A little insight

I am an avid thinker. I try and make a difference in the lives of people around me. I make people laugh. My blogs might seem more on the serious side but don't let it fool you into thinking that I am a serious person. I am known more for my quick wit and ability to tickle ribs. I am also very passionate about parenting.
Anyway, as you read along, try and comment. It might just encourage me...



Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Did I just go on a vacation?

I happen to personally know a travel coordinator from hell! Unfortunately I happen to have used his services for five years now. Time and time again, I think that maybe I should just give him one more chance. Well, I just happened to give him that last chance. He screwed up so bad, that I have decided never to use his services. Ever again!

I have mentioned before about that fact that I am geographically challenged. So when it comes to travelling, I rather rely on somebody else. I know nothing about train routes and stuff. In fact, I hate trains. I can go one step further and safely say that I loathe travelling in them. I don’t mind those sitting journeys, but those overnight trips can really make me edgy. I prefer bus journeys, may be because the stinky toilets are not stuck to it. About a day before a train journey, the eating and drinking almost comes to a halt. I can assure you that in the past 5 days, I must surely not have consumed more than 500 ml of water.

I travelled to Mumbai. Was it that much awaited vacation? NO!!! I just want to pretend that the last 5 days did not happen. I cannot believe that we spend 5 days and a certainly ridiculous amount of money for nothing. The whole journey and the experiences amounted to almost nothing. So, now I am seething, knowing that, 5 days and a lot of money was wasted and I did not have that vacation that I so craved. It was terrible from the word go. By now you must have understood that I was dragged into this trip. There was a lot of emotional crap heaped on me and how I was not understanding why I should travel etc.

Like I said, I was on the edge. Once we got off the train, I told myself to stop cribbing and try and enjoy myself. I was really kidding myself. The accommodation that we ‘had’ to stay in was not really confirmed. We did not carry the address either, so we were at the mercy of the cab driver. And in a place like Mumbai, they fleece you like crazy. They can sniff an outsider. Mind you this was at 4:30 am. Now that we did not have a place to stay, we had to hunt for one. We did. And it was pathetic for the price we were paying.

Then we ‘had’ to travel on the local train. I was told that in Mumbai, you ‘must’ travel on the locals or you have not really experienced Mumbai. Well, if you ask me, I could really have done without that ‘experience’. The weather was humid, I just wanted to tear my clothes and get into a jeans n tee. But then, what am I thinking. What would the people we visit think about me! Ooops!

This gentleman that we visited was ill and his doctors have told his family that he is slipping away. Much as I felt sorry for him and his family, I had to acknowledge the fact that this man was just a neighbor to my in-laws. Yup! We went all the way to meet a neighbor! We travelled more than 2 days on stinky trains, paid hotel fare for 3 days, and what not, to see a neighbor. Can u imagine to what lengths we might go had he been a relative?? I shudder to think.

We just travelled to far and wide places in Mumbai, meeting people we could have really done without meeting. There was no time to shop or sightsee. Actually I did not care for it either. I just wanted out. I craved for those few trips that I made with my friends, where I could soak in the rain; dip into a pond, without a care. Then, it did matter how we got to our destination. Now, I have to watch what I eat, where I go, how I go etc, courtesy the fact that I have a kid. Then the whole thing of swine flu was looming large. I was worried sick.

The journey back was ridiculous. You see, we had waitlisted tickets, a fact that was kept hidden from me. We left the hotel at 10 am on Sunday, only to reach home the next day at 1 pm. We had to get off the train at 5 pm on Sunday in Pune because we did not have confirmed reservations. I was told that there are numerous buses that ply from there to Hyderabad. But as luck would have it, we managed to get tickets on the worst bus in the world, which was to depart at 7:30 and which finally started at 10 pm.

You must be wondering who is my travel coordinator, right? Well, that amazing person is my husband! Don’t laugh, you guys!!! I thought he might compliment me in the one area where I admit some weakness, i.e., travelling. According to his tales, he practically grew up travelling on trains and he knows many places like the back of his hand. Well, it looks like I have to invest in an atlas some travel books and some time on the internet if I have to travel ever again. Nope this travel coordinator is surely going to go out of business! I am not buying his plans, ever again!


Edited to add :

Shopping? You must be kidding. Where was the time? If you can count buying slippers to replace your broken one, then yes, I have shopped! We were so busy travelling like mad people from one end of Mumbai to another. I mean, none of the people we visited felt even remotely sorry for us knowing that we were travelling with an old lady and a young kid. They should have agreed to meet out. If I describe one of the eating experiences I had at a friends house, you' d really feel sorry for us. And the distance we had to travel to get there! Wow!

We did have a meal at the Leopold cafe and saw the Taj, both of which were vandalised by terrorists in November 2008. Leopold is back in business and there were those few tell-tale signs of bombs and gun shots. Sitting there, I realised how vulnerable the whole situation was.

I did not mention Neha on purpose. If there was ever a strain on our relationship, it happened this time. She really went berserk with all the travelling and the bad food. She practically lived on chocolates which gave rise to other issues. Travelling was a total nightmare. For some reason, my M-I-L who normally does not interfere when I disciplined Neha, decided to act up and interfered like crazy. So, every time I said no to a particular thing, that thing was promptly handed over by my M-I-L or husband. It did not take my tantrum free child too long to figure out how it works. She began daring me to try and discipline her. By the end of the trip, Neha even vocally said that she does not like me. It broke my heart.

When we got back, I had to really put my foot down and enforce some serious discipline. I am having to balance discipline and love very precariously now. It will take me a while to get things back in order. I am really fatigued in many ways. I am emotionally and physically strained by this trip.

19 comments:

Swaram said...

Ohhh Nooo :( Hugs to u girl! N I am myself feeling happy u r bk home nw! Gosh! What a relief!

Hope u get to njoy a well-planned nice fun vacation soon :P

Reflections said...

I came here atleast 20 mins back....I took 10 mins to read & another 10 mins to laugh my guts out;-D
When u mentioned travel coordinator in the beginning I was like thinking "Wow, hep huh!!!"

Come on, these things happen...look at the bright side....
I notice u havent mentioned Neha anywhere which means she gave u no trouble at all....which is a good thing isn't it????

Actually I prefer trains journeys anyday to the bus....yeah the loo stinks a bit if we happen to sit in tht 1st compartment. Infact I was thinking with a tinge of regret this time tht travelling in the AC compartment takes away half the fun...all those windows closed...all my pictures came out so dim;-P

And u didnt mention the good stuff like shopping....went for 5 days, some shopping wd have happened, right???

Agnes said...

I can understand.

I have some friends I love dearly but just don't like traveling with them. Because I am pretty laid back, I like to casually hang out with the locals, etc, and they are more museum-oriented, they pack sandwiches and stuff like that - not my style.

ash's corner said...

Bindu, Its sad that the trip did not turn out to be a good experience. Maybe next time you would enjoy it if there is not much on your agenda except a good vacation. I would love to show you around......

Suree said...

ohhh... thats so sad...

poor you.. but its ok ,it happens sometimes...just take rest for a while and u will be outta this frustration.

Solilo said...

Oh dear! it seems really bad. Monsoon time isn't a good time I guess.

"Then we ‘had’ to travel on the local train. I was told that in Mumbai, you ‘must’ travel on the locals or you have not really experienced Mumbai. Well, if you ask me, I could really have done without that ‘experience’."

It is said by people who are used to it. People like us who visit the city might not like it. It goes for all things about different cities. Like when I wrote that Monsoon time might not be a good time to visit Kerala, someone sent me an e-mail to correct me and I told the person that Malayalis might enjoy the weather but the people who are visiting and have plans to travel a lot might not. Yes! if they just want to relax, get massages and eat then Monsoon is good.

indianhomemaker said...

The travel coordinator you know personally from hell is your husband?!!! :)

We too have had such misadventures :) Like reaching to find we are a day too early - wrong day booked!!!

:)

indianhomemaker said...

Where's my comment? I wonder if it has gone! I was just saying that we have had some misadventures with our resident travel agent from Hell too :)

Sraboney said...

I can't believe you went all the way to Mumbai to meet a sick neighbour!!! Wow!!!

According to me, a real vacation is when you go to a place where you don't know a soul...

"You must be wondering who is my travel coordinator, right? Well, that amazing person is my husband!" Ha! Ha! I don't know what to say other than men think they know everything and will never ask for help even when they realize they've made a mistake...EGO!!!

Butterfly said...

If any of u get back to see if I have answered your questions, I have edited the post to answer u.

Reflections said...

Oops tht sounds really bad....I dont have to imagine too hard as to how frustrated u must have been.

Enigma said...

hahah, i understood that u edited the post to answer everyones queries... lol wat an experiance... #i guess for all that u should hav insisited to ur 'travel coordi from hell' (hehe ur hubby it is huh, that did surprise me LOL) that flight is the best option..heheh next time since u will gain be forced to depend on the smae person :P u better put ur foodt down on cheaper flights that will reach faster(for sure), confirmed accomodations and so on...heheh hey dear i can undertsnd the hecticness of it all and i hate to travel just for all such troubles....

An Open Book said...

Wow...that did sound emotionally and physically strained.
But look on the bright side...now you know what not to do in huge metros:)

PURPLE PAIN said...

Wow! to travel all that way to visit a neighbor...that's big of you guys! It just goes to show decency hasn't died.
About the trip....for someone who's traveled as little as you have...I think you had an ok experience. Mumbai can be the devil's reception to hell....I know, I've lived there for 8 years.
Next time try Goa, and make it a real vacation!

divya said...

Oh nooo!!! C'mon how could you trust your husband with travel plans after all the stories we told you about his travelling!
He is the guy who ran for buses, for trains all his life. Always last minute. :)
Honestly, there is no exaggerating when I say that he would definitely get on a "running plane" if they will allow it (just like the running-trains & buses he got onto!) :) It is good that they don't or else I can clearly see him throwing his luggage through a window and jumping into the plane with a big grin on his face. :D
Ask anyone in the family about his Jaipur trip and the way he got onto the train. Everyone remembers about it even though it happened over 10 years back!! :)
I feel really sorry that you had to go through a trip like that and let’s not even start on visiting all those people!!
Hope you will get a good break sometime soon da. As you know, our doors are always open for you and we are actually waiting for you guys to come over. :)

Indy said...

So sad when a trip is not what you hope for!! Hope your next one will be much much better and you come back with happy stories to share with us! :)

colours said...

Ahhhhh.... Mumbai trains, second class travel at night... sigh... things I have romanticised in my mind - don't know how I will feel when it is done...

Have not had much time to check blogs but started again yesterday...hope to be more regular with writing and reading.

Lakshmi said...

I could probably take this trip without the child. It is very hard for me to have a trip with children without our own mode of travel. I guess it is the burden of their responsibility that makes it harder on us moms.

Glad that you are back home.

Corinne Rodrigues said...

As someone who moved from Hyderabad to live in Mumbai permanently, I can well empathize with your visit here! And especially the travel by local train......only a dyed-in-the-wool Mumbaite can do it and I must confess I'll never be one! I'll always be a Hyderabadi at heart :)
Thanks for the visit to my blog and the comment!
C