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Orna's Crazy Adventure

Flying out of Mumbai and in to Zurich

SWITZERLAND | Tuesday, 15 November 2011 | Views [416]

Right now I am sitting in Zurich airport just as the sun is rising. This airport is just so nice it's like out of an IKEA catalogue! And such a nice refresher after India... I tell you, India and its administration and people skills is TERRIBLE!!!!! Luckily I had no further dramas leaving India, however, I certainly didn;t leave without further frustrations! 
Firstly when I was checking in, the guy didn't think that I could leave on an Australian passport and enter Israel on an Israeli passport. Then after I had finished checking in (and he had checked that I could indeed do as I had told him) I walked across to the other side of the airport to Immigration and started looking for an Immigration Form. When I couldn't find one I asked an Indian Official where they were and he told me I should have obtained one when I was checking in. So I told him that the guy I checked in with didn't give me one and what was his response?????????? Something along the lines of that it was MY job to ask for one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So I am expected to do their job!!! Just crazy - I was so pissed off!! So he told me I needed to go all the way back to get one, but instead I went to the nearest airline checkin and just asked for one of their forms and they kindly handed me one. 
Then of course India doesn't provide any pens on strings at a desk to assist you with filling in the form like any other airport would - luckily I found a pen in my bag.
As I again walked past the Official that told me it was job to ask for the form I gave him a very nasty greasy...in hindsight I should have asked him for his name to make a complaint! Everywhere around the airport there are sounds about making complaints!
Then as I was waiting in line to go through one security section, I saw this guy who had just been told by an Indian Official to "go over there" - there was no communication, he had no idea why he was being told to get out of line, no-one else knew either! Crazy! It was absurd! Finally someone figured out that he hadn't been given a security tag on his carry on luggage (which is the job of the check-in staff) and then of course he had to go through the whole line again. And of course the staff that sent him out of line in the first place were not able to communicate this.
THEN, as I was going through a second security section, I saw some other highly frustrated travellers who had just been told that they were missing their security tags for their carry-on baggage and they were told that there were no tags at this spot and they would have to go all the way back to check-in to obtain them!!! Which meant going through Immigration and security all over again because of their stuff up!! Luckily the traveller was really pissed off and was adamant that he wasn't going all the way back and then reluctantly one of the staff went and got some tags!! Again totally unbelievable!!!!!!!!  They probably also thought it was OUR JOB to request the security tags!!!!!!!!!
I tell you, I am HAPPY to leave that part of India behind. It is incredible how inefficient their workers are!! They could have employed another 100 staff to make sure we obtained our Immigration Forms and security tags at check-in!!! And then I'm sure there would still be problems...
And what a contrast travelling via Swiss Airways is after India!!! The people are no nice and friendly and polite!!! Wow!!! As soon as I boarded the plane the staff making the announcements were just so friendly, the flight attendents were friendly and polite, same with ground staff at the airport and one security woman even kept excusing herself when she had to pat me down after I beeped going through the detector! I have never had someone excuse themselves before!! And only just now I was given a survey to complete about their services here at the airport! 
Just to remind me of some of the culture of India that I was leaving behind, seated 2 seats across from me was an Indian man. The 2 seats in betwen us were vacant and what does he do at one point? He fully stretches out across the seats and puts his arms up behind his head so that they are resting on ME!!!! Needless to say I shoved him off pretty quickly!! The cheek is again just unbelievable... I'm sure if I had been a man he wouldn't have done that... I really do feel sorry for a lot of the women in India who live with this and cannot escape this culture and treatment. 
One thing I noticed in Goa that was different to the other parts of India I had visited was that the women seemed to be more empowered in that they were working in positions that I had only seen men working in before. I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that a lot of the Goan population is Catholic and Goa was occupied by the Portugese?? Who knows.
Anyway, what I do know is that I'm glad to have a break from the culture where men were constantly staring at me in a really irritating way and where I couldn't stare at them back cause this would be considered a turn on; and where the men would just sometimes be so rude and pushy (and the women too sometimes)!!
I know now that I am definately on my way to Israel - there are religious men dovening in the terminal!! And not just dovening, but bouncing up and down and getting really into it! I couldn't help but have a bit of a giggle! It's just a bit funny...those who are very extreme... 
Anyway, its bye from me for now from the beautiful airport that is Zurich looking out onto the beautiful misty landscape where it is 3 degrees outside!!!

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