Monday, February 9

The Emirates

Day 1:

Feb 7th, Saturday, Morning 3 AM

I am sitting in a not so isolated Chennai airport @3, waiting for the first call for passengers traveling to Dubai in an Emirates flight EK 543. No doubt, I was pretty excited about my first international trip to Johannesburg via Dubai, but on the other side, I felt far too sleepy, and, icing on the cake was, I could see most of the passengers half slept in a manner, as if, performing some roadside gymnastics, truly, a “statue” moment.

Anyways, the first call was made to board the flight. I along with the bunch started off our journey on a very exciting note. I was more content not with the fact of boarding an international flight but for making it till here (P.S. Luck off course played a crucial role in my selection). The Emirates flight to Dubai from Chennai was all set to depart. Truly speaking, Boeing 347-700 turned out to be a helluva experience for me. You need to see it to believe it. Three parallel rows with monitors on each seat, the ambiance, the comfort level just left me baffled in a pleasant way. There were loads of movies, games, radio channels, TV and you won’t believe this, a phone to make calls from the flight to your loved ones back on earth. Truly, unimaginable. Last I saw this was in Face off movie, when Bruce Makes a call to his wife traveling in the plane hijacked at around 40k above ground.

The flight took off at quarter to 4 and in an hour, the staff served me with, I may call it as either my Friday night’s dinner or Saturday’s breakfast. Channa masala with boiled eggs and “Jacob Creek” red wine. WOW!!! That was my first reaction. But, I knew there’s more to come, after all, Emirates is known for their service. Fact: In Emirates, they serve you every 2 hours, to keep you up and comfortable on long journeys. I plucked in my ear phones and watched “Death race” movie for around an hour and a half, till the hostess came in and asked for anything to drink. I hesitated initially, like any normal Indian would do, but, then, I finally asked for a beer (only if it’s complimentary). Well, next thing was, there was a Heineken beer right on my turning meal stand and water in my mouth and passion in my eyes as it never occurred in my life history when I get to experience the taste of Heineken. As soon as this not-so-sugary nectar touched my lips, I felt salvaged. Carrying on ahead, I was fed with my second breakfast with snacks and chocolates as add-ons. The transient journey died as soon I landed in Dubai at 10 IST. Well, the 6 hour journey turned out to be a definite roller coaster for me.

Waited at the terminal for 2 hours before boarding into a new Emirates flight EK 743, hitting Johannesburg this time. The similar ambiance as I experienced in the first half, I was flooded with more beer and more wine. I decided to watch two and a half movies back to back (half because I have already seen the movie back in India). I started with “the bank job”, followed by “High School Musical 3” and finally “Singh is king” and in the meantime, I experienced the best of Dubai’s non veg in the flight along with JC wine. I would say, I was tired eating but they were not tired serving. So, we landed in Johannesburg at around 4 in the evening (7:30 IST). The worst part was, jet lag was set in. time on my wrist was nowhere in sync with the timings in SA. I got uncle SAM’s dollars exchanged in rands (SA currency) and purchased a Vodacom mobile connection in the airport itself. Frank was there to do the pickup and I settled myself in BMW 320d front seat. My second WOW experience. He offered me to drive it but I depressingly backed out. we made our way to the guest apartments where I met many Indians and got accustomed to their climate and habitat and style of living. People who were already staying in were very supportive and cordial. I met Krishna and Kiran, and these were the guys who shared their apartment with me. I had my very own personal room in SA now. No jokes!!! Late in the evening, krish and I, went to an ISCON temple which was a very enchanting experience for me. There were too many Indians there which gave an impression of being in India again. Thanks to Mahatma Gandhi, there was 1 more india but not in india. I was too tired and about to call it off for the day when a welcome party came as a surprise to me. I had “johnie walker” whisky along with butter chicken and rice. Well, this was one day in my life where I had more alcohol than water. I came back to my room and slept tight to seal the day with my first international south African blog diaries.

More to follow…


  1. its strange...

    while reading this post, all i get reminded are the days when u used to starve urself to death back in chennai!!!...having jus one meal a day!

    Times change my friend!
    All for the better and the best!

  2. Rahul now in SA ?
    Yaar dats too gud a news ;)
    Enjoy ;)

  3. oye rahul! glad to see u posting...n being sober inspite of being drunk...hehe;)
    hav a grt time da...n keep us posted.. looking fwd to it..!
    btw,amidst the company of JC n ' Heineken n' Jhony...remember the masala dosa's n bread omlettes n' SP tea...missing ur company!

  4. @ Kavi..

    as i said..its all chicken chicken chicken here....(i havr myself become a chicken...hehe)so i cant resist it anymore...even if am not starving or full...still, cing chicken adds palpitation to my taste buds..and i just love it

    @ nan

    yeah, i finally made it to SA

    @ Anoop

    thnx bro..
    yeah how can i miss those days, those moments v spent together having SPT, dosas and esp. bread ommellettes..those days r unforgetteble day SA food is better then our indian SPT... :-)

  5. Hey dude,

    good to see ur post after a long time... good that you finally reached ther and that 2 after such a "pleasant" journey, full of "Kwaab", "Shrab" & "Sbaab"... but as ANOOP also mentioned, in all these, dont forget CHENNAI'S Masala Dosa(Kwaab), SPT(Shrab) and your very own DK (Sbaab).. ;)

  6. @ Sehgal,
    no bro i wnt forget anything especially days spent with u there in A5..i'll relish all those daz forever...

    miss th days v spent together watchin movies..esp rajpal yadav scenes etc etc...


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