It has been quite sometime since I traveled. OK it is has been quite sometime since I traveled in my dictionary. I did go out in January to Alwar but I get extremely restless if I do not get out once a month. February is about to end and there is no trip in site. Let me try and rephrase this, there were a lot of trips in sight but one by one all of them got cancelled. Some got cancelled because of reasons beyond control, one got cancelled due to my own stupidity and two got cancelled even when it was not my fault.
I was supposed to travel to Kashmir in February but on the Thursday I was supposed to travel, the previous Saturday Afzal Guru was hanged! For me taking leaves is not easy particularly if it involves shifting a class. I managed to do all that only to find I was not traveling in the end. This was the trip where situations were beyond anyone’s control.
My Holiday Smile- With Kids at Lakshman Sagar, Rajasthan
So I tried to book a trip on my own. I decided my daughter and I were going to go to Jaipur for a short break. I booked the tickets with IRCTC and booked a hotel too. One day later I realized that on the dates I booked my tickets, I was required at work on that Saturday. I hardly ever work on Saturdays and in my enthusiasm to travel I completely forgot! I cancelled all the tickets. The hotel was nice they only do a notional booking and charge your card on arrival. IRCTC also refunded the money automatically. This was my stupidity.
Then there was a trip planned to Deoria Tal with my trusted guide in Uttarakhand for end of March. I was actually most excited about this one, it has been on my agenda for long. But then he called to say that there was a puja at the same dates at his home. As soon as I heard the word puja I knew the case was lost. This was probably divine intervention and who am I to question it?
Then I had a brain wave. I thought half my hassles are because of being a solo women traveler in India. So I would go abroad. With my friend Lakshmi’s advice I zeroed on Hong Kong. I asked my dad if I should go, it would be expensive and he said you should go. I asked my husband if I should go and he said please go. I asked my sister if I should go and she said do go. I asked my nephews if I should go and they reminded me how much I spent for them on a playstation. One of them added, “Why do you hesitate to spend on yourself?You should go.” I asked a friend if I should go and he said no one can stop you if you put your mind to it! But he was wrong. I even talked to Avanish who had recently been to Hong Kong and Macau. In the end I was excited and I decided to do my tickets.
So out came the credit card and I looked at the lowest fare, went to the airline website and tried to book. On the first try nothing happened. No ticket was booked nor was my card charged. So I tried again, same result. On the third attempt my card was charged and no ticket was issued. I waited for a while thinking I will get some automated message. It was not to be. It was by now quite late at night and I was really amazed. So many attempts to travel and still a naught!
Once I started talking to the call center my woes increased. They wanted me to write a mail to get a refund even when no ticket had been issued. Even IRCTC manages to issue an automatic refund if a transaction goes wrong. I can go on and on about this but to cut a long story short, I had no tickets to Hong Kong and I had a charge on my card. I am still waiting for that charge to get reversed though I have a receipt now which says they have authorized a refund.
It was then I realized that all my theories were wrong. It is Murphy that is chasing me. I sincerely have had enough. I do seriously hope he will now find someone else to chase.
I am Mridula Dwivedi and I started blogging on 'Travel Tales from India' in June 2005. Within a few months of the launch my travel blog found a mention on both the BBC and The Guardian. I also featured in a National Geographic Skoda Yeti Video.
I quit my job as a professor in May 2015. I am having a blast ever since. I do not miss my work but sometime I do miss my salary! Somewhere along the journey I ended up acquiring a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur! I now wonder why?
You can write to me at mridulablog at gmail dot com For advertising queries please check out my advertising page.
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