Part II: Pune in India
We fly into Mumbai on 20 Jan. Stayed a night there and fly to Pune on next day. Mumbai airport is combining both International and Domestic. The impression it gave me is different when you were in Arrival Hall and Departure Hall.
Outside Arrival Hall is covered by “Big Umbrella”. When you need to move your cart to opposite road, young kids come to try to serve you by grabbing your bags from cart for earning few Rupiahs. I turned down their services and drove my cart towards the car we had rented prior. Hotel we stayed for a night not far. Time to get in our room was 1 am local time.
Next day 8am, we gathered in the Lobby for breakfast, then check out. We checked our bills and found out only US$10 for two person buffet. We now understand why company move all back office processes to India. When we got on the car to airport, the manager told us the cost of arranging a car pick up, including driver, is also cheap. I further understand why US buddies would have the same arrangement all day long, including lunch and dinner.
When I got into Mumbai, I didn’t feel the poverty of this country (cause we only stayed in Hotel), until I got into downtown of Pune. It is much worser than 50 years ago China**. My colleague came from mainland China said never seen such poorness in China.
**For your information, 50 years ago, China was still undergoing the Culture Revolution. People living at that time didn’t count on money, but “tickets”, like rice tickets and textile tickets, offered by Government. At that time, there was no meats easily could be obtained. Culture Revolution started at 1966 May and ended at 1976 Oct. For details, please check your library locally.**
Let me talked about the airport condition of Pune Airport 1st. I won’t put much expectation to the Domestic Airport. To me, it is quite similar to some Domestic Airports in China or Asia, like Indonesia. My colleagues told me if rainy days, your suitcase would be like in mud hell. Of course, the belt is coming from outside where no shelter. Outlook of the airport is not bad.
We collected the bags walked towards to our rented cars. It took us straightly to office. On the way to office, we saw cows ranch set in front of the house. Cows are wandering around the roads. They don’t scare cars. They expect cars would drive around them.
Lives stock, including pigs and goats, are raised “organically”. People don’t feed them. Instead, owners let them eat around as there are so many abandon lands. Cows condition is not good. They are too skinny. Pig is fat. Goats are skinny too. From what we could see on the road, Indian don’t eat dogs. Many dogs on the roads.
Didn’t check since when India conducts x-ray screening in shopping mall and hotels. You need to put all your bags, excluding handbags, on it. The “little room” to further screen check Ladies is really funny. The room is made in iron plate. Whenever you get through the gate, it beeps, you will be invited into that little room. Most of the woman would get beeps because of their bra got wires.
Working in Pune for 3.5 days didn’t kill our shopping mood. We could manage to do some in the last day. The bangles cost me US$1.5. Textile there is cheap and quality is good. Total price for these outfits I could only buy 1 pieces of tee-shirt in HK.
24 Jan afternoon, we took road trip to Mumbai then fly back home. It was 5 hours road trip. On the way to Mumbai, we saw mountains without much trees on it. Moreover, the scenery is pretty.
When we got close to Mumbai, roads started narrow that could allow two cars passed. I could see stalls, selling living stocks, stuffs and vegetables aside.Garbage slump is next to the place they sell vegetables. They put vegetables on the road. Chicken sold with skin off.
Hardly to arrive Mumbai departure hall. It is much bigger. Feel like I were in US Domestic airport. Another particulars related to “checks” every visitors to India needs to pay attention. When you travel in and out from India, regardless which ports, you need to make sure you have luggage tag attached to each of your hand carry bags, including your handbags. It is for customs to stamp on it after checking the bags. When you finished all x-ray screening, you need to make sure all tags are stamped, including your boarding pass. I saw passengers are rejected to go through the customs because her handbag doesn’s have tag attached. Also saw passengers are rejected to be on-boarding the plane because of no stamp on the tag.
Moreover, this trip told me Emirates’ meal on domestic flight are really suck. Thought I am Chinese so not get used to their meal. When I saw local Indians only eat the grains, I learnt that I am not that picky. Make sure you eat something on ground before taking off.
Finally, I reached my home on 25 Jan afternoon. It is an experience.