henkybaby
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Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:41 am

.

Diversity is the spice of life!


Part 2: Fighting with bureacracy and escaping India.

BACKGROUND


This report is part of a long trip from Goa to Denpassar (Bali). Because it became to lenghty to post as one I cut it into three parts. This is part 2.
Part 1 can be found here: Kingfisher Y - Goa To BOM (by henkybaby Mar 2 2010 in Trip Reports)
Part 3 can be found here: The CX Upper Deck Experience: HKG-DPS In J (by henkybaby Mar 2 2010 in Trip Reports)

This report deals with everything from the transfer in BOM to arriving in Hong Kong. I flew CX. This would be the first time I would fly their infamous herringbone J class for any lenght of time. I had flown it once from MNL to HKG but that was only an hour. I did recall I found it very claustrofobic so I was not necessarily looking forward to it. As usual I was being way too critical and the product is quite acceptable, although no match for BA J (hard product that is).

I had flown CX from BKK to BOM

A Long Trip From Thailand To Goa. TG, CX And IT. (by henkybaby Feb 21 2010 in Trip Reports)

and that was a very poor experience to say the least. CX surprised me this time with good crews on the BOM-HKG leg and a simply outstanding crew on the HKG-DPS leg. The tough part was getting out of India.


CX684
Airbus 34B
Seat 20K (Business)
Load factor: 60% in J
Dep: 04:05 (actual 05:25)
Arr: 11:45 (actual 13:15)


We had arrived in BOM Domestic around 17:40. Now it is important to realize that my next flight was at 04:05, which is the next day. And according to Indian bureaucracy that is a problem. While Richard (a nice guy I met on the GOI--BOM flight) was getting his luggage I was initiating round one of a 5 round battle to get to the lounge at BOM International. My first nemesis was the keeper of the passenger manifest of the transit bus. He refused to let me on the bus at first ("no sir, your flight tomorrow, you wait here until four hours to departure!" meaning at least 5 hours) but I blatently lied that I needed to get to the International Terminal to change my flight to the CX flight to DXB which left in 90 minutes. Since it was an 28 minute wait for the bus he now tried to tell me I would never make it but I had decided that I already won this battle. By the way: bribing these guys is useless. Richard came about 10 minutes before the bus left and used the same excuse. You might wonder why we lied, but they really will let you wait if the bus is full.

The second nemisis was am army security lady who once agains determines if you are worthy to board the bus. We did the same routine as before but she was more difficult to persuade. We got into quite a heated argument in fact. Finally I said "Listen, if you keep interviewing me for 10 minutes I will never make the DXB flight and no doubt more people will miss their connection!" . I said this pretty loud and the long line behind me was getting restless. She waived me through with noticeable contempt.

However, I am not sitting here for 6 hours! No sir (or rather: Madam)...


The bus was full and took forever. Forever being around 40 minutes. Now this is not really a sightseeing tour I can tell you. Here are some impressions of the trip...


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They stopped us to let an El Al flight leave the gate but when they could not connect the (what do you call those vehicles that push the planes again?) to the plane and they finally waved us through. That was 15 minutes of my life I will never get back.

The bus drops you off at the beginning of the International Terminal (gate A) even though gate D (CX) is another 500 meters or so. I guess a second stop is too much trouble. Richard needed 9W so he went straight in to check in whilst I proceeded to gate D. I told him to come find me in the Clipper Lounge.

My third nemesis proved to be the hardest one. I had not realized that if you travel at 04:05 AM they simply will not let you in the terminal the night before. At least, they don't want to. When I showed my itinerary to the guard he shouted at me to go away and come back tomorrow and started to physically push me away. I could see that the Dubai flight was closing so I pushed back and started to confuse him by showing him my business visa, telling him I needed to change flights and that I had a meeting in the lounge. This proved too much information and he then (literally) pushed me into the terminal. Henk 3, India 0!

I made it to the CX desk and was refused a boarding pass since security would not let me throug anyways. What? CX nemesis number 4? That was unexpected. Luckily they have kiosks at BOM so I printed my own boarding pass. Meanwhile the local CX manager (excellent chap!) got involved and sent one of his staff to try and persuade security to let me through. He came back after about 15 minutes to tell me there was "no way you will pass security before midnight, since the flight is not yet in their system (yada, yada, yada)". It was Henk 4, India 0 and I was almost cocky about my chances. I tried to bet them that I would make it through. They laughed and told me I was happy to try.

I was ready for what I felt would be my most difficullt nemesis: customs! I had my story ready (business meeting in the lounge) but was secretely affraid it would turn out to be a long wait landside. So close but yet so far. When I walked up to the desk I expected anything but what really happened: nothing. They just let me through. No problem whatsoever. Ah well... Henk 5, India 0. Final score. Security took some revenge by taking forever but at least I was going to relax in a lounge!

It turned out that RIchard had beat me to it because when I told the attendant that if he came by he was to page me he told me that he had already come in. He showed up again while I was being 'checked in' to the lounge (a long and very laborious process during which 4 people asked me for my name) and I was able to guest him in. The

Clipper lounge is actually a good place to relax!

Very comfy loungers!

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A lot of airlines use the lounge, as you can deduct from this display.


Richard was an entertaining guest and we chatted quite a bit. The food at this lounge was very nice. Good quality although a limited selection.



Around 11:00 PM my guest left and by this time the lounge was getting rather busy.



I still had a while to go so I decided on a walk. The terminal itself is very spartan. Not too many shops but some good eateries.


.


Part of BOM busy night schedule.


The BA Galleries Lounge. Did not look like anything special so I did not bother going in. It only opens 3,5 hours before the BA flight, whilst the Clipper lounge is 24/7.


At 03:30 I made my way to the gate to discover that our flight was delayed by 20 minutes (IST). Back to the lounge it was, but all the loungers where now taken. After a short wait I returned to the gate to find that everything was still in chaos.



Finally, around 04:40 they started boarding. A good hour later than planned. I was first in line but of course India would strike back, albeit weakly. Since I had used the kiosk nobody had looked at my passport and that now had to be done extensively. 5 minutes. It is probably because it is such a pretty picture in there.  

My seat: 20K


I had decided to hate the seat and it is very cramped. You can't really move your arms and to look outside you need a chiropractor with a mean streak. I had some time to make myself comfortable and get used to the seat since our captain was Mr. "5 more minutes, folks!". First of all he announced that we lost our slot and that this was the busiest time for departures in BOM. However, he expected to leave in 5 minutes. That gave me some time to make some cabin pictures.


.

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The amenity kit

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Sleeping position


It was a long wait...

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Our route


15 minutes later he came back on to announce that we had a medical emergency (not too uncommon in India I have found, maybe linked to the disproportional number of wheelchairs?) and that would take about 5 minutes. 15 minutes later he told us that the passenger was being offloaded and they were searching for the bags which would take... (you guessed it!) He was almost right. We pushed back around 05:25 and by now I was extremely tired. It is only a 4h20m flight and I could only hope the seats were good to sleep in.

Taxi to the runway


Cabin in night mode


It turned out that the seat is indeed quite comfortable for sleeping in. It can also be that I was so tired that I would have slept on a bed of nails. Knowing I was going to skip the meal I took a picture of the menu for you.



And that is all he wrote until about 40 minutes out. I woke up still groggy and tired but ready to face another day. The crew was preparing the cabin for landing and did so efficiently.

Morning!

.


I always like the approach to HKG. Such a shame I never got to do the old airport though...


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I could barely stand up straight but I sailed through customs and went to the airport express train to take me to Kowloon where I was to spend the night at the InterContinental. Although I had shopping planned I really just walked around a bit before falling asleep early. A good thing too since the next day they had a marathon and that meant either a very long and difficult trip to the airport or getting up to leave at 05:00 before they close off the streets.

You can read about part three here: The CX Upper Deck Experience: HKG-DPS In J (by henkybaby Mar 2 2010 in Trip Reports)

As always: feedback is very much appreciated if only to discover people actually read this stuff...  

[Edited 2010-03-02 03:55:41]

[Edited 2010-03-02 04:17:41]
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SeaMeFly
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:58 pm

Oh my gosh, I was exhausted from reading your report and how the bureaucracy is in India!! I can't believe the hassle one has to go through just to be in a lounge!!!

Good that you were able to talk your way into the lounge even with all those obstacles ;p ...
 
abrelosojos
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:10 pm

Personally, I have a hard time understanding your need to break security rules in other countries and count it as a score when this type of behavior would be completely unacceptable by security forces in Netherlands and/or other parts of the Europe or the U.S. And, India faces a significantly greater terror risk than most of them.

Thanks for sharing an insightful report.

Saludos,
A.
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henkybaby
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:20 pm

Although I appreciate your reading of the situation I find it frustrating that there are so many ambivalent and seemingly arbitrary rules in India. Why would international transit passengers be allowed to wait in the terminal but domestic to international are a threat and should be rudely refused entry? It is all one airport, is it not? We could debate this till the cows come home, but I have had it with Indian bureaucracy and I indeed celibate any victory over it.

At no other airport in the world did I encounter such strange 'rules'' or have I been treated as I have been in India. Exclusively by the army types by the way who I have also encountered asleep on the job, taking bribes and goofing off. They are mocked and feared even by the airport and airline staff.

We have bumped heads over comments about India before. It seems you are very sensitive to any form of criticism towards the country or its inhabitants. Believe me, I have some good friends there so my criticism is far from racially motivated.

[Edited 2010-03-02 06:25:01]
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abrelosojos
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:24 pm

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 3):
Although I appreciate your reading of the situation I find it frustrating that there are so many ambivalent and seemingly arbitrary rules in India. Why would international transit passengers be allowed to wait in the terminal but domestic to international are a threat and should be rudely refused entry? It is all one airport, is it not? We could debate this till the cows come home, but I have had it with Indian bureaucracy and I indeed celibate any victory over it.

At no other airport in the world did I encounter such strange 'rules'' or have I been treated as I have been in India. Exclusively by the army types by the way who I have also encountered asleep on the job, taking bribes and goofing off. They are mocked and feared even by the airport and airline staff.

= We will have to agree to disagree. After all, rules that may seem arbitrary or frustrating to us, might be there for a reason. I could write a novel on the moronic response at AMS after the Christmas bombing attempt, but recognize that sometimes we (the traveling passenger) do not have as much information as we thought we do.

Don't get me wrong ... I am all about breaking rules that are lame ... but I don't make it a personal contest  Wink.

Saludos,
A.

[Edited 2010-03-02 06:28:17]
Live, and let live.
 
henkybaby
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:28 pm

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 4):
I could write a novel on the moronic response at AMS after the Christmas bombing attempt

I think you mean the US response to the bombing attempt on a Delta plane that originated in AMS with a Nigerian passenger that boarded in Ghana. Yes, I agree. The world went a little crazy.  Smile

[Edited 2010-03-02 06:29:35]
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abrelosojos
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:29 pm

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 5):
I think you mean the US response to the bombing attempt on a Delta plane that originated in AMS with a Nigerian passenger that boarded in Ghana. Yes, I agree. The world went a little crazy.

= Or, the immediate Dutch response to have full body scanners (without any strict requirements from the U.S.)

Anyways, no point in spending the day on arguing this here. Thanks for your report.

Saludos,
A.

[Edited 2010-03-02 06:30:08]
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henkybaby
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:32 pm

Yes, agreed. TBS are nonsense anyways. But that is a different subject altogether.

Suffice to say that I find Indian airport security bewildering, unorganized, poor (otherwise I would not have scored a 5-0 victory) and most of all extremely rude. They are by far the exception in the larger, more organized world.
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lychemsa
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:33 pm

Well the guy got through security in Holland and Nigeria, not here so that speaks for itself.
The seats really do look claustrophobic in C. From what I gather CX service due to cost cutting has declined.
Did you enjoy Goa? Everybody raves about it but the ocean looks rough. Thank you for the report.
 
cakentennis
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:48 pm

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 7):
Yes, agreed. TBS are nonsense anyways. But that is a different subject altogether.

Suffice to say that I find Indian airport security bewildering, unorganized, poor (otherwise I would not have scored a 5-0 victory) and most of all extremely rude. They are by far the exception in the larger, more organized world.

Thanks for the interesting trip report. I feel like a lot of your experiences could have been avoided had the trip just been planned better. If I understand correctly, the staff was trying to give priority to passengers who had immediate international connections. While connecting at BOM, I find it easier to rent a room at one of the nearby hotels, rather than braving the bus journey.

Every now and then, I have people tell me that they would like to visit India and my advice is that you should prepare for the unexpected. Everything does not work the way it does in the west, but with an open mind and a little patience, it's easy to work things out. People in India are generally eager to help. I hope you have a better experience the next time you visit.
 
usflyer msp
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:27 am

WOW, CX's J class seats look quite poor! I pity the fat person who buys CX J thinking they will have some extra room! I would almost rather have 2-seats to myself in Y.
 
aa61hvy
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:31 am

Another nice report!

Oddly before I go to DPS, I am going to HKG for a few days. And oddly enough I am also staying at the Intercontinental. I swear I'm not following you, Henkybaby  
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MAH4546
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:02 am

Quoting USFlyer MSP (Reply 10):
WOW, CX's J class seats look quite poor! I pity the fat person who buys CX J thinking they will have some extra room! I would almost rather have 2-seats to myself in Y.

J seats are about a comfortable seat, not an abundance of personal space.

CX J product is among the better regarded ones. If you think CX is poor, what do you think of the others?
a.
 
henkybaby
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:33 am

Quoting aa61hvy (Reply 11):
Oddly before I go to DPS, I am going to HKG for a few days. And oddly enough I am also staying at the Intercontinental.

You could do worse but remember that Kowloon hotels are all about the view and the better shopping is done across the harbor. If you want to save a bundle on ICH hotels (they have some excellent ones on Bali as well!) check out this thread on FlyerTalk: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hotel...tels-friends-family-promotion.html

Have fun! If you have the chance and are willing to carry the extra load to Bali have some suits made in Hong Kong. They are Saville Row quality at Filene's Basement prices.
Wherever you go, there you are!
 
henkybaby
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:40 am

Quoting cakentennis (Reply 9):
Thanks for the interesting trip report. I feel like a lot of your experiences could have been avoided had the trip just been planned better.

I had little choice. I was tied in to a OneWorld Explorer ticket and these flights were the only possibility.

Quoting cakentennis (Reply 9):
While connecting at BOM, I find it easier to rent a room at one of the nearby hotels, rather than braving the bus journey.

Well, hotel rooms in Mumbai (the acceptable ones) are pretty darn expensive. At least the ones I like. That would noty be a problem but my connection would have allowed me to use it for 4 hours each way. With regards to transportation, it may save you the (not all that annoying) bus trip but it adds two equally if not more annoying taxi rides.

Quoting cakentennis (Reply 9):
Every now and then, I have people tell me that they would like to visit India and my advice is that you should prepare for the unexpected.

I have spend about 12 months in India over the last 4 years so I knew what I was facing. I also knew that the chances of me getting what I wanted were good since I know how to play the system. The reason I described it so extensively is so that it may help people less experienced.

However, I do agree. India is not for the fainthearted or unprepared.
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ba319-131
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:45 pm

Hi Henkybaby,

Another good read, thanks for posting.

Does seem you had quite a chore trying to deal with Indian bearucracy, does seem they have a few too many rules about things, not great for us who are used to the way thiungs are done in the rest of the world.

There have been numerous reports about the new CX J product, none of them make me like it or the look of it and to be honest, I'd actually now avoid CX when travelling in J as I just don't like the layout and the apparent lack of feeling of space.

Regards

Mark
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usflyer msp
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:42 pm

Quoting mah4546 (Reply 12):
J seats are about a comfortable seat, not an abundance of personal space.

CX J product is among the better regarded ones. If you think CX is poor, what do you think of the others?

I would tend to disagree with you about the purpose of buying a J-class seat. To me, a J-class seat is more comfortable precisely because it offers more personal space. From what I have read, the consensus seems to be that CX's J-class seats are poor...while the seats are great for privacy, the overall design is too narrow and claustrophobic, makes it impossible to watch a movie and eat at the same time, and (like most herringbone designs) is poorly suited for non-solo travelers. I would say that the J-class seats of most other reputable Asian carriers such as SQ blow the current CX-product away.
 
aa61hvy
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:36 am

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 13):
You could do worse but remember that Kowloon hotels are all about the view and the better shopping is done across the harbor. If you want to save a bundle on ICH hotels (they have some excellent ones on Bali as well!) check out this thread on FlyerTalk: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hotel...tels-friends-family-promotion.html

Have fun! If you have the chance and are willing to carry the extra load to Bali have some suits made in Hong Kong. They are Saville Row quality at Filene's Basement prices.

I've been to Kowloon once before just a block off the Harbor and LOVED the view. This time around, I have an in with the GM of the IC  

And I am with you on the suits, I plan on getting a few.

Thanks again!!
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lukeyboy95
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:32 pm

to comment on;

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 3):
I find it frustrating that there are so many ambivalent and seemingly arbitrary rules in India.

I highly agree with this =, and the fact that you can steer and talk your way around these rules re-enforces the fact that they are arbitary - if it was a true matter of security, it would be more black and white.

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 3):
Indian bureaucracy and I indeed celibate any victory over it.

Because it can seem like such a fight to do the simplest of things, a fight with bureaucracy that is, often you either loose or win... I understand this viewpoint.

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 3):
Exclusively by the army types

I believe they command quite a level on seniority these guys, but can be extraordinarily rude, stubborn and unhelpful.

I'd like to cite an example, incase I am accused of mindless ignorance and extrapolation;
My friend and I arrived at CCU airport before flying out to Port Blair early next morning... connections were tricky and this was the only option. The army person at the entrance dismissed us immediately, and said come back in 6 hours. The airport was open but he was being picky. I appealed once more, and admittedly my temper frayed, though I maintained politeness. Needless to say, my friend once again appealed in an hour, and we were let in. Its got no consistency... Once in the airport all was fine, however in a toilet break I dropped my passport. Somehow a couple found us and said they'de handed it in. Instead of simply giving it back, I was taken for twenty minutes of questioning from the airport MANAGER to ensure Pakistani's had not set me up to doing it to test security. It would have taken 2 minutes to assertain this was a genuine mistake but instead I was subject to this palava.

Second example; Port Blair. My friend had left an item of luggage. The army official was SO unbelievably rude and condescending and would nto help whatsoever. Utterly insulting.

Third example; In BOM, our e-ticket had only one of our names on it. A horrid army official was vehemntly denying us access. Fair enough - only one name. A passing Jet Airways staff member ( we were flying IT) shook his head in annoyance at the army official, picked up the flights manifest and within 30 seconds pointed out our names.

Safe to say, as soon as your in, Indian hospitality thrives again and all is well. But it is such an issue so often. I don't disregard security and fully respect India's position on National security. But in almsot all these cases, it seems more a case of making the passengers experience a real trial.

Luke
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
cakentennis
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:31 pm

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 18):
I believe they command quite a level on seniority these guys, but can be extraordinarily rude, stubborn and unhelpful.

I'd like to cite an example, incase I am accused of mindless ignorance and extrapolation;
My friend and I arrived at CCU airport before flying out to Port Blair early next morning... connections were tricky and this was the only option. The army person at the entrance dismissed us immediately, and said come back in 6 hours. The airport was open but he was being picky. I appealed once more, and admittedly my temper frayed, though I maintained politeness. Needless to say, my friend once again appealed in an hour, and we were let in. Its got no consistency... Once in the airport all was fine, however in a toilet break I dropped my passport. Somehow a couple found us and said they'de handed it in. Instead of simply giving it back, I was taken for twenty minutes of questioning from the airport MANAGER to ensure Pakistani's had not set me up to doing it to test security. It would have taken 2 minutes to assertain this was a genuine mistake but instead I was subject to this palava.

IMHO, you could have been more careful with your passport in a country that has a significantly greater terrorist threat than any western country. Really, 20 minutes of questioning is no inconvenience compared to some of the security procedures regular passengers have to go through in western countries to ensure that they are not 'terrorists'.

Also, in India you are not allowed to enter the airport unless you hold a valid ticket and within ~4 hours of your flight. This is necessary in India as often an entourage of people will arrive to drop off just one person at the airport. The rules are there for a reason and even though it doesn't make sense from our perspective, it is a given that you will have to deal with idiosyncratic rules when you travel abroad.

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 7):
They are by far the exception in the larger, more organized world.

There's no reason to create such a dichotomy between India and Western world. There are people who find certain rules and procedures on either side to be equally dubious.
 
lukeyboy95
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:01 pm

Oh hello Cakentennis - I hoped my comment would evoke strong reactions and they are not to offend but...

Quoting cakentennis (Reply 19):
IMHO, you could have been more careful with your passport in a country that has a significantly greater terrorist threat than any western country.

Buddy, if you drop a passport, you drop a passport. It isn't through carelesness or complaicancy. It doesn't matter whether its Baghdad or Bristol, if something falls out a pocket it can't be helped. Next time I go to a ''terrorist threat'' country I'll stick it to my forehead.

Quoting cakentennis (Reply 19):
Also, in India you are not allowed to enter the airport unless you hold a valid ticket and within ~4 hours of your flight. This is necessary in India as often an entourage of people will arrive to drop off just one person at the airport. The rules are there for a reason

Yes, and I'd agree with this. My main point is that it just isn't consistently upheld. I'm all for security - but where its properly instigated. And in any case the army let us into the terminal WITHOUT an e-ticket and 8 hours before our check-in would open... Security it tight in India, and thats the way it should remain, I just think some policies and procedures require a good old review
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Ryanair!!!
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:06 am

Sorry Henk if I sound off the mark. Just reading through your series of reports, it seems to me you are taking what you are used to back home to apply to your travels and experiences. While I am envious of your sabbatical (not many of us can afford to do it), your imperialistic imposition on how things should be run just doesn't cut it.

"When in Rome" comes to mind. A little understanding and humility won't hurt especially when you are dealing with different cultures.

From your victory march about how you overcame Indian security at the airports to pretty much everything else, I think you need to just take a moment to realise that not all things are run like in Europe. Accept it as the way things are and move on.
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FlyingFinn76
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:45 am

Hi Henkybaby,

A very amusing read on the often kafkaesque Indian bureaucracy. I'm pretty sure most of these security "rules" are not really any rules (as in "government or authority regulations") but are just thought up on the spot by the folks enforcing them to make their life easier (or to increase their chances for some bonus money).

Thanks for this, you got me hooked up on your other reports as well!
 
henkybaby
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:29 am

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 21):
Sorry Henk if I sound off the mark. Just reading through your series of reports, it seems to me you are taking what you are used to back home to apply to your travels and experiences. While I am envious of your sabbatical (not many of us can afford to do it), your imperialistic imposition on how things should be run just doesn't cut it.

Given your username I can imagine you are willing to put up with a lot while traveling. 

Let me assure you that I know India pretty well. I have worked there for 12 months out of the last 4 years. My 'battle against the system' is indeed a mere copy of how my Indian colleagues describe their outlook on life and how they react to their own society (and the government in particular). In fact 'fighting the system' explains a lot of what makes India India.

So there is no 'imperialistic vision' at all. There is a shared frustration between me and a large part of the Indian population about useless bureaucrazy (pun intended) and a shared hatred of the totalitarian behavior of Indian army/officials/anybody with power. Me and the Romans are in agreement.

[Edited 2010-03-05 01:01:21]
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SQ772
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:58 am

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 22):
kafkaesque Indian bureaucracy

Spot on... Kafka is the word.

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 23):
Let me assure you that I know India pretty well. I have worked there for 12 months out of the last 4 years. My 'battle against the system' is indeed a mere copy of how my Indian colleagues describe their outlook on life and how they react to their own society (and the government in particular). In fact 'fighting the system' explains a lot of what makes India India.

So there is no 'imperialistic vision' at all. There is a shared frustration between me and a large part of the Indian population about useless bureaucrazy (pun intended) and a shared hatred of the totalitarian behavior of Indian army/officials/anybody with power. Me and the Romans are in agreement.

Having been to BOM numerous times, I can feel your pain. I have no issues with the 300+ security points (ok ok, only 10 the last time I counted) from the point you enter the immigration area to the time you step into the aircraft... these are security measures which I have no problems enduring.

What bewilders me are some of those measures that you mentioned above. It is as if the security agencies and airport authorities sat down together one fine evening after a couple of bottles of whiskey to play a game of lets-see-who-can-come-up-with-the-most-ridiculous-rules-to-inconvenience-a-passenger. Mind you, some of these rules are logic-defying even to Indians themselves, much less a foreigner. I would consider myself a very patient person 99% of the time. I lost that 1% when I was at an airport in India recently.

Having said that, I would have to recommend BOM as one of the nicer airports to transit in... that is if you managed to get into the air-side.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 21):
From your victory march about how you overcame Indian security at the airports to pretty much everything else, I think you need to just take a moment to realise that not all things are run like in Europe. Accept it as the way things are and move on.

Sigh... It's easy to write all that you've written above and sound like a very enlightened being when you haven't set foot into India before.

I think many of us accept that things work in interesting ways in India. Some people may question, some challenge, and some accept...that's how things are. I don't think the OP was trying to be "Imperialistic" in any way...

As much as I have had some unpleasant experiences in India over the years, I must say that I am still fascinated with the country. I love the food, the sights, and the people - almost every Indian who doesn't work as a security agent or enforcer at the airport is exceptionally friendly and hospitable...
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:35 pm

Quoting SQ772 (Reply 24):
As much as I have had some unpleasant experiences in India over the years, I must say that I am still fascinated with the country. I love the food, the sights, and the people - almost every Indian who doesn't work as a security agent or enforcer at the airport is exceptionally friendly and hospitable...

Could not agree more. It is a love/hate relationship but a steady one.
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abrelosojos
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:26 pm

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 7):
Suffice to say that I find Indian airport security bewildering, unorganized, poor (otherwise I would not have scored a 5-0 victory) and most of all extremely rude. They are by far the exception in the larger, more organized world.

= And I have been to India probably more times than you have and I find their security guys to be actually super nice and helpful. Perhaps it is the approach that I take which gives me pleasant experiences and the reason I continually go back to India. The words and tone you utilize throughout the report unfortunately makes me believe that you have an inherent ingrained benchmark.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 21):
Just reading through your series of reports, it seems to me you are taking what you are used to back home to apply to your travels and experiences. While I am envious of your sabbatical (not many of us can afford to do it), your imperialistic imposition on how things should be run just doesn't cut it.

"When in Rome" comes to mind. A little understanding and humility won't hurt especially when you are dealing with different cultures.

From your victory march about how you overcame Indian security at the airports to pretty much everything else, I think you need to just take a moment to realise that not all things are run like in Europe. Accept it as the way things are and move on.

= Extremely well said. I never thought I'd be putting you on my RR  . It reminds me of SOME of my fellow white men who enjoy south east Asia because this is where the locals go beyond their call and duty to please them ... while leaving fellow locals to get crappy treatment. Back home, these people are usually just "average". So they rave about these parts of Asia because they expect in their very colonial mind-set that people in other countries should do things at their beck and call. I have a few in the Caracas office who moan daily that the locals are not as "accomodating" as in Singapore. I feel sorry for them ... these expats also could not make it work in Sao Paulo and in Mexico City ... guess its time to ship them back to their homelands  .

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 23):
So there is no 'imperialistic vision' at all. There is a shared frustration between me and a large part of the Indian population about useless bureaucrazy (pun intended) and a shared hatred of the totalitarian behavior of Indian army/officials/anybody with power. Me and the Romans are in agreement.

= Interesting. I don't see the Indian A.Net community coming up to suport your general take on the situation ... and most of them are usually very vocal.

Saludos,
A

[Edited 2010-03-05 09:32:02]
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:54 pm

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 26):
And I have been to India probably more times than you have and I find their security guys to be actually super nice and helpful.
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 26):
makes me believe that you have an inherent ingrained benchmark.
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 26):
Interesting. I don't see the Indian A.Net community coming up to suport your general take on the situation ...

Well, a lot of assumptions. However I did read some reactions here that seem to support my experiences. My Indian frame of reference consist of my 4500 colleagues of which I call at least 20 or so my friends and whom I visit quite regularly.

Your middle paragraph is just insulting to me and the others who do not share your point of view. This gives the impression that you consider yourself to be morally superior. Another assumption I do not agree with.

And to quote from one of your own TRs

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Security was also a breeze, and the terminal looked relatively un-chaotic. I had to actually pinch and remind myself I was in India. More weirdly, my Indian flight was on time the gate area had plenty of seating … and the icing on the cake was that boarding DID NOT subscribe to ILBST. What the hell?! I was so disappointed. I do not travel to India for a sterile experience.


Well sir, neither did I. I came prepared and enjoyed (to a point) my battle with bureaucracy. It is part of my love/hate relationship with India. I will gladly have the discussion with any Indian about 'beating the system'. I have yet to meet one who does not share this view and tells the tales of his/her struggle with bureaucracy and the inequality of Indian society.

[Edited 2010-03-05 10:15:59]
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abrelosojos
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:15 pm

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 27):
Well, a lot of assumptions. However I did read some reactions here that seem to support my experiences. My Indian frame of reference consist of my 4500 colleagues of which I call at least 20 or so my friends and whom I visit quite regularly.

= I apologize then. I guess I could not find all these Indians on the board who apparently share your point of view. Of course, I do not know the 4,500 Indian colleagues of yours with whom you have had conversations on Indian security. Again apologies for that.

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 27):
Your middle paragraph is just insulting to me and the others who do not share your point of view. This gives the impression that you consider yourself to be morally superior. Another assumption I do not agree with.

= I am sorry you felt offended. I was trying to understand the benchmark you were using.

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 27):
And to quote from one of your own TRs

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Security was also a breeze, and the terminal looked relatively un-chaotic. I had to actually pinch and remind myself I was in India. More weirdly, my Indian flight was on time the gate area had plenty of seating … and the icing on the cake was that boarding DID NOT subscribe to ILBST. What the hell?! I was so disappointed. I do not travel to India for a sterile experience.

= This is my day of apologizing to you. Haha. While I am flattered you went through my reports, I am trying to understand what you are trying to ascertain here. Is it that I was happy that things were un-chaotic? Or, is it that usually airports in India are chaotic? Please let me know. Either way, if some country or airport does not work for me ... example: Paris ... I don't make it a competition about whether I can beat it or not.

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 27):
I have yet to meet one who does not share this view and tells the tales of his/her struggle with bureaucracy and the inequality of Indian society.

= Sadly, the whole world is inequal. As Europeans, we should know that more than anything. I am glad there are conversations being had on them though.

Anyways, thanks again for sharing your insight. At the end of the day, I honestly am appreciative of you sharing your experiences as it is something you went through and these reports are not easy to do. While I may question your starting points, it does not take away from an excellent report.

Saludos,
A

[Edited 2010-03-05 10:19:47]
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:24 pm

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 28):
Anyways, thanks again for sharing your insight.

I edited the post you quoted from to explain why I agree with your observations about Indian airports and that for me it is also part of the fun to 'experience and beat the system', although in your case it is more 'experience'.

It did not take very long to find a quote (about 15 seconds) since I believe anyone traveling through India will become very aware of the uniqueness of the country. I did it to illustrate that you should not be so quick to judge based on assumptions you distill from trip reports. I never would assume you to be a Western Imperialist with a disdain for foreign cultures merely because you expect Indian airports to be chaotic, flights to be late and the boarding process a mess.

You should apply the same standards to your responses here as you claim to use when traveling. That could have prevented yet another underhanded insult in

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 28):
I guess I could not find all these Indians on the board who apparently share your point of view. Of course, I do not know the 4,500 Indian colleagues of yours with whom you have had conversations on Indian security. Again apologies for that.

I am no fan of passive aggressive. I merely tried to convey that you may have traveled to India a lot, but so have other people. You may think your understanding of the culture is superior, but that is not necessarily the case. The outcome of understanding a society is not necessarily appreciation.

[Edited 2010-03-05 10:29:48]
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abrelosojos
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:29 pm

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 29):
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 28):
Anyways, thanks again for sharing your insight.

I edited the post you quoted from to explain why I agree with your observations about Indian airports and that for me it is also part of the fun to 'experience and beat the system', although in your case it is more experience. It did not take very long to find a quote (about 15 seconds) since I believe anyone traveling through India will become very aware of the uniqueness of the country. I did it to illustrate that you should not be so quick to judge based on assumptions. I never would assume you to be a Western Imperialist with a disdain for foreign cultures merely because you expect Indian airports to be chaotic, flights to be late and the boarding process a mess.

You should simply apply the same standards to your responses here as you claim to use when traveling. That could have prevented the underhanded insult in

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 28):
I guess I could not find all these Indians on the board who apparently share your point of view. Of course, I do not know the 4,500 Indian colleagues of yours with whom you have had conversations on Indian security. Again apologies for that.

I am no fan of passive aggressive. I merely tried to convey that you may have traveled to India a lot, but so have other people. You may think your understanding of the culture is superior, but that is not necessarily the case. The outcome of understanding a society is not necessarily appreciation.

= You are giving me too much credit. I have no culture and no understanding of any either  .

Saludos,
A.
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henkybaby
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:38 pm

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 30):
I have no culture and no understanding of any either

Now you're just being passive-aggressive again. 

You have traveled a lot (and certainly more than I had at your age) and are an interesting frame of reference. I do remember we banged heads a few times because you find any kind of criticism of any (non-Western) society to be the result of the poster's 'unculturedness' (for lack of better term).Why?

For me it is easy to criticize my own culture (believe me, I do that a lot too!) because I know it well. I have found that the more I travel (and I spend about 6 months per year traversing the globe), the less politically correct I become. I feel more comfortable to be critical of other cultures once I understand them better.

With regards to online discussions (difficult as they are without a face and without intonation) I find that playing the ball is always more productive than attacking the players. My apologies if the last remark in the previous post seemed personal. It wasn't intended as such.

[Edited 2010-03-05 10:43:45]
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abrelosojos
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:51 pm

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 31):
Now you're just being passive-aggressive again.

= Do not confuse my comments to not keep on engaging in a banter which will have no ending with being passive-aggresive. As you said, tone and intonation are hard to measure.

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 31):
You have traveled a lot (and certainly more than I had at your age) and are an interesting frame of reference. I do remember we banged heads a few times because you find any kind of criticism of any (non-Western) society to be the result of the 'unculturedness' (for lack of better term).

= There are enough "Westerners" on this board (take a look at my RR) who can criticize without being condescending. And trust me, I have met several A.Net "Westerners" and they are NOT PC by any definition.

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 31):
I feel more comfortable to be critical of other cultures because I understand them better.

= Ok.

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 31):
With regards to online discussions (difficult as they are without a face and without intonation) I find that playing the ball is always more productive than attacking the players.

= Ignoring all the implicit charge you have accused me of, I agree  .

Again, thanks for sharing the report. I look forward to the next one.

Saludos,
A.
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henkybaby
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:01 pm

If I have offended you I apologize. I enjoy a good argument every once in a while but I prefer it to be about something, not someone. If you read anything condescending in my posts or reports, it is unintended. However, my culture gets a lot of criticism about what we consider to be our virtues: blatant honesty and directness. It is often considered by others to be simply impolite and uncivilized. I quite often agree with that assessment so maybe that is the cause of the misunderstanding.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 32):
I look forward to the next one.

It will be to Japan. Now that is a country I really have a hard time understanding.  
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ojas
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:13 pm

Thanks for sharing your TR. As a disclaimer, I do not intend to offend you personally.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 26):
don't see the Indian A.Net community coming up to suport your general take on the situation ... and most of them are usually very vocal.

What is the use of arguing?

When the security apparatus/ beureacracy is complained about in the west, Indians are supposed to shut up and obey the rules and not question their sovereignty; and when the tables turn you have an army of people giving saying how poor the security system is   (nothing specific to you )

Well, please correct me if I'm wrong, but AFAIK none of the Indian airports till date have been a victim of terror attacks nor have someone hijacked the planes from Indian airports and crashed them in the Arabian Sea/ Bay Of Bengal. So, I see no reason people complaining about the multiple checks.

Quoting henkybaby (Thread starter):
My first nemesis was the keeper of the passenger manifest of the transit bus. He refused to let me on the bus at first ("no sir, your flight tomorrow, you wait here until four hours to departure!" meaning at least 5 hours) but I blatently lied that I needed to get to the International Terminal to change my flight to the CX flight to DXB which left in 90 minutes.
Quoting henkybaby (Thread starter):
The second nemisis was am army security lady who once agains determines if you are worthy to board the bus. We did the same routine as before but she was more difficult to persuade. We got into quite a heated argument in fact. Finally I said "Listen, if you keep interviewing me for 10 minutes I will never make the DXB flight and no doubt more people will miss their connection!" . I said this pretty loud and the long line behind me was getting restless. She waived me through with noticeable contempt.

There are a lot of people who connect to the heavy number of departures to the various places till noon. If you take a look at flightstats.com There are 8 flights to the Gulf by 9W alone another 3 to DXB; to SIN, KUL etc etc. So it was obvious you don't even count on the list, and priority ought to be given to them.

But since you lied about it, you could get in the bus. So basically nothing was wrong about the person denying you to board the bus. It have been better if you had taken a Meru cab to the airport it would not have cost you more than $4.

Quoting henkybaby (Thread starter):
My third nemesis proved to be the hardest one. I had not realized that if you travel at 04:05 AM they simply will not let you in the terminal the night before

As mentioned above it is to discourage any unwanted people to get in during crowded times, and the general Indian tendency to bring 10 people to drop one person at the airport.

Now since you know so much about India, you also should know how India is prone to terrorist attacks and every bit of security at the airports does give that consolation in some way. If you have read newspapers in India you will know how almost everyday there are attempts made by people traveling with fake ids and many times they get away with it.

It is easy for Europeans (and earlier Americans) to come, stone pelt the system and go away. Ask the common man in Mumbai and see how unsafe he is. India, especially Mumbai has been a victim of terror since 1993; and it takes a person who lost his loved one what people go through. Under such realities, few checks here and there does not matter much.

The bureaucracy is a BIG headache for us in day to day life and we curse it more than anyone else in the world. But apparently what you have pointed out is not a qualifying factor. it seems you are getting out your frustration of something else on the "nemesis'" of your journey. The "system" that you and me both like to beat is not in place at the airports, they function in a different manner.

[Edited 2010-03-05 11:18:40]
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kiramakora
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:26 pm

Quoting ojas (Reply 34):
What is the use of arguing?

Ojas. Exactly why most of us have kept away from commenting on this report. There are a few users on A.Net from Europe who keep on bringing these same logic over and over and then hide behind this veil of objectivity. I personally find it best to ignore such users.

Thankfully, most of the A.Net community recognizes that in an international world, the benchmarks they grew up with are not necessarily what should govern the world.

I just came out with a very interesting trade negiotation meeting where my Brasilian counterpart snuck me a note which said:

"What do these people think? This is 1800's and we are their colony."

LOL. As I said, thankfuly, outside a few, most people are reasonable. Then again, we have plenty of these fringes in India itself.

Guess we are all doomed.
 
lukeyboy95
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:33 am

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 26):
expect in their very colonial mind-set

Alex - you called me a Colonialist once on another TR comment part and I have to say I was completely offended by this. You never had the decency to reply to my retort and I was left quite shocked that you could have banded such a comment around - and particularly in my direction. You should understand that it might be throw away to you but I took it very much to heart - not least because I am a 20 year old Scottish student and have absolutely nil colonialist sentiments - but also because I had just returned from a long and varied trip to India and had loved and fallen quite head over heals with the place and for that matter the people.

Quoting ojas (Reply 34):
Well, please correct me if I'm wrong, but AFAIK none of the Indian airports till date have been a victim of terror attacks nor have someone hijacked the planes from Indian airports and crashed them in the Arabian Sea/ Bay Of Bengal. So, I see no reason people complaining about the multiple checks.

Ojas - I certainly agree the security system is robust - one of the most robust I have ever seen - and further agree that this has manifested itself in a complete absence of aviation related terrorist acts. More power to the army and security officials for maintaining this and long may it continue. My only objections were some of the ways in which the army lot spoke to me - maybe my complaints are as simple as a little hospitality from them (fully understanding the argument that they are there to provide security and not be on a hotel reception desk). The system if highly efficient ,yes, but do you think it maybe needs a little more consistency? Dont fire brand me - I'm not trying to criticize !
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:55 am

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 36):
Alex - you called me a Colonialist once on another TR comment part and I have to say I was completely offended by this. You never had the decency to reply to my retort and I was left quite shocked that you could have banded such a comment around - and particularly in my direction. You should understand that it might be throw away to you but I took it very much to heart - not least because I am a 20 year old Scottish student and have absolutely nil colonialist sentiments - but also because I had just returned from a long and varied trip to India and had loved and fallen quite head over heals with the place and for that matter the people.

= Please let me know where I have refered to you. I am glad you are not a colonialist  .

Saludos,
A

[Edited 2010-03-05 17:01:05]
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Ryanair!!!
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:19 am

Quoting SQ772 (Reply 24):
Sigh... It's easy to write all that you've written above and sound like a very enlightened being when you haven't set foot into India before.

There's nothing to be "enlightened" about in what I observed or the way I wrote. It is just basic human courtesy to behave yourself when you are in other people's home. Would you walk into your friend's living room and start shifting the furniture around just because you do not like the positions? I do not need to set foot in India to understand this basic need for respect. The Indian system might seem red-taped-bound (and I am sure it is) and very frustrating for us to go through. But when you are in that country, and if it doesn't harm you physically in any way, just bite the bullet and do it.

There is a way to question without bordering condescending and yes, imperialistic (I still stand by that). It is the same as what the colonial rulers did when they arrived, and changed the system as they saw fit to suit what they were used to back home.

I will not say anymore about this. We have digressed enough.
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henkybaby
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:51 am

I appreciate the reply by two people from India. It is funny how different people read different things into the same text. I have asked several of my Indian colleagues to read this report and they found it funny. But they - as I pointed out earlier - share my frustration with Indian bureaucracy and that part of Indian society where anybody with any kind of power tends to abuse this power. They also know me, so they appreciate my criticism for what it is.

Believe me that I understand how India was shocked by the Mumbai attacks and how that fired their 'argument' with Pakistan. It would be good if both countries could resolve that. The hatred for Pakistan is also something that I was surprised by when I first visited India.

Many countries (Egypt, Indonesia, US and the UK and Spain in Europe to name but a few) have suffered terrorist attacks in the last decade. It has not made travel easier for us. I do not object to stricter security matters at all. I undergo the 15 to 20 security checks during a transfer with patience and a smile. However, like most 'rules' in India the one I 'revolted' against seemed arbitrary and randomly enforced.

Given that this law/rule/regulation is not published anywhere (at least, I can't find it on the Mumbai Airport website or any other official site) I even wonder if it is the law. I also did not see any publications at the airport to this effect. A regulation this important should be on the home page and on your ticket, I would think. I would not at all be surprised if the local hotel lobby had struck a deal with the local army chief and/or politicians. That is also India.

In fact, this is what the CX website has to say about it (the airline I flew):

India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai. Passengers are advised to reach airport at least 2 hours before departure for domestic flights and 4 hours for international flights,as delays due to intensified security checks are likely.


So, now I have to be there at least 4 hours before departure? Confusing, isn't it?

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 36):
I certainly agree the security system is robust

Quite obviously it is not, since it was relatively easy to circumvent the rule (again, if it really is a rule).

One thing I get quite irritated about. Any criticism of another (non-Western) country by Westerners is here (and so often elsewhere) by a quite vocal minority immediately linked to either colonialism, short-sightedness or a complete and total lack of understanding. That kills any discussion and leaves no room for parties to exchange ideas and points of view and thus the opportunity to learn. I accepted the criticism of our Indian colleagues towards the way the Dutch work and communicate and took that as input to help us work better together. Why should I be offended by their opinions? Silencing people by earmarking their opinions as colonialist, imperialist or - god forbid - racist only makes people hold their feelings and opinions inside and that is never good for either side.

I like India and I hate it at the same time. I hate it that my female employees have a more difficult time getting the respect they deserve and are still not safe at night. I hate it that the country is so dirty in places. I hate it that the government is more worried about power-plays than about its own people. I hate the caste system and how it still affects people. I am frustrated by "the system" and how everybody is always worried "it" will get them. I hate reading the little articles in the Bangalore Times about people - especially children - getting killed for apparently no good reason. It hurts me to see so much poverty. I wonder if this newfound capitalism will really benefit the country.

Because I love the people. I am proud of my staff who work harder and have more ambition than anybody I have ever met. I love their hospitality and friendship. It is because of this I criticize. Because I hope it will one day change and give them the chance to live in a more egalitarian and prosperous society.

[Edited 2010-03-05 19:00:13]
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abrelosojos
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:51 am

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 38):
I will not say anymore about this. We have digressed enough.

= Oh my God, I have agreed with you again. Must be the air in HKG.

Saludos,
A.
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:05 am

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 37):
= Please let me know where I have refered to you. I am glad you are not a colonialist  .

No I'm not- way off the mark! - so was duelly offended! I'll PM you the link at some point - its on one of Roni's reports - you said my comment was colonialist. I don't want to harp on about it in this particular post - I think it is seeing quite enough contentious issues floating around!

L.
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
kiramakora
Posts: 472
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 9:00 am

RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:15 am

One thing I will not understand is simple. You asked the question of transferring on FT and was strongly adviced against what you just did. Moreover, it was during India's hightened security alert which you knew. Yet, you still wanted to do all this. Was it to win 5-0 and prove a point? Would you not have had things go easier if you just accepted the rules?

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 39):
I have asked several of my Indian colleagues to read this report and they found it funny.

Are these the colleagues you manage and with your insights "one day change and give them the chance to live in a more egalitarian and prosperous society"?

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 39):
It would be good if both countries could resolve that.

Yes of course. It would be great. Very simple. We will do it right away.

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 39):
Given that this law/rule/regulation is not published anywhere (at least, I can't find it on the Mumbai Airport website or any other official site) I even wonder if it is the law. I also did not see any publications at the airport to this effect. A regulation this important should be on the home page and on your ticket, I would think. I would not at all be surprised if the local hotel lobby had struck a deal with the local army chief and/or politicians. That is also India.

Right. Just like the "rules" in several parts of Europe where "random" profiling is relegated to people who look visibly different.

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 39):
I like India and I hate it at the same time. I hate it that my female employees have a more difficult time getting the respect they deserve and are still not safe at night. I hate it that the country is so dirty in places. I hate it that the government is more worried about power-plays than about its own people. I hate the caste system and how it still affects people. I am frustrated by "the system" and how everybody is always worried "it" will get them. I hate reading the little articles in the Bangalore Times about people - especially children - getting killed for apparently no good reason. It hurts me to see so much poverty. I wonder if this newfound capitalism will really benefit the country.

Because I love the people. I am proud of my staff who work harder and have more ambition than anybody I have ever met. I love their hospitality and friendship. It is because of this I criticize. Because I hope it will one day change and give them the chance to live in a more egalitarian and prosperous society.

You are absolutely right. We have so much to learn. Thank you for ensuring that our future generation can be better. When you have found a solution on how to integrate the Muslims and how they do not continue to feel completely marginalized in Netherlands, let us know as well. We can use it as a base to guide us in our country which is significantly more diverse.

One thing, if you find these really noble governments who do not care about "being in power", also let us know where to find them. Maybe we can hire them as consultants to help us.

In the meantime, please run the country for us. Or, if you do really care and the poverty bothers you - make it a fairer world. Break your protective trade barriers, stop subdidizing your farmers. Oh I could go on. But then, I can't have you run me. Sorry about that.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 38):
There is a way to question without bordering condescending and yes, imperialistic (I still stand by that). It is the same as what the colonial rulers did when they arrived, and changed the system as they saw fit to suit what they were used to back home.

I could not have put it better.

Also as Ryanair!!! and Abrelosojos have mentioned, I too am done with this. Of course, it has been a illuminating read on some perspective of members.

[Edited 2010-03-05 19:31:09]
 
ronerone
Posts: 1463
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:56 pm

RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:53 am

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 41):
No I'm not- way off the mark! - so was duelly offended! I'll PM you the link at some point - its on one of Roni's reports - you said my comment was colonialist. I don't want to harp on about it in this particular post - I think it is seeing quite enough contentious issues floating around!

Hi Lukeboy95,

I remember exactly where this came from. Sorry this had to happen on my TR, and i believe it was totally uncalled for.

While we all have our own rights to an opinion, a miniscule minority on this forum think that a total write-off is necessary for those who do not submit (and stupidly i must say) to their opinionated dictatorship. Such style is so last year, and is not my cup of tea!

It's like a virus that spreads accross almost every TR!


Cheers,
Roni
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
cakentennis
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:41 pm

RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Sat Mar 06, 2010 5:22 am

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 39):
One thing I get quite irritated about. Any criticism of another (non-Western) country by Westerners is here (and so often elsewhere) by a quite vocal minority immediately linked to either colonialism, short-sightedness or a complete and total lack of understanding. That kills any discussion and leaves no room for parties to exchange ideas and points of view and thus the opportunity to learn. I accepted the criticism of our Indian colleagues towards the way the Dutch work and communicate and took that as input to help us work better together. Why should I be offended by their opinions? Silencing people by earmarking their opinions as colonialist, imperialist or - god forbid - racist only makes people hold their feelings and opinions inside and that is never good for either side.

While I agree that it's rather silly to label certain comments and criticisms from western A.net members as 'imperialist', it's the language that you used in your trip reports that has undoubtedly left most members offended. Also, statements like, "...but of course India would strike back, albeit weakly." are not in good taste.

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 39):
I like India and I hate it at the same time. I hate it that my female employees have a more difficult time getting the respect they deserve and are still not safe at night. I hate it that the country is so dirty in places. I hate it that the government is more worried about power-plays than about its own people. I hate the caste system and how it still affects people. I am frustrated by "the system" and how everybody is always worried "it" will get them. I hate reading the little articles in the Bangalore Times about people - especially children - getting killed for apparently no good reason. It hurts me to see so much poverty. I wonder if this newfound capitalism will really benefit the country.

Because I love the people. I am proud of my staff who work harder and have more ambition than anybody I have ever met. I love their hospitality and friendship. It is because of this I criticize. Because I hope it will one day change and give them the chance to live in a more egalitarian and prosperous society.

I don't know what the point of all that was, but I hope you're not pointing out these obvious flaws in the Indian system to your Indian colleagues.
 
henkybaby
Topic Author
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Sat Mar 06, 2010 6:05 am

For the life of me I cannot understand what people read into my text... If you really want to believe that I am a racist imperialist that thinks any country other than the Netherlands is underdeveloped, I don't think I can stop you. You could however not be further from the mark. I try to write my TR's with a little humor (albeit Dutch humor, which is direct and confrontational) but I will refrain to do so from now on. Since that takes the fun out of writing them altogether, I will stop doing so.

I am thoroughly offended by what people have written here, especially since it is quite obvious that they attack the player instead of playing the ball. I am very open to (and interested in) an open discussion about how cultures are perceived but I find it it below par if the discussion ends up in ridicule. I did not know it was a requirement to like all aspects of any country and that you were fair game if you wrote about it.

Please remember that what you read into reports in often in the eye of the beholder. Once you are determined that I am what you think I am you will read into the text whatever confirms your opinion. That is blatantly obvious from the last couple of posts.

For future reference: I am disgusted by developments in the Netherlands where a (imho) fascist party is becoming one of the largest forces in our political system. If this continues I would seriously consider emigrating. I am appalled by the growing divide in Europe between society and one religious group. It reminds me of a situation 60 years ago...

PS: Alex, I read through some of your TR's and could not help noticing that you yourself are not immune to the behavior you so criticize here. Two examples from two TR's:

A guy you criticized for his handling of passengers at BOM for Iran Air:

Seriously though, where does Iran Air find these agents? They are men who are relics in the service industry. The Iran Air manager in Caracas is made of the exact same fiber!

And this is how you never rebel in India

Anyways, check-in was a disaster and the queues were LONG. Moreover, the DN counter had this one guy who would come up and make arbitrary decisions on how the line should look like. My friends on the trip were absolutely amused when I blew it and gave the guy a very big piece of my mind. Needless to say, he did not bother the line anymore again.

I immediately admit both are used here way out of context and I do not for a moment consider you to be imperialist. It is just intended to show you can read what you want into anything. I enjoy your TR's. They are some of the best here on anet. Just be careful with your over-sensitive radar for imperialism, colonialism and whatever, You should think twice before accusing people you don't know. Something you have done to me and to others before. It does not suit you.

[Edited 2010-03-05 22:51:51]
Wherever you go, there you are!
 
henkybaby
Topic Author
Posts: 469
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:13 am

Quoting cakentennis (Reply 44):
I don't know what the point of all that was, but I hope you're not pointing out these obvious flaws in the Indian system to your Indian colleagues.

The point was to provide some more insight into the aspects of India I have a hard time dealing with, considering that I have to work and live there a lot of the time. With regards to pointing them out it was really quite the opposite. After about 6 weeks my colleagues (who by now trusted me) had decided that I needed to realize that India was more than a large office and The Leela Hotel. Since my main job is to improve the way offshore and onshore work together (believe it or not) they gave me a crash course in 'being Indian'. A lot of these observations I would not even have made if not for their insights and their surprising openness in telling me about (and involving me in) their lives.

Later I also had a group spend about 6 months in the Netherlands. Believe me that they were as critical of us as we can be of them. It is a very tough cultural mix. I am still wondering how to best make it work. That is also why I am always interested in discussion about it.

I love this video about the subject: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7QwxbImhZI or access it here: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/devdutt_pattanaik.html

It really is worth watching (I think) and somewhat topical since it starts with round the world travel.  

[Edited 2010-03-05 23:35:20]
Wherever you go, there you are!
 
justbala
Posts: 172
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2006 4:02 pm

RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:06 am

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 45):
PS: Alex, I read through some of your TR's and could not help noticing that you yourself are not immune to the behavior you so criticize here. Two examples from two TR's:

A guy you criticized for his handling of passengers at BOM for Iran Air:

Seriously though, where does Iran Air find these agents? They are men who are relics in the service industry. The Iran Air manager in Caracas is made of the exact same fiber!

And this is how you never rebel in India

Anyways, check-in was a disaster and the queues were LONG. Moreover, the DN counter had this one guy who would come up and make arbitrary decisions on how the line should look like. My friends on the trip were absolutely amused when I blew it and gave the guy a very big piece of my mind. Needless to say, he did not bother the line anymore again.

I immediately admit both are used here way out of context and I do not for a moment consider you to be imperialist. It is just intended to show you can read what you want into anything. I enjoy your TR's. They are some of the best here on anet. Just be careful with your over-sensitive radar for imperialism, colonialism and whatever, You should think twice before accusing people you don't know. Something you have done to me and to others before. It does not suit you.

Its not what is criticized, it more of how you do it. What Alex described was the way it happened and did not extrapolate it to include 1.2 Billion Indians into that mould. It is just about that one person!! No personal scores kept, no victory lap run, no chest thumping n proclaiming - "I am so much better than you third worlders".

As an Indian, your TR is offensive to me. The language you use is condescending to say the least. If you are not able to understand why, just sample this

Quoting henkybaby (Thread starter):
The bus was full and took forever. Forever being around 40 minutes. Now this is not really a sightseeing tour I can tell you. Here are some impressions of the trip...

If you had cared to mention that the bus wound its way throught the construction or renovation happening at BOM, it would have had a totally different tone as compared to your choice of words.

There are reasons why certain rules are in place and these rules might seem ridiculous to you, but makes perfect sense from a security and operations perspective. You should realize that a lot of people connect from the interior parts of India at BOM and their arrive at BOM many hours before their international departure. If all of them were to gain entry into the terminal and airside, can u even begin to imagine the crowd control nightmare? Unlike your observation that you were denied entry because "technically your flight is on the next day", the reason is more to do with the gap between your two flights. If you were to land at 9 AM and try to transfer to a international flight leaving at 9 PM the same day, you will be subjected to the same rule.


But you should consider yourself lucky -

1)CX was still doing the HKG-BOM-DXB run, else you wud have encountered a closed CX counter and your rampaging run would have come to a shreeking halt there!!
2)Indian rules have an unwritten "compassionate grounds" clause, which is something I sorely miss outside!! A lot of what you claim as your personal victory is a result of this.
3)India still believes in "Athithi Devo Bhava" - The Guest is equivalent to God.  

BTW , your claim of I dont hate India because I have 10 Indian friends (or that you love Chicken Tikka Masala!!) is as lame as I know a gay guy and hence I am not a homophobe!!
Flown IC , 9W , SQ , SV , GF , S2 , LX , IT , LH , OS , DN , AC , MH , 6E , MI , AA , TG , EK , QR , SG , TK , KW, UA ,
 
henkybaby
Topic Author
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RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:20 am

Quoting justbala (Reply 47):
to include 1.2 Billion Indians into that mould. It is just about that one person!! No personal scores kept, no victory lap run, no chest thumping n proclaiming - "I am so much better than you third worlders".
Quoting justbala (Reply 47):
BTW , your claim of I dont hate India because I have 10 Indian friends (or that you love Chicken Tikka Masala!!) is as lame as I know a gay guy and hence I am not a homophobe!!

Once again offensive and once again you attack the player instead of playing the ball. I have not made it a secret that India and I do not get along. We just do not click. That is unfortunate, since I have to work there. I am trying to make my adjustments but I find it difficult. I will (and have) admit to that. Now how you get from me and India not getting along to being offended is beyond me. Read into my report what you will but it by no means intended as condescending towards the country or its inhabitants. You infer what I do not imply. You put words and behavior into my keyboard.

I might add that I called CX in India the day before to inquire if there would be anybody checking me in at my arrival time and if I would be able to make it to the lounge. The answer to both questions was yes.

I have tried to elaborate on my position because I would find it regrettable if people would think I meant what you are inferring. However, every genuine attempt has only been met by more personal attacks. That is a shame.
Wherever you go, there you are!
 
lukeyboy95
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:07 pm

RE: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J

Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:33 pm

Hmmm
I hate to revert to anger management techniques but it may be time in this post for members to take a step back, a deep breath and take stock of the situation here. If your really riled count to ten slowly too.

A report has been submitted by the OP, a member has fairly added their comments but I think its pretty fair to say that its getting carried away at the moment.

IMHO far too much is being read into the simpilest of statements - and members are wrongly interpreting some of the OP's language - a style or writing which is heavy with a Dutch humour.

Quoting justbala (Reply 47):
The language you use is condescending to say the least. If you are not able to understand why, just sample this

Quoting henkybaby (Thread starter):
The bus was full and took forever. Forever being around 40 minutes. Now this is not really a sightseeing tour I can teller you. Here are some impressions of the trip...

If you had cared to mention that the bus wound its way throught the construction or renovation happening at BOM, it would have had a totally different tone as compared to your choice of words.

I mean really - I think this has no ultimatum to be offensive or condescending. How can you take an OP's description of a bus journey's a label it like that. The level of interpretation is unfounded and I worry it will digress into trip report writers having to tip-toe around issues for fear of misinterpretation and offense. Posters should be able to describe their opinions of things - it is only that of their own and most likely has no intentions to offend.

I hope that the varied response to the TR will not discourage the OPer from further contributing his valued TR's in the future.

Regards
L.

[Edited 2010-03-06 04:34:26]
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one

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