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Overcoming fears, defying the odds, challenging myself, learning to trust, making new friends, and discovering myself; this journey I took is filled with astounding memories and incredible stories.

So, do check out my previous post(s) on this Thailand travel series listed below.

#1 The Road Not Taken

It started with a layover at the ‘city of joy!’, Kolkata.

Direct flight to Bangkok was damn expensive and would undoubtedly leave a hole in our budget, so we decided on layover option as it would save a lot of money for us! I for one was very excited about landing in Kolkata as it had always been my desire  to explore that city. After hearing a lot about the beauty of Kolkata during ‘Durga Pooja‘ from my friend Saumy, the invisible connect I share with Kolkata just grew stronger!

As much as I hate to do so, I must confess that the first couple of hours after landing in Kolkata turned out to be alarming, contrary to what I had in mind! The flight we opted for was not a connecting flight, so we had to check-out our baggage and depart from the domestic terminal (the connecting way to international terminal was closed on that day) and check-in again at the international terminal. All was well until we realized that there were only a couple of food outlets available before the departure gate and those were not open at that hour. The most depressing part was the thought of having to stay idle for 10 hours without food when I was starving!

As a kid, I used to irritate my mom to the core whenever there was a slight delay from her end in cooking a meal when I was hungry; well, some of it didn’t change even now! By now you might have a vague idea that it is highly unlikely of me to stay sane without satisfying the needs of my  rumbling tummy.

If only I listened to my dad and had a filling meal before I left for the airport’ was the only thought that lingered in my subconscious!

Well, we had to do something with that 10 odd hours than just sitting it out in the waiting area outside the departure gate. ‘Why not explore the city roads at night’ we thought. Once that was decided, we approached the security at the exit gate and came to know that we cannot just step out of the airport with the baggage! I just couldn’t follow the reasons the guard gave us on why can’t we leave, so, the obvious thing to do was take help of the airline staff. We did that, and the person we spoke to, understood our problem and came along with us to talk to the security. 

That was when the drama began; the guard indirectly suggested that we can leave the airport only if there were medical or other emergencies. To that suggestion, my innocent self repeatedly answered, ‘But Sir, we do not have any emergency! We just want to go out and have some food, as there is nothing inside the airport.’ After a couple of minutes, Ashok understood what the guard was suggesting and mentioned that we have a medical emergency and would like to leave the airport. For that, the guard quickly answered ‘OK sir, please sign here and you can leave,’ just like that! Finally, after a lot of drama, we got out of the airport!

We were so disheartened by the experience till then that with whatever little hope left in us, we hired an Ola rental for 6 hours still ambiguous about how the rest of the time spent at Kolkata going to be!

As we came out, we saw a small food counter and went there to check out if there was something available to eat. The only food available was idly which were lukewarm. As there were no other options available, I somehow gulped those rubbery textured idly and swore to myself on that day that I would never eat idly at any airport ever again!

Do you want to hear more about what happened after that? Then, just watch out; there is a lot more coming up in next post! Until then, the writer is signing off!

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