Saturday, December 21, 2013

Journey unending

Ok, some disclaimers before my one reader pounces with their refuting statements. This is our experience. Lots of people do far longer journeys (across continents, to the Poles etc), even more walk barefoot across lands in search for clean water and food, people choose to not take small children anywhere because it's more pain than gain, it can be argued that there is nothing cultural to be imbibed with small wailing children who refuse to eat any of the unknown things on the menu on offer. Phew. Still, this is our journey, one where we travel when we can with our small child in tow. From his first trip to be 'shown off' in India at age 3.5 months till as recently as this week we have taken the view that even if we see or do nothing cultural travel is important to us and that we want to try and make our child see / experience what is within our possibilities. It has also meant that at the end of particularly arduous journeys where he has wailed while his suitcase went into the black hole that is the hold of an airplane I have said 'never again' only to eat my words as I've seen him interact with family and friends and amazing places he would not see if we just stayed home. 

From a few awful journeys (Rome to Venice by train, Kolkata airport at midnight and Bangkok to London flight stand out) to a seasoned traveler my nearly four and a half year old has processed the sequence of affairs that travel involve and now it's nearly a doddle. He is adventurous in his food tastes and willing to try new things even if his default setting in pizza and WHITE rice. And more than anything he loves hanging with various family members. This trip to India was a bit complex with so many changes and modes of transport but here we are enjoying Bentota in Sri Lanka with V's parents, his brother and wife and their son (whom he sees in Singapore all the time and is his absolute hero).

The journey was long but the only person complaining was me. Here it is in all it's gory detail.
1. Thursday 3am: wake up and get ready while checking if flight will take off in Delhis fog. The last three days have seen this very flight be delayed such that we wouldn't have made our connection.
2. 3.50am: wake up Kid who has been so eagerly awaiting this day of seeing his cousin (whom he saw just a week ago mind you) that he leaps out of bed and is ready in a record 15 minutes.
3. 4.15am: Meru Cab is efficiently waiting although giant suitcase has to be tied to the top as the boot has the cyclinder that powers the engine. 
4. 6.50am: Smooth check in, security and wander around shops later our flight leaves 5 minutes early. V says he turned the dial down on the fog hahaha! Only mishap was Pepsi machine where our crisps got stuck after paying Rs.50 and after which we spent another Rs.20 on a bottle on water hoping it would knock the crisps sideways. It didn't happen so some lucky attendant got both! 
5. 9.35am: Arrive Chennai where we are seeing my Aunt and uncle. By the time they arrive and we are on our way to Breakfast it is 10.35am. Chatting all the way and at Brekka we go into Saravana Bhavan in T-nagar and stuff our faces with hot crisp dosas, uttapams, idlis, ke sari and filter coffee. Then we head back to the airport.
6. 12pm: We bid them Goodbye and race into the airport where my son and his cousin (brother, twin and best friend) hug and whoop like they have been separate since birth and are from a Hindi movie.
7. 2.40pm: We check-in and our flight is half an hour late to take off. The gate information is haphazard and they keep calling us to stand in line to board and then sending is back to sit down. I entertained the boys with a jumping game. Then we boarded and V entertained the boys while I dozed and caught up with my sis-in-law. 
8. 4pm: Arrived at Colombo airport but the long immigration lines and faintly chaotic airport means that we pile into our van for 6 adults and 2 kids only by 5.25pm. 
9. Varying reports of distance and roads to take to Bentota from Colombo lead to great discussion. Our driver tells us at least 3 hours while we had all been expecting a 2 hour run. He just laughs at our questions as he meanders through the heavy traffic with great skill.
10. Thursday 9pm: Arrive at our hotel, we've managed to avoid the major car sickness by convincing the kids to sleep. We are too tired to contemplate going straight to our rooms. We settle in at the coffee shop, chatting and eating a hot meal before heading to shower and lovely hotel beds. The anticipation of a lovely holiday will give us sweet dreams.

We are here. The morning of swimming, tender coconut sipping, big meals and the evening of skipping along the lovely soft sandy beaches outside our rooms has made this all worth it.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:06 PM


    Holiday sounds fab. Enjoy the rest of your holiday. Your son sounds like a well-seasoned traveler now. Good on you.