Well, that's a first!!!
Day 33: Jess is a Wanderer's first trip was in 2004 and it's now 2017 which means there have been 13 years of trips, adventures and flights. Today is the first time MY BAG GOT LOST!!!!
It had taken 18 hours to get from our apartment in Tirana to the airport in Delhi. That was 18 hours of uncomfortable seating, patchy wifi, being squashed on buses, interrupted dozing, some strange Krygzystan cake and three planes.
We touched down in India in great need of a shower and a toothbrush. Immigration was organised but painfully slow and using the free wifi we communicated with the chap picking us up that we'd be at least 90 minutes before coming through to baggage. But on the plus side, at least our bags would have arrived. Right?
Wrong! Being so late coming through, luggage belt 12 was empty and the leftover bags - as is commonplace in airports - were put to one side. There were two bags. One was Wolvo's. One was not mine. Insert panic here. My camera charger is in my bag!!!!! I'm going to the Taj Mahal tomorrow!!!
After an hour of chasing around between the chap at the conveyor belt, information and lost baggage, we'd manage to establish that my bag had, in fact, never left Turkey. Um, what?? Yes, that's right. My bag is sitting somewhere in Istanbul. I'm heading to the Taj Mahal - one of the seven wonders of the world - and I don't even have a toothbrush for the occasion. Wolvo was doing an excellent job looking at the flight manifesto and seeing where the bag was whilst I was taking pics of the event.
This is definitely a crisis and this definitely calls for a cigarette. Having given up smoking, it's permissible in crises of which, this is the second on this trip (the first being that night at the bus station when the bus didn't turn up....), the only thing is... the cigarettes are in my bag. My bag that's in Turkey. Perhaps we could have gone without? Perhaps this wasn't quite a 'crisis' level situation. Well, perhaps. However, the chap at the airport has informed me my bag will be following the route I took to get to India and the next time the flights go, my bag will be sent. That's Friday. It's now Tuesday. Good job Wolvo and I are a similar-ish size and I can try to fit in some of her clothes!!
We bought more cigarettes and will deal with the consequences at a later date. I'm calling it, this is a crisis situation.
Items I currently have in my possession - some more useful than others:
Two cameras, three lenses, tripod, kindle, phone & charger, clothes I'm wearing, passport, bottle of water, laptop & charger, hand gel, sunglasses, lost baggage form - I suppose it could be worse. Please whisper a 'fingers crossed' that my camera batteries can survive until Friday for this once in a lifetime visit to India that I'm currently pursuing!!! Please shout a 'fingers crossed' that my bag does in fact reach Delhi on Friday.
Finding the driver we had hired for the journey was simple enough, a kind chap let me use his phone to call and we were on our way in no time. Delhi is hot and muggy. So glad that the only clothes I have are what I'm wearing - trainers and a jacket - insert rolly-eye emoji here.
The driver - Mr. Suvjit aka the man in the turban (as referred to by the tour company) was concerned about my misfortune and offered to take me shopping but I'm not quite ready to don a sari as I'd really rather prefer a shower according to my hierarchy of needs right now.
New Delhi in short, because, as you can imagine my head is filled with all sorts of things at the moment! It has all the feels of Cairo with busy roads, traffic zooming in and out, ladies practically hanging off the back of their motorbike-driving husbands, no-one following the road markings and a free-for-all with the speed limit. I feel right at home.
And true to what everyone says when they visit India, there really are cows roaming freely and no one complains, they simply give way and carry on with their day. There will be more about Delhi when we return tomorrow so stand by!
After a four hour journey to Agra, we arrived at our hotel just metres from the Taj Mahal. Treating ourselves to a first ever Indian curry, we showered and have set the alarm so we can be up and ready for sunrise. Wish us well. And don't judge whatever I end up wearing tomorrow...