Lifestyle

An adventure of annoyance, frustration and gratitude.


This week was a memorable one–and I mean that in the most non-ideal way possible. I’ll explain…

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On Monday early morning, I took a flight to Bangalore for two days of meetings at our office in Indiranagar. I checked into my room at the Bangalore Club and headed straight to work where a full day of meetings was scheduled…

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Our office is coming together really nicely. Except for a few missing lights, the upstairs conference room is almost complete!

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The third floor conference room overlooks a cute terrace, where we do lunches and even meetings at times. Its wonderful to be able to be outside–that doesn’t happen in Mumbai very often…

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I usually take over the swing for any outdoor meetings…

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The staircase is ready now too, with walls and wood polished, and the blue carpet has been installed on the first and second floor…

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As a team building exercise, we ended the day assembling all the office-furniture that had come from Italy a couple of days before. As a Swede, IKEA is in my genes basically.

Is there anything more fun than assembling furniture though? Best bonding experience.

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On Tuesday night, a colleague and I headed to the airport to go back to Mumbai. This is when things started going off schedule

After the usual hour and 45 min on the flight, it was time to prepare for landing–when we suddenly started going back up. The pilot informed us that there had been an accident on the runway at Mumbai airport right as we were preparing for our arrival. That being said, we had no choice but to divert to Hyderabad (a city about an hour flight away)…

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We were all pretty confused and worried about what kind of accident had taken place in Mumbai, so luckily there were no angry passengers due to to the change in route…

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We touched down in Hyderabad about an hour and a half later, and found out that the flight before us had landed and skidded off the runway in the heavy rain… A packed flight slid out in the mud instead of on the runway due to the heavy rain and strong winds. Thankfully, no one was injured. [Photo from Midday].

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Long, long story short: Midnight became 4am and we were still stuck in the plane on the Hyderabad runway, when we finally were instructed to deboard the plane. Hundreds of flights had been diverted to nearby cities and no one knew what to tell or do with us. Air India travellers were striking against the airline for not assisting their passengers with accommodation. Confused Swiss Air tourists were roaming around the airport to figure out what to do…

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My colleague and I realised there wasn’t going to be a quick resolution, so we took off to nearby Sheraton to get some rest. By 5.30am I finally crashed–shattered from exhaustion at this point!

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Next morning I woke up to this. A massive tree had fallen onto the building and my livingroom/bedroom. Luckily nothing and no-one (!) got hurt (except the tree and a couple of crushed cars parked along the road)…

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While heading back to the airport in an attempt to get home, I was trying to use every reference and contact I had in the airline and travel business at this point. We were given an open-ended boarding pass and asked to wait.

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…and hey, the networking worked! Thanks to a friend of mine–a pilot with Jet Airways–we boarded a flight around 4pm, initially scheduled for 10am.

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When we were reaching Mumbai this time around, the landing turned into the scariest flight experience of my life. The pilot kept trying to land, but after what felt like a rollercoaster ride times four, the pilot informed us that the cyclone winds were the strongest he’s ever flown in. He was ready to make one last attempt to land, and I was ready to turn around and go back to Hyderabad…

After what felt like hours, we landed in Mumbai safely. Sweaty, shaky, exhausted, but happy and grateful nevertheless.

To sum it all up: It was a long, anxious and annoying couple of days, but it also reminded me how being late and diverted really isn’t all that bad–as long as you’re safe and get to go home and hug your family afterwards.

On that note, thanks to everyone who helped get everyone home during a time of loads of stress and confusion! Home sweet home.

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