Since Anna Shetty was travelling to Milan with Wow Dinga who was still to little to be travelling on is own, I decided to accompany them on the way.
And it proved to be a judicious decision because travelling these days has truly become night mare. With constant security checks, forms to fill, planes to change, etc etc it does help to have an extra pair of hands . So we began our journey even earlier than required as the rains in Mumbai showed no signs of letting up and Mumbai Airport was under a security threat.
Luckily though it didn’t turn out too bad….Mumbai airport surprisingly had a special queue for mothers with infants and we whizzed through racing with two old ladies in wheelchairs till the actual security check. There it was a typical mess with inept police women who didn’t know much dealing with women who kept asking them why they didn’t know who they were.
Finally we boarded the plane, my first ever flight with Lufthansa. The cabin crew were friendly and helpful but the inflight food and entertainment were distinctly bad. Luckily a couple of ship pies sitting next to me provided the inflight entrainment with their constant bantering with the air hostess who could see through their game and deftly put them in their place.
The flight surprisingly was quite empty and the four children on board were surprisingly well behaved including Wow Dinga who kept me standing with him in the aisle for the major part of the journey. The plane arrived 20 minutes earlier than scheduled which turned out to be providential since getting through Passport control took quite a long time…This meant my plans of having a nice stroll through the Duty Free went for a toss! But I was happy to get on to the Air Dolimiti Embraer which flew over the Alps and got us to Milan’s Malpensa airport which was a total blast from the past. With its gaudy green walls and terrazzo tiles, I really felt I was back in the 60’s !
At the baggage hall I tried desperately to pull a trolley which I realised could only be released on payment in Euro coins. Naturally I didn’t have any and since I was already forewarned about Italian crookery was even more wary of their money changing machines and didn’t want to risk having a corrupt Italian machine gobble up my 50 Euro note! This meant that we had to lug our bags to the shuttle bus outside…..
But we made it all right to Milan’s Central Station and waited for Dr. Bones. Unfortunately my Vodafone International roaming which I had activated prior to leaving was connected to a service that only spoke Italian and we spent a good fifteen minutes in the blazing hot sun before Dr. B who was waiting on the other side of the line of buses spotted us and got us into a taxi.