The first thing that always comes to my mind when discussing the chance of traveling to India is Seinfeld’s episode titled “The Betrayal” in which they travel for a wedding in India and Jerry replies to George on his experience so far of the flight with the title that I used for this post. I had different opportunities to travel to India on business but I was always able to avoid it and have someone else go or meetings just got cancelled, but this time I had no choice and had to get on a plane to Bangalore.
The first thing I had to figure out was the best (shortest and quickest) way to get to Bangalore. The first choice was obviously Continental or one of its Star Alliance partners, but all the options there included 3-4 legs from RDU and different stops either in USA (to connect to a US hub), Europe and even Delhi or Mumbai since almost no one flies directly to Bangalore. Then I came across a direct British Airways flight from London to Bangalore and since I have a direct flight from Raleigh to London with American, it made this the best option. Raleigh – London = 7:30 hours + London – Bangalore = 9:30 hours. A long trip but shorter in flight time and plane changes than any other combination. The only caveat is that on the return flight I can’t make the connection to Raleigh so I’ll stay a night in London to catch the direct flight the next day – Still a better option than running in 3-4 different airports or spending an extra night in India like other options offered.
The flight to India was surprisingly good. From Raleigh to London it is the best flight you can get. The plane is never full and this time I had a whole row for myself which makes it a great chance to make a flat-bed in coach. From London to Bangalore the flight was completely full but I have to say it wasn’t a mess like I was afraid. Flight was quiet and after sleeping the complete first flight I spent this one watching 3 movies on British’s 747 entertainment system. I can’t remember the last time I flew on a 747. I hate the 3-4-3 configuration, so what I did is actually seat in the end of the plane where the last 3 rows are 2-4-2. This way I’m seating in a window and there’s only 1 person next to me.
I didn’t have a chance to see much of Bangalore yet since I got early in the morning and it was still dark outside, but during my trip from the airport to the hotel I did see one cow crossing the street in the middle of the city . It happened so fast (or was it the cab driver going so fast) that I didn’t have a chance to take a picture, but I’m sure I’ll see more.
They say that the first thing that you notice when landing in India is the smell. I didn’t experience any strong smells yet but it does feel difficult to breathe here (pollution?). The one thing that I noticed from the moment I got out of the airport and still didn’t stop even when I’m sitting inside the hotel, is the constant sound of hundreds of cars honking their horn. This thing doesn’t stop and I already have a headache…