The Mission to India


As I sat at the airport, it occurred to me that I’m sick of it all. Since 2009, I estimate, I’ve flown around 50 times, and the novelty of the airport has now completely gone. I know it’s a small price to pay for getting to visit some of the world’s most interesting places, but does that mean I have to be happy about hanging round yet another airport. I suppose the answer is yes, but I can’t help the way I feel. I don’t mind the odd flight, but 3-4 flights a week are getting to be too much.

After a short 4 hour flight to Cochin, we arrived in the southern state of Kerala. It was fairly normal arrival (for India). I was unable to buy any rupees before entering the country because it is a closed currency, meaning it is illegal to move Indian currency in and out of the country. I couldn’t find an ATM so I exchanged £250 cash, giving me around 24.000 Rupees, which I thought wasn’t too bad.

We used a prepaid taxi kiosk which was useful. It cost around 1200 Rupees, which in the beginning I thought was expensive, but considering the distance we travelled, it was OK.

The journey however was one of the most anxious, white knuckle, rides of my life. We were in some old clapped out piece of crap. I paid extra for a car with air-con, but the guy just opened the window. He nearly hit several other motorists on our 40 minute drive through the streets of Kerala at 12am. This is not my first Rodeo, and I have been to India before, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t wait to get out of that car.

After pissing about trying to find the place, we finally arrived. The place certainly didn’t look as it did on the website, but in my experience things always look better in the light of day. As we stepped out of our steal coffin, by now it was knocking on 1am, and there was no sign of anyone.

The hostel was supposed to have 24 hour reception, and even offered airport transfers, which is a load of rubbish.

The driver insisted on a tip, so I gave him a hundred, I think. I just hope I didn’t slip him a thousand by mistake. He wasn’t the best of taxi drivers; he was very abrupt and snatched the piece of paper out my hand when he met us at the airport.

He did hang on with us as we continually rang the door bell, whilst waiting for someone at the Honolulu Homestay to get their arses out of bed, and let us in. But the driver only waited so he could charge us again to take us elsewhere. I had visions of having to go wandering the streets in search of somewhere to stay, which wouldn’t have been the first time, but in the short few minutes we stood outside, ringing the doorbell, I must have been bitten 20 times.

Finally a light came on, and a heavily pregnant woman popped her head out of the door. I explained to her that I had emailed several times about our arrival, but no one replied to my messages. I had even considered cancelling our booking, so we could find somewhere that would pick us up from the airport.

The first thing I wanted to do when I got into my room was brush my teeth and take a shower. As I switched the tap on, there was a flurry of activity around the sink area. There was a family of spiders living within the sink cavity. I had to kill them. I didn’t have any bug spray, so I used my mosquito repellent and then squished the big one. I don’t know if they’re venomous but I wasn’t taking any chances. Weary from travel, I had a quick shower and called it a night.

Say hello to my little friend...

Say hello to my little friend…

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