The KC family travelled from Moscow to Malaga experiencing a wonderful holiday. As it was cold in most places, the warm blooded family enjoyed themselves even more. They had to walk around the various well maintained towns so the cool climates helped.
They began their journey from Bangalore and flew to Delhi, both in India. Moscow in Russia was their first touchdown, internationally. After inhaling the beauty of the city, they flew to Minsk in Belarus. From Minsk, they drove through Riga in Latvia and Vilnius in Lithuania to Tallinn in Estonia. Right after the event in Tallinn, they took a cruise to Helsinki in Finland. Many berries later, they flew to Stockholm in Sweden and spent three days in the gorgeous city. They left only as time was running out and they had to catch their flight to Oslo in Norway. After four chilly days in the Norwegian territory, they were in Barcelona, then Granada and lastly, Malaga, spending three nights in each city.
They started to go back home at 0100 hours from Malaga, ready to take on the 24 hour travel time until they reached their doorstep in Bangalore, India. Spending almost a month away from home, with the two always-hungry, and sometimes-sleepy kids, wasn’t a joke. They weren’t troublesome but kids these days love their homes a lot. If they were not tired, hungry or sleepy, they were homesick. But after all the walking, late nights, carrying children and the heat, C was waiting for her weighing scale to give her some good news. No, it’s not what you’re thinking!
At the Malaga airport, they were first, in the special line, to check into the airplane but more than twenty passengers finished checking in, from the general line, before they were done, due to some system issues. Finally, they got their boarding passes assuring them that they were allotted the bassinet seats, as their son was barely thirteen months young. They got into the airplane ready to leave Malaga and forgot all about the bassinet seats they did not get. They slept like babies, including the baby himself.
They landed in Rome, Italy. Yes, that was yet another country they touched but they were confined to the walls of the airport alone because Italy had to be elaborately explored another time. For now, C was happy that this was the last time she took a plastic cup, filled with water, to the loo. To add to her excitement, the Roma airport was a treat to the eyes. It was the biggest she had seen till date. After some pizzas in the land of pizzas, the KC family went to find their boarding gate number 38. They walked for three minutes, first down one building and then up another building. They finally reached a gate with number 38 on it. But that wasn’t where the door to the airplane was. They got down again only to find that they had to take a metro train to the actual gate. How would they know which was their stop? The train stopped and, seamlessly, everyone got out and walked for another full minute, after going down an elevator, until they were at the door of the airplane. Yes. ‘Finally’ was the word. The journey to the airplane did amuse them.
After fighting for bassinet seats, the family of four slept well because the baby got his bed and comfortably stretched in it. They thanked their stars because they could not handle any more bouts of broken slumber. In six hours, they were in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Nostalgia loomed over KC as they heard the Arabs speak in Arabic and felt the Middle East heat outside the airport. KC was born and brought up in the Middle East so everything about them was different, whether it was their likes, dislikes, way of living, the way they spoke, handled their kids and so on. In Abu Dhabi, they felt like they were home.
Behind them, they had left the tissue-paper-only countries and were elated to land in a place that also believed hand faucets were a necessity. The daughter asked C to curb her excitement because similar hand faucets were at their home. Little did little C know, the plight Indian mothers go through without water in a loo. Later, they hurriedly ran to get their hands on the last beef burger sandwiches before they were on their way to the place where beef was banned but cigarettes were not; India.
The flight was not full. They didn’t have to fight for the bassinet seats. The airhostesses were kind. The baby fell asleep just before the food was served so the rest ate and slept well until they reached Bangalore, India.
They confirmed that this trip of 28 days taught them many things. They learnt different ways to carry two kids in one pram. They learnt to push the pram (with a five year old in it) with one hand while carrying a bag and baby in the other. They learnt that the Russians were rude but they kept their country clean. They learnt that Spain should be visited only in the winter because the heat gets to you while walking under the sun. They learnt that non-Indian women are physically strong and fit because they take care of themselves too. They learnt that the old architectures they had seen would sadly never ever be repeated as people today had less or no such vision, worldwide. They learnt that bottled water was expensive outside India, so, the next time they would need to carry a bottle of drinking water to quench their thirst. They learnt that ALL loos had no water so carrying an empty bottle or plastic cup for toilet use, was a must. Simultaneously, they learnt to use water scarcely, while in the public loos. They also learnt that walking makes you thinner only if you do not devour ice-creams everyday (C’s scale showed that she had neither lost nor gained weight, despite all the walking). It struck them that the people breaking traffic rules, in India, could be sent to Moscow where they could learn a rule or two. They learnt that no happiness came to anyone without them having to lose something (their 12 year old Labrador passed away a few days before they returned home).
When they reached home, 28 days later, they realized that they had missed their cosy bedroom the most. Friends cooked and sent them food, which made them conclude that wherever in the world you may go, it’s the friends who made the world go round. Even though you may claim to have a lot of friends, it’s the few who care that really matter. Even though things could go wrong at times, it’s imperative to know the small number of people who will still stick by you. The month long trip was remarkable and the care given on the arrival back home was the cherry on the icing. The kids were happy to be home. They ran to their room and began unpacking their toys, screaming with joy and jumping on the bed. KC watched their children go berserk with excitement. They smiled knowing that the roller-coaster ride of being a parent continues…