blog#1, 27 November – by Manisha Jhingoer (Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences)
It was a cold day in Rotterdam, when we left for the departure of our flight to Dubai. It was the very first time I went to an overseas country without my family. When we reached Brussels airport, I had to say goodbye to my family. This was very hard for me, because I’m very close with my family.
Gladly, everything went well at the Brussels airport. When we reached Abu Dhabi, we had to wait another 8 hours, before the departure of our flight. The airport of Abu Dhabi was very beautiful. It was the second time that I’ve been to the airport and it was nice to see that everything was still the same, or even better than it was before. After wandering at the airport for several hours, we got on the plane to Mumbai. The airport of Mumbai was quite different than the other two. There were a lot of security checks. After a few hours we caught our flight to Ahmedabad. The airport in Ahmedabad was very different, because on the contrary of the other airports, this airport was not crowded at all. There were a few people at the airport. After we landed we waited for Karin, but we didn’t know how to reach Karin by phone. So we made a plan to wait until the sun goes down, because we didn’t want to reach the campus in the evening. It is an unknown city, in which we had to find a way to reach the campus.
After waiting for Karin, we went out to see how much we had to pay to take a taxi to the campus. We asked the people at the desk, where you could call a taxi. The people at the desk told us that it would cost us 700 rupees. This was too much for us, because we didn’t have enough local money with us. So we went to ATM. We tried several times to withdraw money from the ATM machine. It wasn’t working at all. I had a slight panic attack. That’s when we decided to call the organiser of Wetskills to get some help. Ruben didn’t have a network connection, so I tried to call him. I talked to him, but he was in the airplane, on his way to Ahmedabad, so he couldn’t do anything at that moment.
Airport of Mumbai
After asking several people to help us to call to the campus or to help us to withdraw money, we went to a mobile provider desk. I asked the ladies if there was another ATM, other than the one across the street. She did help us and said that there’s an ATM in the hotel, about 1 kilometre away from the airport. As we were walking and halted, to discuss what we were going to do, a stewardess was walking by. I ran to her and explained what we did and asked her how we could get money, to buy a taxi to the campus. She said: ‘Don’t worry, I’ll help you’. That was really nice to hear in a county where you don’t know anything yet. She told the rickshaw driver to bring us to the hotel to withdraw money from the ATM. The stewardess was so nice to us, she paid for the drive, that was a 100 rupees. It was very surprising to see someone help someone else without knowing them. I couldn’t thank the stewardess enough, otherwise we would’ve been stuck at the airport. After reaching the hotel, we realised there was no ATM in the hotel. So I asked the people in Hindi, because they couldn’t talk English easily. The drive to the ATM would cost us 30 rupees, which we didn’t have. After a walk of 2 minutes towards the ATM, the rickshaw driver drove to us and said that he will bring us to the ATM for free. We reached the ATM and withdrew some money and asked the rickshaw to bring us to the campus. After reaching the campus we paid the rickshaw driver a little more than needed, because of his suggestion to help us for free.
I like India a lot and it’s a wonderful experience to see different cultures come together.