It’s time for a new calendar again. Happy new year, everybody.
Mr R and I have just returned from a 3 week trip back home (Mumbai/Goa) for Christmas and NY.
The trip began badly. We arrived at Heathrow in time to be asked to wait outside in a tent! The airport was choc-a-bloc with people and it looked like they were finding it hard to cope with the numbers. The tents were little respite from the bitter December winds. The free tea and coffee did little to cheer people up. We cursed BA. They send us tons of email updating us on everything from the size of hand luggage to what the new restrictions are; why couldn’t they send an email telling passengers to report later than advised? It would have saved us a couple of hours, plus we’d have stayed warmer.
Once we were in the airport, getting to the counter took a while. We got to the airport about 6 pm, got into the building at about 7.45, checked in baggage by 8.30, breezed through duty free and boarded at 9.30. Flight scheduled for 9.30 took off around 10.
Reaching Mumbai 8 hours later gave me the same familiar butterflies – I look forward to meeting my family, but the noise and clamour has lost its appeal. Fortunately, baby brother had come to pick us up, ensuring a smooth and hassle free ride home. And yes, nothing much has changed. Mr R comments on how the airport seems to improve with each trip. The toilets certainly are a lot cleaner. Once outside, the city seems the same. The WE highway is still dug up. New flyovers and malls dot the landscape. It still takes ages to get anywhere.
We were home.
I spent a few days in Mumbai while Mr R flew to Goa to spend time at his home, peacefully without me. I joined him for Christmas (only a 4 hour delay at Mumbai airport this time, as opposed to 8 hours last year. Things are getting better.)
The rest of the trip was full of the usual stuff : shopping, meeting friends and family, leisurely lunches and long siestas.
This holiday was memorable for several reasons: We took a day long trip back to Wildernest, my current favorite retreat. It was a well deserved break and we had a good time, even with MIL accompanying us. We managed two treks and Mr R went for looong swims while we caught up on our reading.
Back in Goa, we got caught up in the frenzy of the Save Goa Abhiyan – a people’s movement to stop the destruction of Goa. More on this later.
Back in Mumbai on the return leg, the newspapers were full of the horror story of the molestation at Gateway. I would heartily recommend that all countries issue a warning to their female citizens about India not being a safe place, day or night. Before you pounce on me, ask your female relatives, friends and acquaintances if they agree or not.
The tragedy of the multiple murders of those kids at Noida will haunt us . Or they should.
Back in the UK, all of that seems like a bad dream. Mr R and I now face having to move home within 7 days (just downstairs), shift all utilities, return this home to how it was when we moved in two years ago…And all this while we continue to go to work and honour our commitments. Our weekends for Jan are booked through already. And to think the year’s just begun…
Welcome, 2007. Be good to us!