged for my ticket, I all of the things I was carrying where mine, etc. Guess that is compulsary when flying Delta Airlines, an American Airline whom doesn’t really have faith in its passenger. Without answering those questions satisfactory you can’t board the aircraft. I’m happy that the Dutch “National Pride still has some faith and doesn’t bother you with all these kinds of questions. Question is… does it help…?
After sitting in the waiting area for about an hour I finally got to board the ugly Airbus A330-300 (N810NW). I quickly found my window seat (40A), after the pushback I made some photographs of aircraft I saw and near the threshold of runway 18L (Aalsmeerbaan) I made a photograph of Marnix who was also taking my picture.
Next the throttles where pushed forward, the start of the 8 hour flight to Mumbai. Enroute I mainly looked outside and enjoyed the view. Much better view than a transatlantic flight with nothing else but water.
Nearing the end of the flight, there was a drunken German guy that thought he could sing and annoy the other passengers and crew. If that wasn’t enough the guy also started to grab the flightattendents behind. During the whole ordeal he received several warnings from the cabin attendants and finally the co pilot also gave him an official and last warning. None of that made an impression so the crew took his passport and upon arrival he got arrested by the police.
Welcome in India!
After I cleared customs, picked up my suitcase. Next I went on a search for my taxidriver. He would be waiting with a sign with my name written on it. Apperantly he wasn’t the only one. There were around 100 persons waiting with a sign. I checked thouroghly but no sign with my name on it. Fortunately I had his phone number so I called him. He told me he was in the parking garage, no idea where that was, fortunately he came and picked me up.
Enroute to the taxi some guys wanted to carry my suitcase, I preferred to carry my own bags. One of them followed me all the way to the taxi. My colleagues warned me for this, to time to play a little trick on this guy.
He showed me a 5 euro note. I looked at him, at the note. Took it and put it in my pocket and thanked him for it.
After recouperating from my action he told me that he wanted one from me. I returned the note and gave him a euro coin that was in my wallet and closed the door. Pune, here I come!
The drive to the hotel was pretty interesting. There are trafficrules in India, but somehow they don’t seem to apply to persons driving a car, truck, bike or other form of transportation.
And why should they? You own the road and for everyone else there you simply use your headlights and horn to make them go out of your way.
Passing other traffic can be done on either the left or right, just as the situation provides itself.
The speed while driving is around 80 – 100 km/h, and based more on luck than driving skills and visibility. This because the roads are full of holes and bumps you won’t see until the very last moment. I only got launched from my seat once.
There is one bit of highway between Mumbai and Pune that is ‘oke’ to drive.
At 03:30 am (IST) I arrived at my hotel (Royal Orchid Pune) in Pune, it felt like 23:00 (CET).
Mumbai – Pune