Sunday, December 11, 2005

My trip to Seoul - Part-2

There are many checks and entries in the passport. The most important is the VISA for the country you are visiting. The next thing is the ECNR check, that is - Emmigration Check Not Required. I had the proper VISA stamped on my passport, but the stamp for the ECNR was something like - "Emmigration Check Required (ECR) for countries except North America, Japana, Korea, Commenwealth countries .. . etc".
Reading that, anyone will tell you that for going to Korea I did not requre the Emmigration Check, which is put at the passport, but the airlines people were insisting that the ECR was required. Now, I can't get that check at the airport and would have to go to the passport office for that check, which would have taken atleast a day and of course the flight wouldn't have waited for me.
I tried to make them understand that the stamp written has "except" in it, that means the check is not required for the countries mentioned after that dammed - "except".
The immigration check is not the airlines department. Its done at the airport - by the government officials - after we get the boarding pass. So, we went to the immigration check official and only when he told the airlines guy that it's clearly written that its not required, the airlines guys gave me the boarding pass.
They did feel sorry for it, but what the hell - my day was bad - nothing wss supposed to go right - I had started getting that used to it by now. I also got a hell lot worried, thinking about what next was about to happen.
The immigration check went smoothly, the security check also went smoothly and I was sitting on the Boeing-777 plane, on the window seat, by 7.10 a.m..

To be continued....
If you have not read Part-1, read it here

Monday, December 05, 2005

My trip to Seoul - Part-1

This post is going to be a very big one, so I'll write it up in parts and keep posting them over the next few weeks.
To say about the trip, it was a mixed sort type, with many unexpected problems cropping up from no where, a little enjoyment. I will rather say thank God, its over.
There are some days in life, when nothing goes right - the day, I had a flight to Seoul was one of them. The Cathey Pacific flight was connecting, that means first I had to catch a flight to Honk Kong and from Honk Kong, I had to catch second flight to Seoul. The day was Novermber 20th, Sunday,2005, flight time - 7.20 a.m.
We are advised to reach the airport 3 hours before the flight time and as it takes around an hour to reach the airport from my house, so I had booked a taxi for 3 a.m The taxi did arrive at 3 a.m. and I was ready by then, but my problems started from there on. The taxi, the driver had brought was a diesel one, and in the chilly morning of Delhi, the taxi refused to start. Now, at that hour of the morning, you won't even find any other means of transport to make you reach the airport. The driver tried some car battery arrangements and said that it will take 15 minutes to warm up. after that we will have to push the car by a few meters to start it. Sitting anxiously for 15 minutes, I was thinking of other alternatives, which might be required in case the car did not start. But eventually, after warming for 15 min and pushing by a few meters it did start and i just gave sigh of relief.
At that time of the hour, the airport road is flooded with heavly loaded trucks. Thank God, there wasn't any traffic zam and I reached the airport by 4.30 a.m.I hurridely got the check-in baggage tied up after security check of the baggage and went straight to the Cathey Pacific counter and guess what? To my horror they refused to give me the boarding pass required for the flight.

To be continued.....