Saturday, September 10, 2005

On Exchange

10th September

My First International Flight
Alitalia from Mumbai to Brussels. After the usual baggage check in and collecting the boarding pass, we cleared the immigration counter, then the security check. I hate having to wait in the security hold area. Luckily, we didn’t have to do that this time. They sent us right in to the plane. The plane was no different from other big domestic flights. We got bad seats – the very last row, right next to the restrooms! And they gave us the middle seats, four in a row.

The flight per se wasn’t so bad. I ate some snacks (they served Indian), and then watched a movie. I was kind of sleepy but I wasn’t going to miss my first in-flight movie. It was a romantic comedy starring Drew Barrymore and some guy who plays the role of a Red Sox fanatic. It was a sweet movie, good time pass. Then, I slept for a little over 3 hours and was woken up for breakfast. It was a very heavy breakfast and I ate fully, deciding to make the best use of it to fill my stomach till my next in-flight meal.

Milan Airport
We landed at Milan at 6:05 Milan time (9:40 IST). The transit area had a lot of designer wear stores – Gucci, Mont Blanc, Hermes, Versace are a few that come to my mind right now. We went to the duty free store and their cosmetics section had more stuff than I had ever seen before in my life. However, I’m not a very enthusiastic window shopper when I have to carry a heavy backpack and a laptop. So I really didn’t look around much but made better use of my time by using the restroom to brush and wash.

I generally don’t like firangs much, looks wise. But here at the Milan airport, many of the women here are real head turners. They are extremely well dressed and have good figures. I noticed that many of these Italian women have strikingly red hair. And the difference between the Europeans and the Americans is stark. The Americans are inevitably dressed in jeans or shorts, a tee and sneakers and carry a backpack. The Europeans are extremely well dressed – even those wearing jeans or Capri somehow manage to look very elegant, maybe because of their accessories – they wear smart heels and carry these small little briefcases and overall, they are quite impressive.

I need to get over this habit of converting everything into Indian rupees and getting put off by the prices. I was told that the purchasing power parity factor is 5 so I should be multiplying the prices by 5 to see how much a similar product would cost in India. That makes things a lot better. But I prefer gasping at all the prices and making sure I don’t spend too much. But now I truly understand what it means to be in a developing country…J

I spent the last 15 minutes trying to figure out how to make international calls with a credit card. When I finally figured that out, Mom’s number was busy!! I decided it would be best to call her once we reach Brussels and settle into the hostel there. It is now 9:15 am at Milan and we are waiting for the call for security check for our flight to Brussels. I’ll call from Brussels, after settling into the hostel. So my next post will be from Belgium.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice post. keep us updated about ur world thr.

Post a Comment

Go on, make my day!