Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag We Are In India!
26 november 2013
We Are In India!
Yes! After a 20-hour trip we finally (sorta) arrived at our destination. While writing this on 1 hour sleep in about 30 hours, Bhavvik & I are chilling in a hotel room (and listening to the Lion King soundtrack), as a compliment from the organisation. To Indian standards and I guess you could even say Western standards, it is a pretty luxuous hotel with piccolo's, air-conditioning, tv and (thank you mother Theresa) wi-fi.
The feeling I have right now is that I'm still sort of dreaming, not believing where I am. It's like you are in a completely different world, with no connection to any Western country at all. At the same time it's a pretty amazing feeling though.
Yesterday morning, at 8AM Dutch time, Bhavvik & I arrived at Schiphol Airport. After drinking some coffee with both of our parents we then said our goodbyes and left for check-in and a 7 hour flight to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The flight came with Indian food packages (not too bad actually) some super exciting movies (Life of Pi turns out to be really good when you need some sleep, right Bhavvik?) and an amazing view once we landed at Abu Dhabi International Airport at night, 20h40PM local time.
After a quick stop at the airport McDonalds (man, could we use a burger), we checked in for our next flight to Chennai, India. The security was pretty rough, guys in their military uniforms standing there and looking as if someone just stole their favourite teddybear, I did not really feel at ease. After we passed all their tests we were put in a bus who took us for a 10-minute drive over the airport to our plane from Etihad Airways - which is the national airline of United Arab Emirates.
The funny thing about an airline like this -duh- is that all the anouncements they make and the messages on the videoscreens are in Arab. To use a dutch saying, I wasn't able to make chocolate from it.
After a 4,5hr flight we arrived at Chennai Airport, India at 3.45AM local time. Time to discover if our VISAS would be accepted. Once out of the plane we first decided to have a toiletbreak - which of course was a really bad plan, since there were only Indian 'toilets' (meaning: hole in the ground) without toilet paper. After recovering from my first shock, we had to wait for almost 45 minutes in line for our VISAS to be checked. The guy sitting there looked like he really enjoyed his job and moved at an amazingly fast pace. Once it was our turn he looked at us as if we were aliens. Luckily after answering some questions and showing some information about the organization we were allowed to enter the country. Right? Think again! I think we had to show our passports AT LEAST another 12 times before we were allowed to leave the airport.
Coming outside, Raj (Director of the MM Trust), Ananth & Ashok were waiting for us. The wheather was already 25 degrees and for us it felt as if it were 40. Suitcases on the roof (who needs a trunk?!) and off we went.
Before we tell you about our little roadtrip, here are some 'rules' for driving in India:
- There are no speed limits.
- If the light is red, you don't stop. Neither do you stop with a green, orange, or blinking light.
- You drive exactly in the middle of the road, so that you are able to dodge other road users on either side.
- If you're overtaking another driver, zigzagging would be the perfect way to do so.
- While zigzagging, or overtaking, or just driving in general, honk your horn every few seconds. It's Indian for: 'I'm coming, I'm coming, get out of my way'.
- If you have to take a shit on the side of the road, you take a shit on the side of the road. Hygiene is overrated.
- You are allowed to walk on, or cross a highway where cars drive around 120km/hr. Once you cross this road, no need to rush.
- Ghost-motorcycle-drivers are pretty common.
- If you are an animal (dog/cow/goat etc) you can walk on the side of the road or in the median strip.
It was a 5hour drive and we stopped two times along the way to drink some coffee and for Raj, Ananth & Ashok to have breakfast. Since we already ate a couple of Indian meals in the airplane we skipped this breakfast. We continued our journey and at last arrived at the hotel. We will stay here for the night and tomorrow at 10AM Raj will pick us up and bring us to our appartment, where we will be staying for the coming 9 weeks. Afterwards we will follow an introduction trainee and make a workplan.
Right about now, Bhavvik & I are exhausted. We slept for about one hour and then we went to the local market to buy some drinks. The market looked like some supermarkets in the Netherlands, though ofcourse it had a lot of unknown food. The prices here are unreal. We paid not even 2 euros for 6 litres of water and four bags of chips.
Time to say goodbye for now; we are going to enjoy our first real Indian meal and then get a good night's sleep, with the big day we have ahead of us.
We hope you have a wonderfull day, where ever you may be!
Stephanie & Bhavvik
Foto's bij verslag (7)
26 november 2013 12:47 | Door: Danny Elve
goed te horen dat alles goed is en een heel leuk reisverslag, ik ze het echt voor me en dat leest prettig, keep up the good work and enjoy!!!
26 november 2013 12:49 | Door: Corrie
Hé Stephanie, fijn dat jullie zijn aangekomen in het bijzondere India. Ik ben stiekem in gedachten mee gevlogen:-)
Ik wens je een bere-mooie tijd daar en we houden contact.
Dikke knuffel en groeten aan je vriendje.
26 november 2013 20:58 | Door: Vera
Steph!!! IK heb me echt kapot gelachen om de verkeersregels in India!! Hahahaha! Wat een avontuur! Hier in Zambia gaat alles goed, hebben een mooie huis, fijne familie, wifi en een zwembad in het hostel naast ons! Klinkt bijna als vakantie ;)! Geniet ervan, succes en heel veel plezier! xx Vera