India 2018 Day 24, 28th December

I messaged Raj again. Failed to get through to his phone and emailed the Hotel. I was told that he was in a meeting.

At 8am I attempted to get breakfast. I ended up ringing through three times and also to reception. Finally getting it at 10am.

At 10:50am reception rang to reminded that checking out is 11am. So I stuffed my stuff into the bags and went down to pay the difference in the bill and check out. Ravi had told me he paid but exactly what was not clear as originally he booked for two nights only. Or so I thought.

The bill included all but one night. Fine, but I wanted confirmation from Ravi what he had paid. Ravi thought he paid 3645 rupees as per the credit card (5546 rupees, less discounts) but the hotel claimed they got 1594 rupees. Rooms at 1779 plus 106.74 SGST and the same for CGST per night. So the figures did not add up to the online booking Ravi paid for. He rechecked and rang through again to say he was covering the whole bill.

So still confused I was now on the street. Two bags in hand and no clue what to do next. I eventually decided to hang out at the railway station. It was also half way between the hotel and the airport so made some sense. I attempted more messages to Raj Shabir to know what my next stage of touring was to be.

So I hung out at the station from noon until 17:00. As the nest train out was to Mumbai and takes 4 hours with the train to Kochi an hour later and taking over 27 hours I decided to go to Mumbai. Get a cab to the airport and book on the next available flight home at 02:00 or 07:00 the next day.

I got into a queue not even sure if I could get a ticket so asked. The first person's English was not too good but another man in the queue was very helpful. So some 20 minutes later I was expecting to pay some 600 rupees. It was 90! Basic ticket. 150 kilometres by road, about 190 km for the train. 4 stops. Standing room, only all the way.  In fact the ladies only carriage was empty three hours later and a young lady suggested I take a seat there. The ticket collect had thought to push me into the carriage behind the locomotive which was crush room only but decided not to pursue that. I guess being foreign and old has some concessions. I stuck up a conversation with a man who was travelling with his wife and daughter having seen off his eldest daughter who was about to take part in a cross state championship for the police force having come top of her class. I told him the father of daughters was doubly blessed.

I spent much of the time watch a little girl interact with her mother and grandmother. No seats left for these ladies. I gave her my credit card x4 magnifying glass as I saw that she was very observant. It might amuse her and she might learn from it. I passed it to her mother to give to her. A pen might have been more useful but I expected to need mine to get that flight booked. Papers - business papers man - too much!

Upon arrival I wasn't even sure it was the last stop until the doors were slammed shut and the lights turned off! I headed out slowing working out not to go back onto another platform. I was approached by a driver. Told him I wanted the airport and he said 700 rupees. For the distance about half the Delhi cabs wanted. He also said he needed 70 rupees for the toll. 40 minutes later at the airport I gave him 800 rupees (a tip).

I saw the queues to get into the airport but I needed a ticket. I was waved in the direction of a white single story hunt. No queues here. Single ticket on the next flight to London Heathrow. "Is it booked up?" No problem. 300 rupees charge on top for the credit card. Then separately another 150 rupees (his error for not seeing the 450 charge). On top of the 23,347 rupees not a problem.

I repacked my bags. Removed the Swiss tool and SD pocket knife from my carry on to the check in bag. Took out a clean shirt and under clothes to change into before the flight. Strapped that up and locked it and got in the check in queue. Then the long walk through to security. The Dell active pen puzzled the security particularly as there was no biro on it when pressed but he accepted computer pen for it. I used to have the chains on the Minox cameras picked up for separate inspection but the coil of security wire I have for locking bags up must be common to see.

I tried to exchange the rupees I had, over 11,500. But you need receipts. I know that I didn't have anything for at least two of the four times I exchanged money. But among all the papers finding one was not going to be quick. You are allowed to convert back only 10,000 rupees. So if I did get back from the Tour operator in Delhi the cash I might had to leave early and not be able to convert it back to sterling! Then again if I got the money back I would not be so worried about running out of available cash before February.

I changed shirt and under clothes in the toilet. The train journey, wearing it for a day and the grime shows.

Next the tax free shopping mall. With only one bag for carry on anything bought here would most likely have to be sent my post unless it was small.

 Last updated 30th December 2018