The Grand Arrival

So, on what I believe was Wednesday morning, we took off from Dubai for Trivandrum (<- this is likely misspelled, but I don’t have internet access right now and it’s about 5 am Texas time. I don’t even know my name.). Things were getting a little loopy at this point as we had been traveling for over a day and had all failed to get any sort of decent sleep.

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There’s your proof. I have no recollection of why I am crouched down on the airplane floor nor why I am looking at the camera so maniacally. All I can think is that the photographer had food or found some makeup to fix my face with. Also, that’s Janine. She isn’t sure what she was doing either, but no alcohol was consumed on that flight. Needless to say, after spending 24 hours in small spaces together, we have all become pretty good friends. I am really even more excited than I was before because I am having so much fun with all the ladies.

After many hours trapped next to a very large snoring grizzly bear, we finally arrived. At 4:30 am. Thankfully the airport wasn’t very crowded.  Unfortunately, I wasted a lot of time when I lost my first customs’ form. Then I gracefully managed to rip the second one in half and then proceeded to fill out all of the dates backwards on the third one (mm/dd/yyyy versus the correct dd/mm/yyyy format). And then I wrote that the country I arrived from was Dubai. Guess what?  Dubai isn’t a country. You could not have convinced me of that during that moment. Thankfully, the customs official just gave up and realized I was probably too stupid to smuggle anything in and let me through.

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The baggage carousel area was extremely intimidating. For one, there was like one woman for every 25 men. Second, they are very very serious about getting their baggage. In Texas, you stand back about 5-10 feet from the carousel and you approach it only to grab your bag once it comes around to you. In India, they mean business.

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It was like 10 people deep and packed all the way to the edge of the carousel. I was pretty freaked out about pushing through so many people because I felt like such a jerk. Thankfully, as I approached, the men quickly moved aside (maybe out of politeness or perhaps because of my slutty American lady reputation) and some younger men even assisted us with our luggage. It was much needed assistance for our team because we all missed the “travel light” memo.

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Yeah. So, thank you to the nice men of the Trivandrum airport. Several were very excited to see that I was from Texas. They asked if I rode a horse to work and I asked if they rode elephants. Thankfully they laughed and kept helping us with the luggage. I knew that obnoxious tag would pay off.

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I also noticed that almost everyone there was going home with a giant flat screen TV or some other pile of electronics. Are they that much cheaper in Dubai? Please explain this phenomenon.

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After spending about two hours going through customs and retrieving the luggage, we did the DUMBEST THING EVER (according to our driver) and exchanged money at the airport. Despite the transaction fee, I still felt like a rapper with all my dolla bills.

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What up now 50 cent? After obnoxiously fawning over the money, our ride arrived and ushered us away from the airport. Well, ushered us about 20 yards before two guys bumped taxis and got in a fist fight. A man got punched through the window right in front of us!!! It was quite thrilling for so early in the morning, even though we were delayed for about 30 minutes because of it. Finally, after a terrifying hour long jaunt through the city, we were finally deposited at our hotel.

Its pretty decent. I haven’t seen any cockroaches, my sheets are kind of clean, and there is an actual toilet. The electricity only goes out about every hour, but it quickly turns back on. I even have two whole twin beds all to myself. Be very jealous.

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Anyway, the hotel is just fine even though there is a demonic rooster on the roof outside my window who insists on cock-a-doodle-doing all day. Nothing a small BB gun couldn’t fix. Too bad I forgot to pack one. Anyway, that was the start of a new day without sleep. Blessed Wednesday.

36 Comments

Filed under India

36 Responses to The Grand Arrival

  1. Rache

    WOW!! I’m living vicariously through you: TELL ME ABOUT THE FOOD :)

  2. So Texas, yet you forgot your BB gun. Shame.

  3. Did you offer to mediate the dispute in front of you? I am sure your services would have been appreciated! And I hope you could get some sleep when you got there.

    The Kidless Kronicles

  4. I’m so glad you can still post! Looking forward to hearing more about the trip. And the first time I went to Europe I exchanged money at the airport. I had to learn the hard way too. Enjoy your trip!!

  5. 25 men for every woman? That’s about right for India! That was something that was hard for me to get used to when I was there. Oh and as far as changing money at the airport goes? That’s probably the SMARTEST thing you could have ever done. Every rickshaw driver/cabbie in India “knows someone” who can get you “a good deal” on everything…more often than not, it’s just a big scam and everyone is in on everything. You probably didn’t get the best rate on the currency, but it was the best thing to do. Future hint, I always exchange money in the US before I go =)

    Have fun!

    • I agree with you on the money changing thing, Christy. You may not get the best rate at the airport, but the hassles that you save yourself are worth their weight in rupees! (hmmm…. not sure how much weight that would actually be…)

  6. Karla O'Connell

    I’m at my desk at the point of silent laughter where I’m not making any noise but my shoulders are shaking.

  7. That was exhausting. So glad you made it there and there are no cockroaches. So, are they doing that thing where they make you stay up all day to try to “avoid” jet lag? I did that on a trip to the Czech republic. It was longest I’ve ever gone without sleep (except for childbirth).

    I’m also really curious about the food :-)

  8. Aditi

    Yay! You made it! Good call changing money at the airport – you probably could have gotten a better rate somewhere else but it is always good to have some cash on hand when you land.

    YES everyone from India buys things like TVs etc. abroad because there are such huge import duties and taxes when you try to buy them in India! Its also a cultural thing – a lot of people work abroad to make money for their families, and so when they come home to visit, they like to bring lavish gifts.

    Have so much fun!

  9. Sonja

    Dubai seems like a country to me… what is it, then? This also confuses me about Canada. It’s a good thing no other countries will let me in… I would make us look pretty bad.

  10. This is amazing. I can’t wait to keep reading about your antics on the other side of the world while I reward myself with breaks from packing one box at a time.

    Hope you get some rest!

  11. Justin

    Ah you’re such a Texan. Love it though.

  12. the B

    Yay!!!!!! I cannot wait to see more pictures friend!!!!

  13. yay! Glad you made it – and I am glad you had good food, booze, AND movies on your long flight. AMAZING!!

    I had the same experience at the luggage carousel… a bazillion men, none of which wore deodorant, all of which were scrambling to get very large packages off of the carousel… I don’t think they thought they were allowed to talk to women, or something…

    It was not dumb to exchange money at the airport! You might have paid a little higher of an exchange rate, but at least it isn’t a scam (everything in India is a scam – everything.) You can also exchange at hotels, in case you need more. I felt like a baller there too hahah

  14. Annie

    I can’t wait to read more!

  15. Laressa

    I noticed the hotel sign read that there are A/C and NON A/C rooms. No air conditioning!!! Are they cheaper? Do some people prefer it? Hope you got some good cold air :)

  16. Holy crap you’re actually there! insane.

  17. Congrats on arriving safe and sound! Can’t wait to read more about it.

  18. Allison

    :( you feel so much farther? further? (I DON’T KNOW BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT HERE TO TELL ME) away.

    however, i am happy you are alive and well-ish. take care. and don’t drink the water! or do. i forget. i am majorly sucking without you.

    have fun!

    • Justin

      :( I feel the same way. She’s asleep when I’m awake. I’m asleep when shes awake. I was super busy today and missed her, now shes off saving the world and I’m playing Madden.

  19. Glad you made it safely!!!!

  20. Michelle

    Woot! So glad you’re posting. Can’t wait to read more!

  21. You’re in India! Woohoo! Can’t wait to read about all your (mis)adventures.

    The flat screen TV thing is bizarre. I live in Bangkok, and when I flew Bangkok – Delhi over the holidays, pretty much every single Indian on the flight had a flat screen with them. Bangkok electronics are not that cheap, so I don’t get it.

    Also, I have never seen any culture push and shove the way that Indians do. Riding the subway is terrifying, because it feels like you could get trampled at any moment. Make your arms into a battering ram and plough through, I guess :)

  22. Christine

    The reference to bridesmaids is so “appropriate”… been on that plane, can picture you there now! HA! Have a great time while I plow through that big ole binder you left me…

    • Justin

      Can I make a suggestion? Can you please rig her desk prior to her coming back. Like put fake spiders and rats and snakes in drawers etc. I just feel like that would be an acceptable way to get revenge on her…since she left you with a massive binder…

      • Christine

        No worries there. Working on a most evil scheme to welcome her back to reality. :-) and we have plenty of planning time and I am feeling very cranky since she left.

        • Justin

          Well let me know if you need help. I’m extremely gifted in the area of pranks. Also make sure you capture it all on video…

          • Christine

            I’m thinking of moving out her desk altogether and seeing if she can find it…

          • Justin

            That would piss her off. Lol. Do it. Or swap her desk for a smaller one. Or actually change her phone. She just learned that one.

  23. So glad you made it safely! I’m looking forward to living vicariously though you and getting to see India!! As crazy as it sounds you will actually miss that rooster when you get back to the states. I was in Haiti for 10 days and missed the rooster and donkey sounds. Totally insane.

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