Sunday, January 2, 2011

My First International Flight

"Hey Mom ! Pack my favourite toy !" called my daughter at the top of her voice. "You know, I cannot go to South Africa without 'Patch' !", was her soft explanation. I had no choice but to pack a small soft toy dog. I had strict instructions from my husband on what things he wanted after a gap of couple of months of enjoying the tastiest home cooked Indian dishes. My parents had their say of having me pack medicines, snacks to add to the heavy luggage. I had my views of packing some trendy clothes. And so it went, till the two bags were full and a third got added ! So many things to take care of, things had to be sorted as per hand bags and bags that would be handed to the airline.

All this packing and handling was onto me; my daughter being just a eight year old. But brave that she is, she told me "Hey mom, don't worry, I will carry one of the bags !". With her reassurance, we started off in our already booked airport pick up vehicle from Pune to Mumbai. Both of us were going abroad for the first time and it made us excited, nervous, apprehensive and a bundle of energy. We reached the airport and were directed to the luggage cart. "It doesn't move !". I applied all my strength. By that time, my daughter got curious and put her hand on the handle and the cart moved. Oh ! so this was the mechanism, off we went inside the airport through numerous gates and security checks, till we had nothing to do but wait for our flight and that too for three hours. In our excitement and over eagerness, we had reached early, had completed our formalities early and exhausted our energy early !

After a long wait, we found ourselves on the bus to the air plane. A short welcome and greetings, and both of us were comfortably seated with the window seat as a bonus. But then everything was dark due to the early morning flight. We enjoyed our one hour looking at people, the air hostesses, the food, the chairs, the instructions. And then, we watched a movie. People around us were sleeping soundly, but the two of us, try as we might, we could catch only the proverbial forty winks. The time difference added just the right ingredient to make us even more confused when we finally landed at Johannesburg. The fetching of our baggage which includes going to the particular 'carousel' and picking up our heavy bags was an activity where my daughter took full responsibility of spotting our bags and running with them !

The usual 'Hello', 'How are you ?'; sounded distant to me. Indians are used to not being greeted and here the two of were acknowledging some of the 'Hellos'. At the security check, I took time to adjust to the new accent and for once both of us wanted some hot 'upama' or 'poha'. Finally, after some quick steps we were there waiting for my husband at the circle. He was very happy to see the two of us all fit and fine and grinning from ear to ear. "Mom, now you need not worry. We are with Baba" said my daughter and I knew how right she was.

My first flight to South Africa was over and so were my apprehensions. We enjoyed our stay and the different food and the small garden in our courtyard added the colour to our trip.
Post a Comment