From Bangalore to Port Blair

chris (2007-12-29 17:16:07)
0 replies
It felt good to leave work. Checking out of Yahoo! Bangalore for the last time was like breaking up from school for the Summer holidays. Walking out of the building felt different somehow. Having lived for two weeks with some sort of unspoken corporate immunity, I knew that this time I was alone. It was me and India. That was a huge relief. I grinned to myself, strutting out of India's silicone valley into the complete insanity of 'airport road'.

It was the fourth autorickshaw which finally succumbed to my negotiation, turning on the meter and swerving out into the oncoming stream of vehicles, fumes and noise. On arrival at the airport, the driver added the 50% night time surcharge. I'm pretty sure his night time starts earlier than most peoples', but at 45 Rupees it was hard to complain. I paid, turned around and entered the airport.

Bangalore has two terminals - one for domestic and one for international. The domestic departures zone is a mass of scattered check-in desks, with a large x-ray scanning machine in the middle of the hall. Travellers are required to get their luggage scanned first before checking in at the desk. Boarding pass in hand, I went and sat down with a copy of the 'Deccan Herald' to wait for my delayed Jet Airways flight to Chennai.

On arrival in Chennai, I collected my bag, walked out of the airport, then walked back in through the departures entrance. I folded myself around the arms of a strip of metal-tubed chairs and dozed until 5 am. At 5.30 am I was able to check in for the flight to Port Blair. More waiting, more coffee sucked through a thin plastic straw, one more visit to the fetid boys room and it was time to board one more plane. This time to Andaman.

Chennai was distinctly warmer than Bangalore. Port Blair was warmer than Chennai. We landed around 9am to temperatures of 27 degrees centigrade. I removed my jumper before alighting the plane, then stepped out and walked over to the terminal shed.

Once all the Andaman and Nicobar permit checking formalities were over with the immigration officials, I strolled out of the airport into the mass of taxi drivers and autorickshaw owners. It was pretty hot contest out there, so I picked one randomly, clopped a hand on his shoulder and followed him to his autorickshaw, first negotiating a 50 RS fee into the center of town.