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The Day of My Departure to India

The Day of My Departure to India

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My first flight was Tiger Airways, from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur at 9.35am. I reached Changi Budget Terminal more than two hours before departure time. I proceeded to check in immediately. After weighing my luggage and hand carry bag, the officer told me that I exceeded my baggage allowance by 4kg, and he suggested that I bring the hand carry bag on board.

So off I went with my bags, had enjoyable breakfast at McD and browsed the internet for while. At the boarding gate, I was stopped by another officer. He took my hand carry bag and told me to collect it at KL. Suddenly anxiety kicked in when I realised I might be asked to pay 80-100 SGD at KL because each kg of excess baggage is charged at 20 SGD. My flight ticket alone was only 44 SGD.

However, that day was a lucky day for me. I wasn’t charged at all. I found both my luggage & hand carry bag at the conveyor belt. Had lunch at Old Town White Coffee. Bought extra baggage allowance for my second flight, from KL to New Delhi. Watched Glee S2 final episode while waiting for check-in counter to open. Had small talk with an auntie from Penang. A chinese guy attempted to start conversation with me, but I don’t speak Mandarin and he doesn’t speak English, too bad.

Finally check-in counter was open 3 hours before departure time. I reached the counter 2.5 hours before departure. The officer asked me whether I have return ticket, accommodation booking, passport-size photograph, and sufficient money to apply for Visa on arrival in India. I got all but accommodation booking, because my volunteering organisation had arranged transport and accommodation for me therefore I didn’t need to book on my own. Anxiety attacked again, when the officer said he couldn’t checked me in because they need to see my accommodation booking. I was clueless what to do, I don’t want to go back to Singapore so soon. Luckily the officer then told me I can go to the Premium Lounge in the same terminal hall to book my hotel and print the booking. So I booked 3 nights in a hostel and tried to check in again and finally boarded the Air Asia at 5pm.

Had dinner of chicken lasagna on the plane. Made friend with a New Delhi citizen. Reached New Delhi at 8.30pm local time. Spent 1 hour applying for Visa on Arrival and queued for immigration. Stupid me, I didn’t know there’s no need to queue for immigration anymore once I get the visa on arrival. Picked up by two Tibetan guys with an Indian driver and being transferred to Hotel Ga-Khyil in Majnu ka Tila area. The two guys were very polite and tried to hold conversation with me. The hotel was very dark, it was not luxurious hotel for sure. I know it sounds unsafe, but here I am, still alive and safe 🙂

After spending one night at the hotel, my anxiety attack faded away. And I can tell you 1 thing that I missed out in my packing: the diving logbook. Well, this was no big deal, I could buy new logbook; the more important item was diving license, and I had it with me 🙂

Red Fort in New Delhi, India

This view awaits me the next day

This is Part 2 of 14 in my “India Trip in 2011” series. To read from the beginning of this trip, click here.

To see all articles I’ve written about this exotic country, visit my India page.

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McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala, India
The Day Before My Departure to India
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