Loads: All classes 100% full.
Date: 02nd March 2011
After enjoying Mumbai with my friend as the guide, 22 hours later, I was on the way again to BOM. My friend stayed in Bandra, approximately 45 minutes from the airport (by AUTO). I left the apartment at about 10.00 Pm, so as to beat the notorious traffic Mumbai is known for.
About Mumbai, I was too shocked by the generally lower prices than in Kampala, so I shopped a bit, meanwhile my suitcase clocked 32 Kgs (remember CX allows only 20Kgs), I tried to re-pack but I reduced until about 27Kgs.
Sat into the auto and headed to the airport. Mumbai is really NOISY, I couldn't believe all that hooting from the other drivers, and the speed was terrific, I was keeping my fingers crossed to arrive at the airport safely, and thank goodness I managed. I now salute anyone who can drive in India, they are good drivers.
Anyway, got to the airport in one piece, went through the checks by the military personnel at the entrance, which includes showing the ticket and passport and then proceeded to check-in. The presence of soldiers holding huge guns and others at different locations covered with green stuff with machine guns made me imagine BOM as a war zone, but I understand their need for security, though to me the sight was terrifying, I thought if i made one wrong move, i would be gunned down.
There was no line at check-in, I was quite early, and since I had checked in online, the process was quick and got both BPs for the two flights and proceeded to immigration. The friendly check-in agent even asked me if I had more luggage...:D . So it seemed my suitcase being over-weight was no problem. I guess
Here are the pix at BOM
By the time I left the check-in counter, the line had grown so much
I wanted to try these out, but they weren't working
BOM is quite nice
Ready to go
alot of stamping and checks at BOM
I wondered around the duty free, ate dinner at McD...surfed from one of the free laptops in the terminal and soon boarding was called. I was so tired by this time.
The gate was really crowded and I sensed the flight might be 100% full.
I love the seats on the international flights
Push back was on time. The A330 was parked in between an AF B777 and a SA A340. Took off on time. I watched a movie, the Kings Speech, meanwhile I was waiting for dinner. After the movie, I slept off. There wasn't much to discover on the AVOD. When i woke up, it was announced to be time for breakfast, I was so mad that we hadn't been served dinner. When I checked my ticket I realized there was no other meal except breakfast (my bad).
it was ok, the yogurt kind of burst and spilled onto my t shirt.
It felt cool and nice to be floating up in the air above the clouds.
One thing that also surprised me was the size of the wing, sooooo BIG, well, I imagined, what if it broke off, but well, it was a nice flight and soon decent into HKG was announced.
I was quite surprised that CX as a 5* airline, doesn't have mood lighting in the night.
And soon we landed a few minutes ahead of time.
HKG was quite fogy and visibility not the best. As you can imagine, at 9.00 AM, HKG was very busy, with all these airlines I had seen previously in Pix here, now I was seeing them physically.
So I roamed the terminal and spotted until my flight was assigned a gate.
Bye bye - good gal
HKG is really a nice and well maintained airport, no wonder they are still ranked as world's no.1 loved airport.
Fatigue caught up with me and I decided to sleep at the gate, and when I woke up, people had begun crowding it ( so the noise woke up as I had anticipated).
2. HKG - TPE - KIX (Cathay Pacific)
Loads: Business (I don't know)
Economy: about 80%
Date: 02nd March 2011
Entertainment: PTV (Regional configuration).
Boarding was on time, done randomly.
I was disappointed by the interior as compared to my flight from BOM, whose interior looked immaculate. I felt this was quite old, but I was told it is the one used for regional flights.
Comfortable legroom: And I had no neighbors, since I was almost at the back.
during Push back, I saw this, and she reminded me of home.
Then the captain announced that it would be 2 hours to reach TPE. I was shocked, as I didn't know my flight had a stop-over. I couldn't believe it. I read my ticket again and realized, ohhh (My bad, again)
Some drinks served;
The entertainment was not AVOD, so you had to make sure you get the program when it starts, so I just watched CNN which was about 2 days old (pre-recorded).
Soon we landed in TPE
TPE was quite not so busy and also very hazy.
They gave us cards who wanted to go out of the aircraft and move around. So I enjoyed the window shopping in TPE and the people were really nice.
While there, another CX bird landed from KIX. It seems like there is high traffic on the HKG - TPE route and vice-versa.
Up-close to the B747
Then I came across this
I was so AMAZED by TPE. They cater for most of the religions. For that TPE, deserves a big plus. I had never seen this anywhere else.
Since I am CATHOLIC, I entered this for a few minutes and prayed a lil bit
Boarding was called again, with quite a number of people joining the flight and, this time a proper meal served after take off.
The cabin was quite cold for me, that I asked the FAs to increase the heat, and they told me they did so, and they also gave me a second blanket. I still had the seats next to me empty.:D
After a not so eventful flight, we landed at KIX on time. There were quite a number of big birds already in place, such as EK, TG, NH and so many especially Asian. KIX is really big and we had to take a train to immigration.
Due to the arrival of so many Asian carriers at that time, the immigration lines were really long, but what to do (joined it and patiently waited).
The immigration officer again had a problem with me. He asked for my invitation, which I gave to him, and asked me why
the Japanese embassy in Uganda had given me 3 months instead of 6 as stated in the invitation (Certificate of Eligibility). Of course I didn't know the reason. SO he called his superior, my heart was racing and I thought to myself, (What if they deport me). The superior simply said, "Ohhh this must have been an error by the embassy, come and I will give you an extension". After waiting for about 15 minutes, he handed back my passport with a sticker giving me 6 months of stay and wished me a nice stay in Japan.
Customs guys also decided to single me out of all the people ( I guess because of my color being different) and they asked me a number of questions, checked my suitcase upside down (practically removed everything) and then let me go. What amazed me most is during all this time, they spoke to me gently, not like in Mumbai where they were shouting at me.
When the customs guy realized I had come via Mumbai, he took me back to immigration and informed them, the immigration officer simply told him to search me again plus my body...Ohh God...which he did and let me go about 45 minutes later.
The friends who had come to pick me up, by the time I met them, they were planning to check out the airline office to check the passenger manifest if I really had boarded the flight to come.
All in all, KIX is a really cute and nice airport. having watched its story on discovery, it was fulfilled dream to arrive in Japan via KIX.
It was winter, and as an African, I had never imagined how cold this can be....Though the Japanese always told me (11 degrees wasnt so cold). All the same Japan was a great place for the five months I spent there.
Love you Osaka.
Watch out for the departure from Japan, coming up very soon.
antskip From Australia, joined Jan 2006, 887 posts, RR: 6 Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 9480 times:
sjacob -thank you again for your great reports! I look forward to your next one! I would hope extra attention at Japanese immigration is not to do with colour! However, I do think young males (and not so young) travelling on their own do get a lot more attention - everywhere. Immigration officials seems to think the worst of young single men! I guess it is a sort of profiling. In complete contrast, I have found one gets so little attention travelling with my wife! Almost invisible, in fact! (smile)
9w748capt From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 460 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 8511 times:
Oh man - was really really looking forward to this TR - but you've exceeded bandwidth! Do you have a facebook account? you can make an album there and then put links that way - I'm pretty sure that works. Other a.netters may also be able to help you link pics if you don't want to upgrade to pro.
MillwallSean From Singapore, joined Apr 2008, 1172 posts, RR: 6 Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 8281 times:
Ah to bad not possible to see the images. I had looked forward to this report. The previous was one of the best rookie trip reports I have come across here at A.net. Pure quality and it felt like it was a seasoned pro that wrote it. You're a talented contributor.
Of course lone males get extra attention.
And when a lone African male on a first trip to Asia, extra scrutiny at security/customs was almost going to be guaranteed. Ugandan passport is still not that bad. Had it been Nigerian or another West African country I guess it would have taken twice the time.
Lone African male without Asian stamps in the passport makes extra security as certain as extra security is for young muslims entering the US wearing a long beard, a turban and having Yemeni, Pakistani and Afghan stamps in the passport...
To be honest its to do with colour and the west African drug cartels and other syndicates that send heaps of young west Africans as mules, Nigeria letter scammers etc to Asia.
My colleague at work is Nigerian. Nigerians having what probably is the worst rep there is among custom officers and drug agencies in Asia. Whenever we travel together I usually tell him Ill have a coffee and wait for you outside. He just laughs at it and knows what often will be coming.
I guess that's profiling for us. Easy for those of us not targeted but a royal pain in the arse for those that are.
As the thread starter said in Asia they always tend to be courteous in their communication and taking extra security scrutiny is so much easier when spoken to in a professional tone.
Anyway look forward to the pictures and i really hope someone else can assist the poster with advice on how to make them more accessible. As a student paying for accounts etc don't tend to be the highest priority so hopefully there is another way.
Anyway, keep up the good work.
sjacob From Uganda, joined Apr 2009, 42 posts, RR: 1 Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7595 times:
I always run into Bandwidth issues and that is why my reports keep appearing and disappearing, but I think now I will upload the photos to facebook instead for now until I get a Credit Card to pay for photobucket and upgrade
sjacob From Uganda, joined Apr 2009, 42 posts, RR: 1 Reply 10, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 6471 times:
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 9): Pictures are obviously important to a trip report - but the way you describe the experience makes me feel I was part of it. Thanks for sharing this report, and for the wonderful experience you had.
Does anyone know how to upload pictures via Facebook? I dont see the image[IMG] address as it is the case with photobucket.
Any help is welcome
9w748capt From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 460 posts, RR: 0 Reply 12, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5863 times:
Glad you got the pics working! Very cool TR. You really are very fortunate to have friends in so many places - if not at the Mumbai immigration desks It's really too bad you get so obviously profiled. I'm sure part of it is just bad luck too - I have had Indian friends visit Japan and they told me they were questioned/searched at immigration, while I was let through with no problems at all. Where did you spend your time studying in Japan? I spent a month there as a visiting medical student a few years ago (in Kyoto). It was incredible indeed! Thanks again for sharing your experiences. Safe travels!
sjacob From Uganda, joined Apr 2009, 42 posts, RR: 1 Reply 13, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5304 times:
Quoting 9w748capt (Reply 12): Where did you spend your time studying in Japan? I spent a month there as a visiting medical student a few years ago (in Kyoto).
I was doing an internship in Amagasaki city, just about 12 minutes away from Osaka by train, it was Awesome time...As for Kyoto, I would love to spend another week there, just too beautiful and traditional. Hope you too enjoyed Jp, no doubt I did....