It has been six long months since I last sat here. Sitting in the same red and white chair at the Indira Gandhi International Airport lounge with a plateful of Mc Donald’s goodies makes me feel a bit nostalgic.
My flight for Shanghai leaves in about two and a half hours and I still do not have an address in Seoul. I have scribbled down the addresses of a few hostels on a piece of paper but there is a good chance that these hostels might be full tomorrow, leaving me no choice but to head off to a Jimijillbang, a thing that I am not looking forward to experiencing on my very first day in South Korea.
As far as the foreign exchange is concerned, I have a bit over $ 500 in my pocket. It is weird that not one of the many currency exchanges think that it might be useful to hold a bit of KRW. The plan is to buy KRWs worth the $500 when I land in Seoul. Buying foreign exchange in an airport is never recommended since they usually offer the worst exchange rate, and converting INR into USD for further conversion into KRW has burned a hole in my pocket.
(My thought process was just disturbed by a group of middle aged Indian men, laughing out loudly, and turning heads from nearby tables. On their way to Thailand, I bet. Fuck them!)
This is the fifth trip that I am going on all alone. And frankly speaking, I cannot think about doing it any other way. I look around the lounge, especially the ones who are travelling in groups. They seem happy taking pictures of each other, laughing and sharing food. I cannot help but ask myself the question, “Would I care to travel in a group with friends?”
The answer is “No”.
I rather be by myself, with my laptop, iPod and a Mc Flurry than hanging out with the same set of people I hang out with everyday. I mean friends are great but travelling with them might interfere with my freedom of doing whatever I want, when I want, which I cannot compromise on.
I do not care how fucked up that sounded. That is just the way I like to backpack.
The IGI airport heavily publicises the fact that it is the 2nd best airport in the world. But frankly, after travelling to and from this airport many times, I am less than impressed. There is an acute shortage of power points to recharge our electrical gadgets. It gets worse when you go through the immigration processes hoping that the grass will be greener on the other side. I could not find one workable power point in the departure lounge and the waiting area downstairs. Luckily, I found one in up here, otherwise I would have been cribbing about all this in Shanghai and we all know doing that cursing about India in China would not have been cool.
Another disappointing thing about the airport is that it does not provide unlimited free internet. 20 minutes of free browsing for a guy like me is just not enough.
I am not saying IGI is not good. I am just saying that it certainly is not the 2nd best airport in the world. (Definitely would love to check the credentials on the voting process that gave IGI this honour.)
(A fat Sardar, dressed in white just sat in the seat to the right of mine. He looks like a paedophile. Hope he leaves soon.)
So, I am staring at a nine hour long flight. My legs are tired, and aching but I would not be able to stretch them tonight. Sucks big time.
This will be the first time I am travelling with China Eastern and my flight will head off to Beijing after stopping over at Shanghai. This I did not know earlier, not that it matters. But still, wonder why Make My Trip did not tell me this. Weird.
I totally realise that this post is turned into a creepy rambling session, but I cannot help it. I was bored and rambling about stupid things before a trip has become sort of a ritual for me.
With that I say good bye to my table, in which I have sat over three times over the past 2 years. I really dig this table. (Sort of how Sheldon likes his spot on the couch.) I will come back again, I promise.
Time for me to fly away.