Saturday, 16 May 2015

Our Holidays in Australia

Our first international trip together and my first overseas one! This wasn’t a very well planned trip.
We left from our home in Goa at about 10:45am on 23rd January and took the Indigo flight from Goa to Hyderabad.

My experience at the Goa airport was extremely disappointing; it was terribly crowded with very impolite check-in security personnel. At the terminal, we had the Indigo bus take us from the terminal to the aircraft. Unfortunately, the lower step of the bus was broken and to add to my woes, the bus didn’t halt at the kerb which made it difficult for me to enter the bus, given my own limitations.
Thankfully, the flight to Hyderabad was quite pleasant. Since we had a 10 hour stop over at Hyderabad, we thought of using the airport’s Lounge services. With our bags in tow, we approached the lady at the information desk for the Plaza Premium Lounge, who accompanied us to the lounge which is adjacent or rather attached to the airport. To access this lounge, we had to exit the airport building and wait for the elevators to take us to the lower level.

At the elevator, there were dozens of people jostling for space for a chance to get into the elevators. There was little thought given to the amount of luggage that we were handling,  our trolleys were being pushed aside, so that, neither our bags nor we could step into the elevator, till finally, the lady decided to take control of the situation and made everyone wait till we entered! Well, that was not it, the elevator was heading to the lower level while the people who entered in after us wanted to go to the upper level. Inspite of repeatedly making it known that the elevator was going down, they still chose to enter, which meant at the lower level, we had to literally plead for them to get out of the elevator so that we could get the trolley and ourselves out!

The ensuite room at the Plaza Premium Lounge though poky was clean and value for money. Wi-Fi and food were part of our package. We were happy that we chose to take a break here.

The Rajiv Gandhi airport of Hyderabad houses both the Domestic and International sections which made it easy for us. Our international flight to Thailand was at 1:30am. The Thai Airline Staff were quick with the check-in and the baggage clearance. The immigration officer was polite, so were the check in security personnel and everything was a breeze. Once at the lounge, we felt relaxed as the international section lounge is rather spacious and uncrowded.

Our journey to Thailand was very pleasant with the air hostess and the cabin stewards on their best behaviour. Since my meal was a special meal (gluten free), it arrived first. Oh boy! It’s true I am not a fan of continental food with Del’s food looking more appetizing since he ordered “Hindu Veg”; I decided on skipping my meal since my body was craving more for sleep than for food.  Needless to say, Del happily munched on both of our food plates.

We reached Soorvarnabhoomi airport at about 6:20 am, our connecting flight to Sydney was to leave at 8:00am. With just an hour and a half in our hands, it was crazy getting from one end to the other within this huge airport. We could see people running, with everyone having mixed expressions on their faces; people asking for directions in Thai, some in English and some in I don’t know what language, it just seemed maddening because we too were part of the very madness! If the hurried walk wasn’t enough the long serpent check-in queues added to our dismay.

Out here, we were stripped of our shoes too which made Del narrate a funny incident which he had witnessed in a UAE airport: A guy from Far East was sent repeatedly through the security scanner each time taking off a layer of his clothing since the scanner relentlessly kept buzzing each time he walked through up to the point where he was forced to enter just with his underwear, and to his and that of the other onlookers relief, the scanner did not buzz. As per Del, the expression on the guys face was worth capturing cause the embarrassment he faced so far was probably less as compared to what he probably imagined would have followed had the scanner to beep!

Once we were through with our security check-in, another long walk to the lounge and we made it on time! The flight was delayed by about 45 minutes which truly helped our case. The flight journey was quite pleasant except for one particular phase where a lady who was feeling very uneasy and breathless requested for an oxygen cylinder.

The gluten free food again was not to my liking except for one of the meals which had some kind of beef stew which I liked. Most of the meals had me picking on Del’s ‘Hindu Veg Meals’.
Having said that, the journey of nine hours from Bangkok to Sydney did seem rather long. At the end of it, all I knew was that I didn’t want to sit on a plane again!

We finally touched Sydney at 9pm on 24thJanuary, but not without having witnessed the changing hues of the sky as dusk approached, it was indeed a beautiful sight! The orange glow in the sky filled me with some kind of joy and assurance.

At the airport, except for our baggage which was the last to arrive (at one point that left us thinking if our boxes were left behind), both, the immigration clearance and the customs were a breeze.

It was a great reunion meeting up with my sister, Alvi; her husband, Francis (Don) and my two little nieces, Sarah and Myrah, after all, we were meeting each other after a gap of five and a half years! After the usual hugs and the “I can’t believe it that we finally meet”, we headed out of the airport to our temporary home for the next two months and a half!

P.S.. To my great consternation I realised that, I had only clicked two photographs of this travel from Goa to Australia. The future posts of Aari will hopefully be a visual treat. -Delson


  1. Your probably not recommended to take photos in airports or onboard! Nice blog. Paul