It was pouring buckets while I stood on the tarmac of the Ho Chi Minh City’s International Airport, waiting the arrival of the IndiGo’s inaugural flight from Kolkata to Ho Chi Minh City! I was invited to the event in Vietnam by the IndiGo Airlines.
A few of us had the airport access to await the arrival right by the bay! The red fire engines that would give the water cannon salute were already in position. It was raining hard all the while.
I am worried about the vehicles constantly buzzing by, what if they obstruct my view just as the flight is about to park at the bay? What if I don’t get a single decent picture?
I had similiar feelings when I stood in the Amman Stadium a long time ago waiting the arrival of Pope Francis! I tell myself to breathe, an aircraft is a big thing, I cannot miss it just like that.
In a while the flight landed and disappeared on the runway. After watching for sometime, an officer in the know gave us the signal, the aircraft would be arriving at the parking bay soon.
I have my cell phone in one hand switched on to video and DSLR in another, with which I was shooting stills. I know it is a risk, I might end up with nothing in the end!
— Mridula Dwivedi (@mridulablog) October 18, 2019
Soon, flight 6E 1363 was in the view and I started shooting like crazy! But way too soon the fire engines departed! The plane got attached to the aerobridge and things got back to normal.
It was time to head back to the main building of the airport, to join in the press conference! I quickly review the pics, frantically edit a few and make them live!
At the press conference I was able to interview (Instagram style) Mr. William Boulter, Chief Commercial Officer of the IndiGo.
IndiGo has been launching a lot of new routes with lower fares. My sister and I were actually planning our annual trip to Hanoi this year. We found the best fares on IndiGo. But my sister had a family matter to take care of and we had to postpone that trip indefinitely.
It looks like I was slated to travel to Vietnam though, so here I am attending the arrival of the inaugural IndiGo Kolkata Ho Chi Minh City flight as a travel blogger. Some destinations are bound to happen and I am glad Vietnam happened to me!
I remember exactly when I visited Kolkata and it was called Calcutta then. I was in 4th standard. My dad was working with Indian Railways and it was his official trip and we accompanied him. Those were the days, we used to travel on a railway pass and stay at railway accommodations. So there was no need to search for hotels in Kolkata.
I still have a few clear memories of that trip. I remember traveling in trams and then one day my father was pick-pocketed. He went after the person and the tram started moving and me and my sister got down from the moving tram. I vaguely remember Victoria Memorial and the Howrah Bridge. These are hazy memories, after all I was just in fourth grade.
I have friends in Kolkata now and I have to revisit it one day. After all it has its own charm and it has been subject of so many popular books and movies. But somehow the right opportunity is not coming along and my leaves are limited.
If I visit Kolkata now I would like to stay in one of the Central Kolkata Hotels. And talking about hotels in India in general sets my teeth at edge. I do not enjoy hunting for a hotel and I find the prices way too high for the services they provide. And finding a clean room at a reasonable price is like finding a needle in a haystack. These days there are many online portals where I go to search for hotels but it still seems like an uphill task.
My experience in other countries has been much better. I have been particularly impressed with Malaysian hotels. Even the 5 star hotels are much better priced than the Indian ones. No wonder a lot of us are concluding that it is becoming cheaper to take a vacation abroad than in India!
I am Mridula Dwivedi, I love to travel! I started my travel blog in 2005. I have been going places since! For more details do check out my media kit! In another life I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur. I was a professor when I quit my job in 2015.
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