Saturday, 10 March 2012
Friday 9th - Leaving India
This isn't the view from our room but it will be an abiding memory of our stay in Mumbai. We wake up before the alarm and are waiting for the restaurant door to open. The breakfast is a bit ordinary but apart from that the Mirage has been OK - especially when their car turns up promptly and delivers us to the international terminal at the airport. There appears to be an enormous queue but we soon realise that for everybody travelling there are at least six people to say goodbye. Mums, dads, brothers, sisters, aunties, grandmas etc. Only travellers are allowed into the terminal which is not busy - indeed many of the businesses haven't opened yet. We see an offer of free wifi and register only to discover that we need to send a text from our Indian mobile number and we can't get a signal. We finally solve this by swapping the card to R's phone and get to catch up a bit on the news etc.
There is an old Rolling Stones track called Flight 505, one of D's faves. Our flight is EK505 and we are soon on board watching old episodes of the Simpsons and D discovers the Big Bang Theory. He only ever starts watching new TV shows on flights and then has to catch up on obscure cable channels at home.R informd him that this is not a new show. The flight is a bit late to take off (Indian time?) and by the time the in flight breakfast gets to us it is almost midday. The bar service also arrives at the same time and we are upgraded to double double gins, just nice with an omelette. R is worried about her reputation.
Disembarkation at Dubai is a smooth process until we decide to get some currency. R takes her travellers cheques to the desk where the bureaucracy makes Indian railways look like a 21st century ideal business model. This done we move on to the taxi rank where we are ushered towards a pink "Lady taxi" with a lady driver. No jokes here but she didn't know where our hotel was and eventually dropped us at the wrong one - the Jormand Suites, not the Jormand Apartments. There were a lot of taxis about but no drivers as they were all round the corner at the mosque. Eventually we find one with a driver who knows where our hotel is - about half a mile away.
The hotel is not in the Intercontinental league and lacks the charm of the Durg Niwas but it will do for 3 nights. It does have a kitchenette and R has been missing the chance to cook for the last month however much she denies it. We are a ten minute walk from a metro station and by the standards that we have got used to it is not too hot here yet. We take the metro down to the Dubai mall where there is a Waitrose - somewhere. This takes quite a bit of finding but we get there in the end and treat ourselves to some salads as well as attempting to comply with that excellent piece of advice - Drink Canada Dry. By the time we get back to the room we have just about enough energy to eat and turn in.