The plane had two attempts in Birmingham at taking off. Well, one attempt, the second time after an hours delay, it finally made it. The extra hour wasn’t a problem as I had a 4 hour stopover in Frankfurt. The flight to Mombai was OK, apart from the prick next to me who knocked a bottle of beer into my lap. Touched down exactly on schedule at 1am local time. Finally got through customs and out the airport at about 01:40 when the humidity hit me and every pore in my body ooozed…. Outside the airport is bedlam. Even at nearly 2am. hundreds of people jossling to try and carry my case for me and get a tip. ….well I’m a working class lad and reasonably strong, I can carry my own case…. …besides I didn’t have any change for a tip and I wasn’t about to handover a 1000 rupee note – about £12 . One guy did carry my case, I was unable to stop him, but he didn’t get the tip. Along with a German guy we ended up on a rickety mini-bus to take us to our hotel. It was dark, and right at the back of the carpark… we were both wondering if we were going to mugged. Paranoia I suppose.
There was a young boy perhaps 5, def no older than 6 sleeping on the concrete. A guy kicked him and told him to move. He saw us in the bus and ran up, knocking on the window for money…. I felt pretty bad. The bus had no lights (not even headlights) and I could not have seen into my bag for any small notes that I had buried at the bottom. The guys here say kids are kidnapped from the country and made to beg by gangmasters in the city….
Anyway, finally made my bed at 2:20 local time. Didn’t drop off right away. Alarm at 7:00, shower, breakfast, taxi to Pune for 08:30.
Jason swears he saw a rat run through the breakfast area while we were eating…. …it’s a 4 star hotel…
Leaving the hotel was undescribable… really… absolute bedlam… people everywhere, horns constantly. Cars don’t stick to lanes they just go where ever they want, *generally* on the left. It was a experience, and I enjoyed it, I really did…. but it stunk ! open sewers and the place is just filthy where ever you go.
Finally made Pune around lunchtime… met the boys… had lunch…have to make this quick now… session in the gym with Jason and now, just this min 8:25pm off down for dinner. Next installment tomorrow….