This was a planned trip which had its own problems till the very end and Finally on 17th July 2010 we left for Bangalore to Begin My First International Trip. Also it would be My First Group Tour so i was hoping it would be fun. The Trip was organised by Nirmala Travels and we were going to have 2 guides Mr Sandeep and Mr Ratnakar Bhat. So after a day Spend at my Cousin’s Flat at Indiranagar we set off to the Airport to reach the rendezvous for our group at 5:50. We set off at 4:00 and reached around 5:15 to the new Bangalore Airport due to the absence of Bangalore traffic on a Sunday. This was my first visit to the New Bangalore Airport. My last trip 4 years ago saw us using the old one but this was definitely a brand new experience.
The terminal was huge and awe striking! We roamed around a bit and took photos with the Samsung Corby TXT because we had been told (misinformed, actually) that we may not be allowed to take the Camera on board the craft. This was because of the new list of restricted items on the flight had something to do with ‘batteries not allowed’. The New List is Huge and even water (all fluids actually) above 100ml is not allowed in Cabin Baggage. So my Canon was tucked in between my clothes and checked in. There were 35 of us, some 9 families i believe. I later came to know that among the families present the Parents were mostly Bank Employees and their children were Engineers and Doctors. There were couple of Non-Bank Families too.
After Check in we had time till 19:20 for our flight to Chennai. This was spent roaming around the Bangalore Terminal.
All our Flights were Booked on Jet Airways (last time too). The Group was still pretty much distant. In the days to come we would become close but it was not so just yet. We boarded the plane on time and thus we began our first short flight of little over an hour. Funnily i was reminded about the Fight Club airplane scene where Jack first talks to Tyler. We lifted off and i was introduced to the JetScreen ,the inflight entertainment system. Mounted LCD touch screens provided with Headphones and a good supply of Movies, TV series, Music, Games, Etc would keep anyone happy. Unfortunately i couldn’t watch anything because my headphone socket wasn’t working. But then it was too short a flight even to watch the 30 Rock episode that i wanted to. We were served Sandwiches as a snack and soon it was time for us to Land.
Right off the flight we were routed to the Departures at the International terminal, Chennai directly. There we had to fill our Immigration form. This form is actually a way of keeping a note of whether you are in or out of the country in a database. The details in it are not all important its just the Bar code in every form that s the most important thing. After filling this we proceeded to our Immigration Check. This is where the Officials check your passport and see if your visa is valid and verify your identity and of course take your Immigration form. All Done we now had to wait around 3 hours for our next flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was scheduled to be at 00:00 hours. The Chennai Airport is in dire need of renovation. The Maintenance was lacking and frankly speaking it was boring. The Food was expensive (airport/airplane food is always), the toilets dirty and even shops sold overpriced Books/Stuff.
Luckily the boarding time was 11:30pm and we boarded the plane. I also tweeted my last tweet for a while from the Plane before i switched off the cellphone. As Luck would have it, Jetscreen on this plane was on the Fritz. It had trouble booting up. In the process i came to know it was built(or is it supported) using Redhat Linux. It had Some Problem loading Configs and got stuck everytime at 93%. Man does this get irritating. This was a recurring event throughout the flight and even switching it off didn’t help. Finally i dimmed down the screen so as not to strain my eyes. Dinner was served at around 1:30 IST which pissed off many hungry travellers. This was due to the long period of turbulence that we experienced. The Liquor cooled some people off after it was served. I opted for a Continental Dinner and got Chicken Manchurian and Fried Rice with Bread & Butter and Apple Juice. We were also handed an Immigration slip which needed to be filled in and submitted upon arrival.
I had a window seat put there was nothing to see in the pitch black environment outside. My Passport was in my Cabin luggage tucked in the overhead compartment so i couldn’t fill the form either. So with the Tea cup on my tray i went to sleep with the LCD screen flickering to life every now and then trying its best to ‘Load configs’.