A Travellerspoint blog

At the airport - solo travel.

Meeting people on the way to India.

sunny 22 °C
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They say every journey starts with one step. I stepped out of my flat in Glasgow on 16/1/19 at 10am and arrived at my destination, in Mysore, on 17/1/19 at 4pm. Give or take some local time changes, that would have made it around 10pm UK time. This was quite a long journey across Europe and into the Middle East, that ended in Dubai. Having changed over previously in Dubai, I recognised it to be a busy hub with passengers criss crossing the globe in a range of directions, often over great distances. I have a habit of lookng at the departure boards and I'm often in awe of the destinations listed. I wouldn't be surprised if there were citizens from most parts of the world passing through. Malaysian nuns in white habits and unique veils; Arab women in full burqa and metal face masks, that looked like the beaks of a hawk and monks clad in orange and yellow. Then there were those whom I had no idea of the land they belonged, being in national dress I didn't recognise. Although a range of nationalities crossed my path on this first leg of the journey. (Unfortunately, I didn't want to invade people's privacy so didn't take photo's).

Mary and her daughter Mirin had lived just outside Glasgow for 10 years. She was a nurse and worked in a nursing home. She was going back to Mumbai for a family wedding. She was proud to be a Christian. Next was Maryam, who I met in the deeply oppressive but much awaited smoking room. She lived in Dubai and was on her way to Fiji via Hong Kong. She was a very assertive Senior Sales Executive for a hotel chain. Maryam described herself as Egyptian/Turkish but had lived all over with her family. Her work takes her to foreign lands inspecting hotels. On asking for her favorite destination she replied Beirut, without hesitation. She went into detail about the city, food, people and dispelled the myth that it was in any way dangerous. She compared it to the the troubles in Northern Ireland in the latter parts of the 20th century. So in the same way that risks of terrorism have been greatly lessened in the likes of Belfast, it's a similar situation in Beirut. Yes you can never be sure, but you can't be sure even in your own hometown. Maryam's insight and passion for the city led me to book a flight to Beirut in October.

I don't know why, but I was taken aback when Maryam disclosed she had a child. Her daugher is 9 and she described herself as not 'the typical mother'. She has an African nanny; who she described as "kind". Being fed up with Filipino nannies, she asked the agency for an African one, when she had a vacancy. I hope she treats her good. Then there was the Malaysian guy Tony, puffing away frantically. He has worked in a hotel in Country Clare, Ireland for 26 years. This was his first time home in 5 years.

All that smoking made me thirsty! On handing the overpriced bottle of water to the cashier, he soon told me my card was declined. Although I had informed the bank about Mysore, somehow I had forgotten to mention Dubai. Thirsty and starving. Although I did manage to buy cigarettes as I had a Scottish twenty pound note. So not all bad. Anyway it was time for my flight to Bangalore. From there, I would then take a coach to Mysore.

I slept sporadically during the fight. They woke me with a hearty breakfast. I couldn't help notice that those Emirates hostesses are so beautiful and graceful. Their designer uniforms really make you feel you are going to an exotic land. I learned from Katya, that the airline recruit from all over the world. Katya was from the territory of Siberia, spoke perfect English and lived in Dubai. Having always wanted to travel she applied to be an air hostess and was obviously successful. I asked if her parents were proud of her, she smiled and said no.

When the plane landed in Bangalore, I soon set about finding the coach station to get to Mysore. However, before that I bought some currency since Indian rupee is not avialable in the UK. The journey would take between 4-6 hours, traffic dependant and cost 800 rupee's - around £8. A few hours into the journey and we stopped for lunch. This was my first taste of authentic Indian food of the trip and I had a spicy thaili. On arriving in Mysore I looked around for the pre-paid auto stand, which I had been told to keep my eye out for. A guy from Sussex approached me, showed me the ropes and I was soon on my way. When I arrived at my host's house, she greeted me with a lovely coffee and we soon got chatting.

For those of us who travel, we quite often overlook the actual journey to our destination - well I do anyway. One of the reasons I travel is that I love meeting new people. This got me thinking of all those I have met on the way. So many people, travelling for a range of reasons and getting a little glimpse into their lives. For me this is all part of the learning and inspiration process!

Posted by katieshevlin62 04:01 Comments (6)

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