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Friday July 10th, 2020


Wedding in India - day 2

Lundi 12 Mars 2007 à 15:49:26

For those who missed the day 1, it is here.

I woke up with a phone call, at about 10am. My other friend Ken thought he would let me sleep a little :-) Anyway, I was all jet lagged from the one night of sleep missing, so I got up, took my shower and went downstairs for breakfast. I had called the reception 30 minutes before to know where it was and if it was included in the room cost. It was. So I entered the dining room, but the waiter told me it was closed ! pfffft ! They could have told me on the phone ! So of course, I complained, and they finally let me in and asked me if I wanted an omelette. I said that I didn't know, I would eat what they proposed ! They cook me a massala omelette (eggs with tomatoes, onions, ... other things ... the same ingredients you put in the spicy tomato sauce for nachos (at least in my recipe :-) )). They brought me some coffee as well. First surprise, the coffee (as well as the tea), is always prepared with milk and sugar. Well, it simplifies the work. But the not-so-good part is that it makes the coffee very very hot ! And newbie me did not know that ... and took a huge sip of coffee, and burned my tongue ! As a result of this, I had to expulse the coffee which ended up in the omelette ! So well, I had no more tongue anymore, so I ate the other half of the omelette and managed to drink a bit of coffee after letting it cool down. Then, I met Ken.

He was staying with a friend not very far from my hotel, so we simply aimed towards the very closed Juhu beach, looking for the Marriott :-) Like in Madagascar, children were begging on the beach, but it was not too difficult to get rid of them, and they were not that many. After walking in the greyish sand for a while, we recognized the hotel from behind (well, a Marriott is easy to recognize, especially when surrounded with other kind of hotels or houses :-) ). We asked to the guy at the door to let us enter, but he told us to find the entrance door. So we walked a little bit more, and eventually reached the hotel restaurant. We had some food and drinks, very good food and very good drink by the way ;-).

Then, we made plans to go to Auragabad later that day. We had plane reservations for 6:40 pm, but no hotel yet, and no way to go to Nashik. We thus went back to my hotel walking on the beach, and trying the hot and nice water :-). Ken saw his dreamhouse, lying in some very nice private neighborhood (but it looked like a sect ...).

At the beach entrance, you can see some little shops that sell food you do not want to eat (unless you want food poisoning :-) ).

After picking up my suitcase, we went to Ken's friend's place to use the computer and Internet and we booked a hotel in Aurangabad including pick up from the airport. The pick-up thing is very important for tourists, as otherwise, you never know if you will arrive. Then, I asked my friend from which airport we were departing, and he was convinced that it was from the international airport, while I suspected it was from the domestic one. We checked on the web, but there was only one airport code, and nothing detailed on the webpage. So well, I thought I was wrong then. Something like 2,5 hours before our flight, we aimed at the airport.

The airport was not especially far, but there was a lot of traffic and Indian people have their own style of driving, which doesn't help efficiency, imho. There are no lanes on the road, pedestrians cross even if there are cars driving, cars stop if they want to stop, and so on... Hard to describe actually. To give you an idea of how bad it can be, later on, on the highway back to Mumbai, on our side of the road (supposedly one way traffic), we could see cows, bikes, small cars, big cars, trucks, pedestrians and car going in the opposite direction.

We eventually arrived at the international airport around 5:50 pm (I think). The driver asked us which company we wanted, and, when we told him, he began to scream that this was not the right airport, that we wanted the domestic airport and so on. The thing is that it was so not clear on the web ... So we actually didn't know anymore. We asked him how far was the other airport, and he said the keyword "Santacruz", which is more or less supposed to be were the hotel was. After time and reflection, I think Santacruz is one of the Islands of Mumbai, and the hotel and the airport are actually on the same Island, even if both locations are a little far in time (but about 6km in distance). So well, Ken defeated and thought we were gonna miss our flight. But as a good Indiana Jones, I said we should keep going, the other airport is very close to this one. We kept going. On the way, we phoned the plane company to ensure we were going to the right place this time. And that was the right thing to do as they told us that the flight had been rescheduled at 6:15 pm ! Ah ah ! With this new information, it meant that we had 25 min to find the airport, check-in and board. Oh well ...

I think we arrived at the airport around 6:00pm (they actually were close to each other). We wanted to go to check-in, but military guys asked for our plane ticket which we did not have printed as we did not have a printer. We first had to queue to our airline desk to get the printed copy of the paper. Then, we showed this to the military guys and ran like crazy to reach the check-in desk. Hum, also in India, you have a special screening of the luggage before giving them for check-in. So we did not queue and took over all the other people waiting :D. We finally checked-in and made it to the boarding room. The flight had been rescheduled again, at 6:20pm this time. (They seem to enjoy rescheduling flights !). We even had 5 minutes to wait ! lol ... Then we finally got on the plane and took off, with a very nice view of Mumbai. When we landed, our driver was waiting for us. We got to the hotel.

Before leaving for Aurangabad, I thought this would be a very tiny city, with 2 hotels for tourists and eventually one restaurant. I had the same idea of Nashik. It turned out Aurangabad is quite big, and it took us maybe 20 min to cross half of the city ! There are plenty of shops, restaurants and hotels also. While checking in, we made some plans to get a car the following day to see the caves, learned about some fort to visit as well, and exchanged money to local currency. Then we had dinner in the hotel. I first was confident and tried to order wine. They finally found the driest wine they had, and it was definitely not dry :-) So I had one glass as a starter and then switched to beer. Also, the funny thing is that we wanted to order food, but the guy did not want to take our order. He wanted to serve us drinks first. So we finally had some beer and some crackers and vegetables to go with that. The waiter asked if we wanted starters, and we answered that we just wanted the main dish. This must have confused him, as he didn't want to serve us anything else but drinks, and no main course apparently without starters. In the end, we postponed so much that we just ate beer and crackers (and vegs ...) and we never ordered food :-)

I then spent the last part of the evening (well, hum, alone as Ken abandoned me to go sleeping !) bothering the waiters to teach me a few basics in Indi. I learned that "tata" means "goodbye" and a few other things that I already forgot :D

Eveine Lundi 12 Mars 2007 à 16:27:55
La suite ! La suite ! La suite !!!
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