Once when I was taking a flight to Amsterdam from New Delhi, I was filling some form and took the passport out to fill the passport number. And then I went to exchange some currency. In the line for currency exchange there was a gentleman ahead of me and the young lad at the counter asked for his passport. A bell went in my head and I immediately realized that I had left my passport at the place where I was filling up my form! I ran back and I had panicked quite badly. I stood at the spot desperately trying to locate my passport but could not find it. Then a kindly voice called, saying “Are you by any chance looking for this?” and he was pointing a finger to the passport that was lying exactly at the same place where I had left it, right in front of my eyes and yet I was unable to see it! Imagine if that happened at a foreign airport!
I have been abroad only a few times and every time for work, I don’t think we have the courage (nor do I have a big salary) to spend that kind of money on a vacation. So, I never know when will I manage to land up in a new/foreign country next! That probably keeps the charm alive but I wonder if I traveled abroad often would it ever become routine for me?That reminds me of a friend who was made to travel so much that he told his manager “you are moving me around like a piece of luggage” and he was complaining about being sent to Hawaii again!
So to put the record straight I love to travel a lot and I also like to travel abroad if I get an opportunity even if it is for work. But then there are some aspects of foreign travel that feel so strange!
I am so used to the hustle and bustle of the Indian railway stations that when I encounter a platform like the one in the picture above, I used to freak out. I remember waiting for a train in Bologna that would go to Venice. I read the information board and proceeded to the platform at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time only to find it completely deserted. I was so confused that I actually went and rechecked if I was at the correct platform! When the train finally arrived not more than 10 people would have boarded it. So, now when I encounter a scene like the one above I do not get dazed but calmly wait for the train to arrive and it always does.
Tower Bridge, London, UK
Hanging on to the passport is another thing that becomes an obsession with me. I mean even in really beautiful areas (I liked the Tower Bridge area) you hang on to the hand bag that contains the passport with all your might.