Apr 5, 2016

Memoirs of Rangoli ... (p3) - Namaste India

Chadni Chowk
Old Delhi, India
February 2016

2 weeks is a short time to plan for a trip that long, for me. hence, joining a tour group probably the best option. but choosing a good one that fit to my preference could be a problem...i mean travelling on the DIY and based on the travellers' view for the past few years, made me always wanted to go beyond the tourist path..and rarecation fit my need. oppss..this is not a promotion.obvious example, when we went as a far as Rusirani Village and the village along yamuna river to memograph the locals. knowing the itinerary and mode of traveling indicated by the group would fit my photography interest, i made the decision to join. how much it cost? well...perhaps it was among my most expensive trip to date, for such duration.

the whatsapp group was established to allow our ice breaking thingy, as well as sharing the information etc. then with the visa application, sharing tips etc. prior the trip.  i guess, it felt like we'd known each other for a while as we met everybody at the airport on the day of the departure. briefly, the names that gonna be mentioned throughout this entries - Syib, Pojie, Abg Mie, Kak Ros, Madan, Aniq, Fariz, Mahani, Kak Nida and Hidayah. all 11 of us...

ok. that was my first time, after a long time, travelling with such a big group. surprisingly, there was no major drama that we encountered throughout the trip...just few incidents, which was then became the joke of the day... as far as i remember and that was good.
i decided to sleep at the Capsule hotel this time since the departure will be around 9am, and the group was planning to meet at 6am. i didn't have anyone to send me to the airport that early, hence the decision. it was working day, and i arrived KLIA2 a bit late that night. despite the booking been made, the hotel was out of locker and i had to leave my luggage at the lobby. i thought the price paid mentioned was including everything.a minus point for the hotel this time...and i guess they should've thought about that, or make the locker on rental basis if they don't plan to prioritize for those who paid to sleep etc.

i was given a 'capsule' which was closed to the staircase and i had problem to get into my rem cycle as the upstairs neighbors were so active went up and down...and plus none of them master the art of using the stair quietly. it was like listening to the stomping. period.
it was the day of the departure.

the earlier plan was for everybody to gather for luggage check-in at 6am. i did ask to confirm, and even proposed for us to meet around 630, hence allowing for the subuh pray to be done first. but it was suggested to meet and settle the check-in first. so, i checked out from the Capsule as early as 550am, and then dragged my luggage to the airport. as usual, typical 'janji melayu' and with a big group like this, the plan ended up beyond the agreed time. i mean some of them was still on the way, and some even went for subuh pray first etc. and left me wandering and waiting. 
everybody arrived when it was almost 630, if i've not mistaken, and we then gathered for a while before dragging our luggage to the check in counter. it wasn't that smooth, as the Malindo's staff told us to go to another counter for luggage drop, instead of we'd been queuing for a while and reached our turn for the check in already. and when we went to another counter, the other staff told us we were supposed to queue at where we did before.

so?...the drama started.

but i think i was kind enough as being nice and spoke to the staff on the misunderstanding, which finally allowed us to check in at her counter without queuing.
there was a quick gathering with the staff of rarecation after we done with the check-in and subuh pray where they interviewed us about the trip etc. and then we were handed the name tags, and the sweater. we then entered the departure hall and then went straightaway to the departure gate and waited for our flight. the flight departed as per scheduled, and it was almost full that day. that was my first time flying a long-haul flight with Malindo...and first also flying on 737-900 ER for a journey that more than 3 hours. 

well...these days, i'm having problem flying with small plane like this for a long distance, but Alhamdulillah...i managed to overcome my fear. probably the clear weather and the in-flight entertainment distracted me from thinking about something else. the journey took about 5 hours and 30 minutes, and we safely arrived at Indira Gandhi International Airport around 12.15pm. the immigration went with some drama. the officer made a big fuss with my arrival card as he requested me to write a full address for my accommodation in Delhi instead of just the hotel name etc.

the thing is... Syib and Aniq who arrived the day earlier, didn't experience such thing..and even few of the group member before me. us who left, had to google the internet to get the exact address for the hotel that we'd be staying. so it took a while. once done...we went to collect our luggage and finally met Manooj...our travel agent for the day where he'd be taking us to our hotel in Old Delhi.

tbc.

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