I had never been on a flight before and here i was ready to board an international flight, change 2 flights and 1 bus in a foriegn country i had never been to.All the immigration,checkin,security procedures seemed very intimidating.Travel briefing in the company, tips from collegues /friends seemed to turn the situation even more tense.With so many things going on in my mind , i finally came to BIAL to board a flight to Frankfurt along with my family. That added an extra emotional baggage to my already overloaded mind.
Finally it was time to checkin at the aiport and say goodbye to my family. I had thought that i would cry at this moment, but i dont know why and how , but was able to control my emotions , especially in front of my mom who was on the brink of breaking down. Then went inside the airport only to find that all the intimidating procedures were simple formalities to be finsished and did not seem complicated any more. Later came boarding the plane.To my surprise it was a Boeing 747, which i had seen only in Discovery Channel and was really excited to board this mighty Beast.It was time for take off finally.The only thing that came to my mind was the program "Air Crash Investigations" on National Geographic Channel. The take off was very smooth and without even realising, the plane was already in air.
I wanted to take out the seat belts only to find that i did not know how to take it off.I looked around to take some help from the Air Hostesses, only to find none. Then i hesitatingly asked my fellow German Passenger grinningly.She was more then ready to help me out with a friendly smile. Then came the time to eat the so called Hindu Vegetarian meal on board.There was something that resemled idli, seviyan along with black coffe,butter and fruit paste. Horrible food coupled with reapeted landings/takeoffs turned my stomach into biogas plant.Finally i landed in Dublin.The aiport was looking completely empty. I was really surprised to find an aiport with so little people.It looked more like a 3 star hotel, than an aiport.
Came out of the Airport to take the bus to Dublin. The buses were really superb. I got onto one of the Scania buses and sat in the front row itself so that i could talk to the driver about where/when to get down." Could you pls tell me when Athlone comes?"- i asked the driver with a smile.He returned with a prompt reply -"Sure..It will be about 4 in the evening by the time we reach Athlone".One thing that struck me was everyone entering the bus wished the driver and even the driver prompltly replied back with a friendly smile.Do we ever do this in our country? Even if we wish the driver, do you think that we will ever recieve any reply, let alone a friendly smile.
The travel from Dublin to Athlone was a memorable one.I did not want the journey to end as the scenery around was really superb.There was endless greenery on either sides of the road.One thing that struck me was there were only green pastures all over, i did not find fields growing vegetables,rice or anything else. Later i came to know from people here that they dont grow anything except apples.Everything is got into the country from outside.Finally , i reached my destination Athlone.But, still i could not realise that i was in fact in a foreign country and not india.Everything around me was looking like a scene from a yash chopra film.
Even after spending 3 days here at Athlone, i am not reallly feeling that i am in a foreign land which i used to see in the movies.