Where to start? It feels like an age since I sat down to write something for the blog, approximately a month in fact, has gone since I wrote something substantial. Since I left you all to go frolic a bit in Nepal and India, I thought, why don’t I share some of my experience. Give you a little peek into the holiday, the sights I saw, the smells I came across, the treks I walked, or the road through which we battled our way to get to a destination, crossing off sites from my Mum’s massive list of Temples she wanted to visit (and let me tell you, there was a whole heap of them, a whole heap!)
So where do I begin? Sydney’s Kingsford Smith International Airport? Yeah, that’s a good place to begin this crazy recollection of events; the Departure. Mum and I said goodbye to Dad, my two sisters, two brother-in-laws, and a cutie niece by the departure gate with trepidation. My mum’s a nervous traveller I guess. So we waved goodbye, and wheeled out hand-carry behind and stepped through the gates. Nothing would go wrong, right? WRONG?!
How very wrong! I’m usually quite an easy traveller. I don’t normally tend to stress unless it’s like do or die situation, of which I’ve never had to go through (Thank GOD). But here we were, approaching the luggage scanner and metal detector gates. People walking in throngs ahead and behind us, and my mum starting to get a little flustered, because let’s face it, she is always in a hurry to get things out of the way as quick as she can. So she hurries me along, telling me to put this and that through the scanners. I listen. Shouldn’t have to be honest, but I did, and meant I misunderstood certain things as people behind me were rude and hurried and cutting in, and cutting me off from baskets etc. So I dump my hand-carry and my handbag on the conveyor belt and walk to the metal detector, and wait for my turn. Mum’s already riled up, for no good reason mind you, and suddenly starts telling me to take my watch off as well. So I oblige, if only to give her a piece of mind.
By this time, I don’t doubt I had started to look rather odd and fidgety to the customs people (WHY?) They ask me to step through, and I do… and suddenly the machine goes off. GREAT! Just great. Mum’s looking more and more panicky, asking me in Nepali ‘What’s going on?’ I look down and realise I forgot about my belt between mum’s panicky instructions, the conveyor belt operator, and the pushy people. So I do what normal people would do, take the belt off and pass it through, then line up to walk through the gate again.
To my utter surprise, I get asked to go through a full body x-ray scanner, one of those new additions to airport security, to see if I’m hiding any ‘suspicious’ packages on or in my body. I’m not dumb. I knew what was going on. Obviously, my mum constantly panicking, and having to battle through pushy people to put this and that through the scanner, I obviously looked very ‘flustered’ to airport staff, and I don’t quite blame them for making me step into the full body scanner. I had nothing to hide! But that didn’t mean I wasn’t annoyed. I was very annoyed! Because of other people, I was appearing as if my head wasn’t screwed on. If only I could have screamed at them, but I suspect I might have received worse scrutiny at that point.
To make things worse, I was further pulled aside, for ‘random’ drug test. Random my a**! (Excuse the language, but you can understand my sentiment). Obviously they found nothing, and I was allowed to go about my business. However, by this point, the whole thing was off to a bad start and I was pretty ticked off!
Why do people suddenly turn into anxiety ridden nerve-fest as soon as it comes to customs clearance and such? And where are they trying to go in such a hurry that they can’t even give the person ahead of them in a line one measly minute to sort their stuff out before shoving and pushing? The plane isn’t going anywhere before its scheduled time! Besides, everyone gets there with plenty of time to spare, so why this mad stampede of sorts to get to the gate? What are they trying to achieve? I’m simply dumbfounded.
Seriously, all I can say is that if I’m ever rushed like that and get pulled aside again, I won’t be so kind to the person behind me rushing me. I’ll point fingers, dammit!
Suffice to say, I’m still cranky about that incident almost a month on.
(Image: Kathmandu Valley, taken from the window seat – obviously! 🙂 )