My first international tour- India to UK- 2

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This was the Istanbul International Airport, and my flight was already late by one and a half hours to reach here. There was only 2 hours gap given for the change of the flight here and it was really a long time taking process here, due to tight security, where your jacket, all pockets, belts, even your shoes were checked separately. And the way was too long and zig-zag from the arrival to departure. I still remember that I was with the last 10- 15 passengers here, who were there in the earlier flight. We were all running from different ways at times, just to reach to the next flight some how.

Then we had to go back to get the boarding pass again from here, this one seemed to be ridiculous step, but we all did what was told.

After having security checked at three places, finally have to open the laptop and show them, I do not know the purpose but it was a part of checking and then the bags were emptied and checked again. Thankfully this flight was delayed for us, otherwise we all would have missed it for sure. The checking I do not mind, they might be having such instructions, but people like me and some others with me were somehow not treated normally, since we were not able to understand their language, and they were being quite rude, then finally another security person came and explained things to us in English and we could follow the instructions and communicate to him, what was the problem with us, then he accompanied us till the last checking point and we could catch the flight.

Later we found that the flight which had already given the last call was further delayed since our luggage was not loaded. I got my window seat again, but this time I was sad, I didn’t know why but there was something going on which made me dull. Though I got some energy that I could catch the flight and now only three hours were left to reach the final destination.

But it was already dark and there were many bags getting loaded in the flight I was again and again getting the thought, what if my bag remains here, then what shall I do?? Finally a bag like mine came, but I could not be sure of it since it was already somewhat dark outside and the lights were on and there was some focus on my window.

The moment it was getting loaded, I just saw a security person coming and asking that bag to get back, now I just wanted to go and ask the crew member standing near the gate, but the moment I stood up they just closed the gates of the plane. Then I thought if I go and ask them about the bag, whether or not it was mine, then they will leave me here and go. I had no option to contact any one now, so just kept mum and set back.

The flight just started and I just kept praying for my bag to reach with me only, but somewhere the fact was roaming around me that wherever I go for the first time and I am a bit excited, some adventure is bound to happen.

While thinking all these things the flight took off. The sun was about to set and my fear was increasing, what will happen next, whether I will get my bag there or not.

We were just running after the sun, it seemed. This time the journey was harder than the last one, because I was already tired, the harsh treatment and strict security raised doubts about my bag, since I had some bangles and Odhani (Our traditional wear with some decoration over it), which was strange for these guys, even if they open my bag they will not understand what it is :(.

Now there was all dark down there, but map in the flight TV was only thing which was giving me company now. This time the journey was harder also because I was not able to see anything outside. So this map was telling me the time, distance, time left, height and speed of the flight.

It was also showing the map like this. Anyways some how the journey was going on some how. Now I got another tension, that was what will be the reaction of my hubby 😦 since he was angry with me since last couple of days, and it was the first time we were going to be together after our marriage. Though I was sure that once I go and stay with him I will make sure that both of us are happy and comfortable with each other ;).

Finally I could see the river Thames down there and the city of London. I was excited to see him, in front of me, after so long. By the way we have crossed Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Belgium, France and the North Sea before reaching to the UK finally.

Friends!! this is time to enjoy the night view of the city of London. :).

London Eye was visible from here. (the red round thing along the coast of the river). On the other side in front of the London Eye, there is Bunkingham Palace visible with Yellow Lights.

The bridges visible in the pic from north to south are Waterloo Bridge, Hungerford Bridge and Golden Jubilee Bridge just north to the London Eye and in its just south it is the Westminster Bridge which on the other side ends in front of the Houses of Parliament of the UK and Big Ben i.e. the London’s iconic national timepiece (its a big watch tower). By the way the Palace of Westminster is the iconic home of the UK Parliament, and the House of Commons and the House of Lords and in the north and south of it. Then comes the Lambeth Bridge. The last bridge visible here is the Vauxhall Bridge. And the round thing in the South-East corner is the Oval, International Cricket Ground.

And the flight landed at the Heathrow Airport. But the journey is yet not over.

This was time to collect the bags, I was waiting with all my fellow passengers near the baggage carousel, everyone got their bags but I was still standing there and it was no where visible, there were four baggage carousels and I have now visited all of them to look for my bag, all my cloths and daily use things were there and that as missing, I was just worried, what to do and what has happened, there was none to talk to, nor I could call to my parents, since my sim was not working here, nor I was able to talk to my hubby (who was waiting there for more than two hours by now, since my flight was late and then the time it took to search for the bag.

Finally I saw a person on the inquiry desk, who was earlier roaming around, but I did not know. Anyways, I told him everything, he gave me a form to fill all the details about me, my stay here and about the color and size of the bag and the things inside and told that he will give me a call next day after discussing with the Turkish airport authorities. I was feeling so bad that I came here to start a new life and there too I put him in the trouble at the first place.

It was already midnight by now. I came out just with a hand bag and my hubby was tensed to see me, though he could guess the reason for delay, therefore just tried to comfort me and took the form from my hand and asked me to call to (both my and his) parents to let them know, I reached safely and with him now. It was so sweet of him.

Now we were in the tube (underground train) from Heathrow, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that Delhi and Jaipur metros are better and specious than this. (it was because people always say that everything is better in the western countries, but it was wrong in this respect atleast).

Anyways, now I was with the person I loved and dreamed to be and who was my life-partner now. Though I was working in India and wanted to continue with TISS, Mumbai (my university) as there were some good opportunities I got, with the projects I liked to work. But I let it go to be with him and now I was to start a new life here from the scratch.

This was the end of one journey and the beginning of the other. It was really tough to get my bag, the call we got the next day and they said that because my Odhani (traditional dress) and bangles were covered with the news paper (it was to keep them safe), therefore they suspected my bag and it went through the security process two three times, they asked me for the things inside it thrice on call and then finally I could get it on the 8th day, by now I had to buy new cloths to wear there :(. But I really enjoyed wearing his dresses 😉 during this week :P.

Friends!! life gives us surprises all the times, at times it is good which make us happy and at times it is bad which make us unpleasant. But all of it goes on as part of life and we have to snatch moments from all of this to enjoy our life at the fullest. There is no time when we are totally happy and content if we keep waiting for this.

So enjoy your life with whatsoever you have right now and do not run in the rat race while waiting for the time to come so that you can enjoy, otherwise it will never come. Enjoy everything small to big in your life.

Opinions are personal— Rachana Dhaka

My first international tour- India to UK- 1

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It was an year ago when I had to visit UK from India. I knew it was going to be really boring as I was supposed to travel this long way, all alone. But there was somewhere a kid inside me, which was jumping higher and higher because of the reason that domestic flights always ended within an hour or two but this was going to last as long as ten hours which I always wanted ;). So I will have a lot many countries to visit from the sky (I was a fool in thinking so, as I forgot the fact that the longer distance flights will fly higher too, so hardly anything will be visible and I was travelling during monsoon, so half the way would be covered with the dark clouds). But any way this kid inside me was happy to be above the clouds and having lot many pictures this time because the earlier ones have gone with the lost mobile :(.

Any ways the day had come and I was at the airport. i reached really very early today, because I have already missed flight twice once due to heavy traffic and another due to over confidence that I will make it ;(. But they were domestic so it was okay, this time I could not afford to be late. So flight was at 1pm but I reached at 6am only. Now I was waiting at the airport waiting area outside the port. Calling my friends in Delhi to come if they are free, but ofcourse the place it quite outside and they were getting ready to go to their offices, I did not inform them earlier as I thought I would just reach around time only as buses generally get slow after crossing Alwar due to long line of big transporting trucks, but today the way was all clean and bus reached two hours early than the estimated time.

Finally one of my friends was free today and she came and I am really thankful to her, because I could go for the nature’s call, only after she visited me, otherwise it would have really been hard for me. Anyways ,We had a lot of chats. Revisited old memories and then I went into the airport. Just checked in, luggage was taken to the other-side and we were free now. Now I was just roaming around in the waiting area and this was the shop which attracted me the most, due to the traditional touch.

Then while going to sit in the plane, this was the view from inside, (I know you all know it all as it is nothing new for you, but it was exciting for me since it was my first international visit).

And I was in the flight, finally… I was excited right now, that journey is so long and I will get to see so many things down, from the window. Excited to enjoy different colors of nature. Though there were many thoughts, questions, ups and downs of feelings were going on, but I was trying to concentrate more on enjoying it, otherwise it would have been really really hard to keep sitting in one position for so long.

In between, all these thoughts… the plane starts its journey… the following.

And the flight takes off, finally… Delhi view.

Next is the Delhi View from the sky… though experience with indigo was not great but I was trying to focus more on the scenery down there rather than hospitality of crew members or behaviour of some of the fellow passengers or food quality.

And talking to the clouds now… while the rivers flowing… I think it was somewhere over Pakistan…

Then somewhere over Afghanistan… as I tried to match with the satellite map…

The above scenery continues for long I think entire Afghanisthan now onwards is covered with this kind of hills. In Afghanistan some ice kind of white thing was also visible but later in Iran it converted into greenary somewhere and also colonies were visible as the following picture.

In Iran this kind of landscapes are visible around settlements for long distance.

Some where on the way after passing through long way without any visibility down, therefore relaxed with a nap.

Again seems to be landscapes near Caspian Sea visible, in the north just before the sea, the Garabogazkol Basin can be seen.

Then while crossing over the southern part of the Caspian Sea.

Here, it is either Iran or Turkey. Similar landscapes in both the countries for long distance.

And then Turkey is there… time for interval.

Some landscapes of Turkey near Istambul.

Somewhere near the Istanbul International Airport.

These boats are running in the Sea of Marmara, which falls between the Istanbul coast one side and Aegean Sea on the other side. In the above picture you can see a drain coming from the other side that is Bosporus Strait, coming from the Black Sea visible on the extreme north of the picture.

Actually, Black Sea is connected to Mediterranean Sea through Aegean Sea. Sea of Marmara is connected with Aegean Sea with Strait of Dardanelle, and the way from Black Sea is navigable to Atlantic Ocean.

The Kucukcekmece Lake (Turkey) is visible here, near the Sea of Marmara.

And finally we landed at the much awaited (because I was too tired to imagine) mid-destination Istanbul International Airport.

The story continues in the next post. See you friends!!

Copyright: Rachana Dhaka (both pics and write up)