The Journey begins.
Business Class is always special. And more so when the airline also is good. Not that travelling by coach is bad, but the extra luxury that one gets with an extended seat that reclines all the way back and one not having to pull it up every 10 minutes for your fellow traveler either sitting beside you or behind you wanting to take a break, is in itself an added bonus. It is also a nice feeling when you are greeted with a glass of wine or Champagne, rather than the drab lemon juice (if you are lucky) or a small packet of water. And to top it all, this was Emirates.
The Business class was nice to be in, but being an old Airbus 330, the seats were cramped, even though it was a 2 – 3 – 2 combination. Not enough of width on the seats and some of the extensions not working, with an old Entertainment program, was a small consolation. However I was surely not complaining, as, if Business was this bad, one can only imagine how bad Coach was.
Five hours of flight, decent food (I don’t expect it to be Five star), the trip was surely enjoyable simply due to the fact that one could sit and sleep peacefully and not to mention that you get warm peanuts. Now, this trust me, is an absolute game changer. The very fact that your pistachios, almonds and peanuts are warm and when you have them with a chilled glass of Champagne, the melting of the same in your mouth, with the two different tastes. Simply amazing and awesome. I don’t believe words can describe the feeling that one gets at that time. With a nice few drinks, a movie here and there, of course, lying down completely stretched, a peaceful flight to say the least. Not that I would have wanted any events in there, in this day and age, an event may truly be an event. 5 and a half hours later, reached Hungary well in time, with some brilliant weather in the early 30’s (nice considering I was travelling from the high 40’s) greeting us.
Coming down to Immigration, almost stopped near the gate what with nearly a 100 people standing in front and being a weekend only a few counters open. The Airport was fairly decent and was in a way happy. We had better Airports in small cities in India, which were not only better organized, but also bigger. After what seemed like an endless wait, finally through to baggage control where we realized for the first time, how much of baggage can 18 people carry. We looked like carrying bags for a battalion.
Since it was nearing lunch time, we headed straight to Lunch, rather than to the Hotel. A fairly decent Indian place, the Taj Mahal with some decent Indian food. What was impressive, other than the fact that all Indian restaurants have some exotic Indian monument name and stood out was that the hostesses at the Restaurant were all in Sarees and they were not Indian. It did stand out, as one does not see restaurant hostesses dressed in Sari’s unless one is in a Five Star environment, where Indian tradition is promoted. Seeing that in Hungary, impressive.
Lunch was quite an affair for most of the team, as the one thing missing for all those hours of flying and being on the bus, was a lack of WiFi. No sooner had the team found out that the Restaurant had WiFi, the first priority it seemed was to get connected. FB updates, WA messages, Mails, were the top priority over lunch proving yet again of us being so dependent on technology that a few hours of being disconnected with the virtual world, leaves us in a fuzzy spot and all seems lost. The real world simply may not matter.
Post lunch continues….2