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Flight TR653 to Singapore…

July 23, 2009

The following post was written on 10th July in a diary….

July 10, 2009

10:20 PM

Bangalore International Airport.

It’s kind of strange to sit in a lounge and write something when there’s a

@Bangalore International Airport

@Bangalore International Airport

flight on the other side of the window which leaves in about 30 minutes. Yes, I am finally going to board a plane after 8 years and this is actually the first time I am about to step out of my country. Right now, I don’t have even an iota of anxiety about travelling to a foreign country, maybe it’s because I have four of my friends travelling along with me from Bangalore. But then, I guess the butterflies will start flying in my stomach on Tuesday afternoon when I split away from the group and head to Penang. I have never travelled on my own!

I have been reading articles on wikipedia, blogs and other sites about cities and towns which fall between Kuala Lumpur and Penang. Finally I came across Ipoh and Taiping, and had to choose one of them for an overnight stay. It’s really tough choosing one between Ipoh, which competes with Penang in terms of its cuisine and Taiping which is a charming little town set amidst mountains, where peace resonates with deafening silence. Airport is a very tricky place! It’s definitely a melting pot for people from several countries and cultures especially if the Airport has international connectivity. Yeah…I am playing this game called “Guess their Country!”. I think I might have a very good strike rate but then I stop playing it, I think it’s somewhat ridiculous on my part to fall prey to stereotypes.

Signing off from Bangalore Airport.

11:50 PM:

30,000 Feet above Sea Level

I seriously wish I had a laptop and was typing these same words on my wordpress blog! I can’t and hence penning these words is inevitable. Writing 30,000 feet above sea level is an awesome feeling. While it’s actually scary the way this compact airline (Tiger Airways) shakes and sways up and down to maintain the air pressure (I hope I got the mumbo-jumbo right!), I can’t believe that I can think almost on the same lines as I did on the ground. The constant buzz of the turbines and Aircon does hamper my thought process a bit, but in an attempt to overcome all this I keep writing to pen all the thoughts at an untimely hour too when 3/4th of my country’s men and women are fast asleep in their homes.

Inline with its low airfares, this airlines is almost the size of 4 decently sized buses aligned back to back and the leg space is just too horrible. Well I couldn’t have expected more from it especially when I got the ticket to Singapore @ Rs.4250 (one way)! The no frills airlines has an equally no frills menu as well. While the prices are kept to a bare minimum, I wonder what they taste like. I ain’t taking the risk. It’s a 3X3 seating arrangement and of course, it’s a perfect way to get introduced to the person sitting next to you. I ran out of luck this time. The guy sitting next to me has been a dear friend for the past 6 years and another lady on my right is fast asleep. There are 3 air hostesses as well. If I were a layman, I would have been totally confused and arrive at a conclusion that they were Geisha’s who have run amok! I usually don’t travel by air, but I suppose the latest trend is to compare every damsel with those in Kingfisher, Lufthansa etc. Someone should set a standard for the kind of makeup one wears for there’s a danger that they would end up becoming the butt of all jokes! Well, I think one of them looks okayish sorts. The End.

12:30 PM:

On a more serious note, we have been handed over Health Declaration forms. Maybe it’s the swineflu! Of course, the Singapore Government doesn’t want to take any chances, but what’s interesting is to see the level of Penalty imposed on those who defy the rules. It’s 20,000 SGD if you don’t fill the form and 10,000 SGD if the info is found to be wrong. And the info asked is so comprehensive that it’s almost impossible to escape from the government if one remains in the island. No wonder, it’s such a “Fine” City and maybe it’s all necessary to impose all these rules for a country which has an unquestionable reputation for its cleanliness and the level of control on everything possible. Correct me if I am wrong, but I read somewhere that the fine is 500SGD if you are caught littering on the streets! Phew! I can’t imagine how rich India will be even if one of these rules makes it foray into our lives. A little earlier I came across an inhouse travel magazine and it had a three page article on why “Penang” (in Malaysia) is definitely worth a visit and how it manages to be the “Pearl of the Orient”. Well, do I need more reasons to go to this magical place which boasts of an amazing cuisine and nightlife?

On the flipside, I think I have become too calculative on what I should be doing. Starting from a BIG “No” to shopping to spending as little as possible unless absolutely necessary. I guess the part of me which craves to be a “Wow! I am so happy to be here” kinda tourist is dying a slow death. I have to see how this works out for me in future when I travel to few places where not too many tourists from India backpack. I am not sure what all I will end up doing in all those places I want to visit. All that I have in mind is to eat. Eat as many different varieties as possible covering a wide variety from Malay, Singapore, Chinese and Indian cuisine. I think the list of things to eat is just endless in Malaysia and I wish to taste atleast some of those dishes. For now, I can’t wait to lay my hands on Penang’s Asam Laksa! Yum…….

(As written on 10th July, 2009)

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 23, 2009 4:48 pm

    Who is Hemanth in that pic..? 🙂

    • Hemanth permalink*
      July 23, 2009 5:32 pm

      @Anantha: He’s the second guy from left!..:)

  2. kopili permalink
    July 24, 2009 11:28 am

    what is asam laksa? i’ve eaten penang curry in Thai restaurants..hows it like there?

    • Hemanth permalink*
      July 24, 2009 11:32 am

      @Kopili: Asam Laksa is a sour Soup (Tamarind+Fish)along with rice noodle dipped in this soup…I don’t think it has fish in it, but the aroma definitely has traces of a Fish!

      Btw…Asam means Tamarind in Malay…and they have other kinds of Laksas as well..:)

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