Saving NYE in India
Saving NYE in India
Arriving in Mumbai India at 5am after traveling from the UK and through Istanbul, needless to say I was quite knackered as the British put it. Making my way to the baggage claim area to collect the additional 40 pounds of gear, my next move was to try some traditional India cuisine as I had 5 hours to live here before my flight to Goa was scheduled.
Finding a suitable place with the proud face of a lion displayed on it’s wall, I strike up conversation with the chefs in an attempt to better understand the menu. I order the samosas as I know what those are, and then one of the men advises that I try something else as well (sadly I don’t remember the name of this). Immediately I ask him if it is spicy and explain that I don’t have a high tolerance to hot food. I can see a sparkle of – was it mischief? in his eyes that tells me I should not trust him when he says “oh spicy? no no my friend, this is not spicy – maybe a little bit this is all”. So I order it.
Nestling into a corner table that affords a view of both the inside of the airport terminal as well as the street outside, I take a bite of this mystery food and holy s#$% it was quite literally the hottest food I have ever tasted. My nose starts to run, tears enter my eyes and I begin sweating almost immediately. I look over to where the chefs are, and of course, this man is nowhere to be found and my dirty look hits empty space.
I finish the samosas only and decide to saunter on outside for some fresh air in a sad attempt to flush the hot from my mouth. Except when I arrive at the exit, I am stopped by the police who tell me that I cannot leave the airport. At first I started laughing because I thought they were joking- I mean, where in the world are you NOT allowed to LEAVE an airport? Playfully I tell the men there that I will be going outside and have no intention of staying in this airport for 4 more hours, and that they can chase me if they so desire. As one smiles and the other looks at me like he is imagining sticking a knife through my eye, I am told by a third man that I must go to the airline attendant to sort this out. I told them ok, but that no matter what, I will be back and will be going outside.
I rock up to Air India and am greeted by two lovely women and one man and explain the situation. They ask to see my flight itinerary. I hand it over and they say to me -”Well, you will definitely be going outside, because your next flight is not from this airport and if you don’t go now, you will spend New Years here”. Haha! Wait what? Where do I go then?
They write down the information right there on my itinerary and I head over to the police at the exit to explain that I must go- and to thank them for sending me to Air India when they do something unexpected – they still refuse to let me out. Seriously?!!? The next dirty look does not disappear into space but makes its mark as I stomp my feet all the way back to the Air India counter again. Grabbing the agent, we walk back over to the police and this time, I let the man do the talking to the police. Two minutes later I am free! Not only free to leave the airport, but free to catch the right flight to Goa, get a sweet massage while in the new airport, and free to dance all night on NYE in Adjuna Beach.
And what comes next is quite literally the most amazing experience I have had yet…
Have you ever been somewhere and had things seem totally backwards? Do share your stories, comments, suggestions and ideas using the comment section below!!