Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The UK Diaires // Day 1

I am feeling so good to go back to the Day 1, as I am home in India now. I reached home at around 2:30 PM IST. I am missing England and Scotland excessively; and I felt at some point of time, that I shouldn't come back. However, you know...




So Day 1, though I spent more than half of it in the plane itself, still I am going to write about it; because trust me, airport stories are interesting.

We were not satisfied with the packing, as we did not have enough time. Right after returning from China, after a week's clean-up work, we started applying for UK visas. We were a bit positive about getting the visas; however, things went badly ahead. Our travel agents took a long time to fill the forms and submit them.

After finishing the complete forms on the 17th of June, they finally submitted them to the UK Visa office on the 5th of July! We got the application submission date, which was 7th July. We went there, and they told us that we would get our visas in 15 working days! God damn it; we were scared. Our flight was on the 22nd, and the 21st was the 10th day. We were praying hard. We had to go there, not for UK, but for my brother, who wanted us there eagerly. We almost cried on hearing that the possibility of getting the visas was so low.

Days passed by, and the 22nd July was nearing. We had decided to go to the visa office on the 21st, in case the visas were there. However, when I was going to a mall on the 17th, to shop for the top for the hopeful graduation ceremony, I got a call from the visa office saying the visas were there, and that we could go collect them any time between 2 PM and 6 PM.

After shopping for the top (which is a pretty, white Vero Moda sleeveless one), I rushed home. I changed my clothes, and off we went. It was raining heavily. We had decided to tell this news to everyone after we reached home safely, with both the visas in hand. Soon, we did return, safely and happily, WITH the visas.

We just had four days to pack, and I was going crazy about the outfit to wear during the ceremony. Finally, I decided, and we packed.



Day 1

My alarm was of 6:30; however, I got up thirty minutes prior to the alarm. I was hoping that my skin looked fair and fresh, and my hair looked good and silky. I looked in the mirror, and my face was acceptable. Hair, however, weren't their best. We got ready, and a cab was waiting for us, half-hour before the decided time. The driver asked us to go down early, as the earlier we go, the lesser the traffic.

We went down. Bringing two luggage bags down the stairs was a tough task. Panting, we walked towards the cab. We started off, and reached Terminal 2, Mumbai. After all the check-in, immigration, and security-check, we roamed about on the airport.

After the flight journey, while we were landing at Heathrow, London, we could not believe we were reaching London. Never in my dreams had I thought I could go to UK so soon. Nevertheless, all due to dad's impossible acquirement of visa from China, and brother's ceremony, we could go.

We landed, and constantly I was reminding myself that I was in UK. After getting down the flight, we followed people towards immigration. People who had already visited London had warned me about this. They said that the persons appointed would ask questions; and if they do not like the answers, they could send you back to India.
We had been given immigration forms in the flight, and we had filled the form incompletely. We did not know answers to few questions, and so we decided to leave them blank, and ask the immigration man/woman later. However, when we approached the counter, the man rudely told us to finish the form. I told him we had doubts. We finished completing the forms, and stood in the queue. The woman called us, and we were asked to go to a counter where a man from West Indies was sitting.

When the first man rudely scolded us to fill the form, frankly, my morale was crushed; and as there were jacket, two handbags, and one duffle bag, it was difficult to write. Anyway, the confidence boosted up immediately after we met the West Indian man: he asked me details about myself, as in, which course I was studying, high school or university, etc. Later, after reading the passport, he exclaimed, "Oh! You are from Pune. So you must be supporting Pune Warriors!" Mom and I stood still, and then replied with a wide smile that we were supporting Mumbai Indians. After asking him about his favourite teams, he said he supported RCB (for Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli), and after that, CSK (for Dhoni and Bravo). Literally, the immigration had turned into an interesting IPL discussion panel. We were delighted!

After the immigration, we waited for our bags, which came early. We stood near the Arrivals of Heathrow's Terminal 4, and waited for my brother, who was coming to pick us up. Somehow, standing there, I was not confident. As it was a new place, I was checking people out. (Rather, for first three days, I was checking people out.) I texted my brother, wasting Rs. 10, and just when I pressed the send button, he was there--dressed in black t-shirt and jeans, with a heavy backpack on his shoulder. I hugged him excitedly. I was confident now, as my brother was there.

We came outside, and it was brilliant. Though Terminal 4 was not awesome, the outside ambiance was cool and pleasant. While waiting for our taxi, we clicked a selfie, which marked the beginning of our crazy pictures in UK. Our taxi was here; it was a black Mercedes. Black Mercedes are typical taxis for five star hotels in India; and I was sitting in one. Well, I guess we did not know a Mercedes was coming to pick us up. We just called Speedy Taxis, and they sent us a Merc.

Anyway, we left for Gillingham, where my brother stayed. We went through London, Chelsea, etc., and I could not believe I had just passed Chelsea! I was waiting for the second day from today, for a visit to the EMIRATES! On our way, though we tried our best to keep our eyelids open and look at the beautiful Great Britain, we dozed off, though for fifteen minutes, we did doze off.

After reaching hotel, we learnt that the booking of the hotel room was mistakenly done on the 22nd of JUNE, instead of JULY. Imagine what would have happened then. The lady--stupid, clumsy person--booked on a wrong date, and we were helpless. As my brother was in UK for two years, he exactly knew how to handle the British.  He kept his cool, and maintained the newly acquired British accent until the end of the conversation. But, sadly, the lady told us that none of the rooms in the hotel were vacant--"absolutely none of them".

We left the hotel, and just then, my brother saw his Pakistani colleague's car parked in the parking area. He called him. He came, we drove to four hotels, and coincidentally, all of them were fully occupied. Finally, we decided to stay at my brother's rented house.

We reached, and it looked beautiful from outside. The insides weren't really outstanding. We reached to his room in the house, and changed to comfortable clothes. We had few theplas, which we had carried from India, as dinner. Then after discussing about tomorrow's ceremony, we dozed off. It was 11:30 in UK, and we were excited for tomorrow's graduation ceremony.
xoxo