We got an SMS from Indigo stating that we should plan on being at the airport early, as today was Republic Day and there was extra security check. So we booked the Uber early, around 7 am. The guy reached in time and we loaded all our bags in the boot. The first thing that both Krishnan and I noticed was the terrible state of the car, a side door was taped, the front fender seemed almost ready to fall off and the whole car seemed like it walked out of a crash :(. As soon as we got into the car, the stink was unbearable. The driver happily switched on the AC while keeping his window open and we never said anything for some time hoping the stink would go away.
Chennai is a city where you sweat, so its important to take bath atleast once or twice a day. Also the clothes have to be washed everyday. We don’t expect people to spend on deodorants but nothing stops one from cleaning themselves and using just talcum powder to stay dry and odor free. Body odor in a car driver is just unacceptable. Not just Chennai, we find this problem everywhere. The driver sleeps in the car and there is an unmistakable smell that puts me off. Have we stopped teaching children to keep themselves clean? Growing up, I couldn’t escape taking bath every single day ! Even when it was really cold in Shillong. I could take bath every alternate day during winters in Shillong, that was the only concession dad would make. Uber must give customers an option to rate the driver on cleanliness of the car and personal hygiene. Anyway, the driver was a nice guy. He was from Pudukottai and wants to go and drive a cab in some foreign country or in Delhi. He got us to the airport in time.
Please Note : Indigo has stopped having baggage drop counters or rather check-in counters. Everyone seems to be printing their boarding pass using the self service kiosks and we stood in a long queue to drop off our baggage. As always, I got Amma to stand in the ladies queue to for the security check while I dropped off our hand luggage for scanning. The queue that Amma stood in, moved so slowly that I was sure there was something wrong with every passenger. I dropped off the bags for scanning, warding off an over enthusiastic “mami” who tried to put her bags before mine … and Amma was still standing right where she was with some 6 people in front of her.
We cleared the security check s–l–o–w–l–y and got to the other side. Went over to the Travel Club lounge near gate 5, only to be told that they will charge us Rs. 1500/- for Amma as she was a guest. We both had our Amex cards and didn’t have to pay anything. Amma refused to even drink water when she heard that they will charge Rs. 1500/- for her. All of us then trooped down to the departure gate and found a store selling “idlis”. Its strange that the Chennai airport has just one store selling idlis while there are several eateries selling Momos, pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and donuts ! This airport somehow, never stops irritating me. After having our breakfast, we just sat around till our flight was announced.
Upon reaching Delhi, we picked our baggage and got a Meru cab that surprisingly had enough space for all our luggage despite the CNG cylinder in the boot. I made pongal for us at home and because Amma was coughing really badly, I made some tea as well. Ashish came over to clean the house. By the time I started unpacking it was about 7 pm. Thats when I realised that we didn’t pick our third bag – a small duffel bag that had all our footwear and the yoga mats. I had mistakenly picked up a similar looking bag. This is a first for us … we usually have tags on all our luggage and have never got our luggage mixed up this way. I called the Indigo customer service number immediately and reported about my missing bag. The customer service rep got me on a conference with the young girl whose bag I had picked up mistakenly. She said that she too had picked up our bag mistakenly as it looked exactly like hers. She has left the bag with Indigo at the Dehradun airport. They have taken down a complaint and will get back to us within 24 to 48 hours. This is a lesson for life – we will now check the tag every time before picking up our bags.
What a roller coaster day it has been :):).