Friday, April 29, 2011

Namaste India Pt. 2

Our plane is expected to stop at Jammu for transit before proceeding to Srinagar. After taking off from IGIA for about 30 minutes, the pilot made a special announcement. "Due to some technical problem with the plane, we'll have to return back to IGIA, Delhi because there is no technician in Jammu". Everyone kept silence for a moment until refreshment and lunch was served. That diverted passengers from getting worry for a short while. But it was a quick serving as the plane was about to land in about 30 minutes. Not much choice of food  were given. We were served vegetarian food.
Even though everyone were busy eating, I can tell most of the passenger were still worrying. I watch some of the guys stop the Chief Steward to find out the problem. I did too, but they didn't seems to have any answer. They say it's just a slight problem, and only the pilots knows about it.
Even though my sons were making some jokes in the plane, I can tell they were just as worrying too. It was  scarier when the engine starts to make loud noise about 10 minutes later. Looking at the condition of the plane, you can tell it is a very old plane, maybe more than 20 years because the color of the interior already turn yellowish instead of white.
Thanks God somehow our plane landed safely at IGIA. We waited inside the plane while a team of technicians try to repair something. It was quite sometime that my son insisted a reason from the stewardess about the plane. The stewardess replied that she is not sure. He was annoyed and raised his voice that if the plane is not safe, we should changed the plane. 2 hours later, they decide to ship us to another plane.

We arrived Srinagar Airport late that evening. After passing the customs check point, we were approached by some plain cloths police personnel. They recognize us as foreigner from our outlook. We are obviously the only alien out of the whole lot. The Man who claim that he is the CID says it is the standard procedures for all foreigners to fill the form, and asked us to be quick as we are the last batch to arrive at the airport. No photography allowed at the airport. He escorted us to our hotel representative who were there waiting to received us at the exit. Latif is the name of the hotel representative from New Star Boat House at Dai Lake. Everything was quick and rush. It was police and soldiers everywhere from outside the airport and all the way to the Dai Lake. Our first impression about Srinagar ? Since there are tight securities everywhere, it's really a terrorist state and unsafe. The old buildings which is uncompleted and unpainted most of them, it's people and soildiers hoilding guns, Srinagar does remind me of Afghanistan as seen on TV back home.  
But everything gets better and the feeling of relief as we approached tourist area especially at the Dai Lake with so many boats awaiting. Our tour starts after our check-in at New Star Boat House that evening.


Nava.K said...

I am sure you had a great time, its for sure a great place to visit.

Roger Owen Green said...

I tell you you had a better plane meal than most Americans not in First Class get these days!
ROG, ABC Wednesday team