PC : Internet.
I visited Ukraine before last week (5th July to 12th July 2014 to be precise.) It was a business visit.
It was quite delayed visit due to the politically unsafe situation. Finally after many clearances, the visit was through.
If the visit is week long, i usually try to get one week end during which i move around with my camera.
Kharikiv was the place of my visit. The place has small international airport.
I try to do some research about the country or place normally. The local currency and its exchange rate – to USD and / or Indian currency – most important.
The local currency name is “hryvnia” striking resemblance to sanskrit word Hiranya means gold. I felt connected. Sanskrit somehow energises me in what ever form even in its remotest link.
Flight timing is some times confusing. I had asked for ticket on 5th (evening i meant).Ticketing is done by our travel desk. They promptly booked me on 5th early morning means 4th mid night ! I fortunately noticed it on 4th afternoon the Friday evening in the office. Rescheduling was ruled out. I rushed back home to pack.
Flight time was 0035 hrs. I reached and settled down in business lounge holding a book actually watching people around, pausing in between.
Watching people candidly is a good passtime. Many different people, many different behaviour, actions. These days hardly any one is with out tabs and PDA, smart phones – people really get engrossed so much.
I in between tried to view foot ball match. I do not follow foot ball regularly though. Just it was world cup time and hence curiosity. My son is a serious follower and plays well too.
I do not follow any game that way. I am good at playing almost any game !
I Watch the game if I find it exciting and enjoy the moment.
Time to hit the boarding gate – moved to gate number 10 ( i think..). Already a large group was waiting to board. Just then there was an announcement that the flight was delayed by two and half hours. Oh ho….. I looked around, found a reclining chair, put on alarm on my smart phone for two and half hour and slept. Announcement again – delayed further, this announcement went on three four times up to 0630 in the morning.
The duty officer and two girls on duty sheepishly announced that the flight is cancelled. Flight cancellation after you have taken the boarding card and reached the boarding gate is big mess. It is a real mess. All the “guests” became normal passengers all of a sudden. Mob gathered around the poor duty officer and the two girls on duty who had no energy in them.
People simultaneously started arguing with them. The reason was ” the brake failure”. So safety clearance was not given to fly the plane. It was a flight to Vienna and hence it was sure a connecting flight to a different destination for different people. For me too. I was safe, since i did not have anything to do next day. It was by mistake I was flying a day before. But for many it was a problem. A group of 18 were on a marriage trip. They were busy discussing their next plan. Three “Sardaars” lost their temper and started shouting at in chaste Punjabi. There were many foreign passengers. They had no clue whatsoever in the me-lee. A lady in her thirties was shouting, she was to catch a flight to Madrid and then to Barcelona to make a presentation. She vociferously asked the duty officer that who was now going to do the presentation !
Duty officer had no energy to face the mob, two girls had already vanished from the scene. He some how managed to get his boss ( I thought so…) to face the mob. By the time it dawned on to the mob that the flight has been really cancelled. So………. what next ?
People were also tired by now, wanted to hear what next. The new duty officer announced that there will be a bus that will take the passengers to a hotel and rebooking of next available flight will be informed accordingly. Those who do not want to go to hotel can go back home and will be informed about the booking for next available flight. A foreigner said loudly ” Yes I want to go home, Stockholm” He said.
I was greedy and asked why not bus for us those who want to go back home. Exasperated he showed me the board showing ” Pre paid taxi Booth”. I was not serious in asking for the bus, but wanted to test his patience.
But the baggage ??? Oh it was another exercise. Reaching arrival area from departure is not easy. It involves many security measure (they took care of it…). I collected the baggage, took a cab and came back home. Wife gave a me rude look. Explained to her over the morning breakfast, which she had not planned. ( i was not to be there for the breakfast you see…)
I flew back next day same flight same time.