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A Travel Memoir – The boomerang series - Sydney

After months of fervent anticipation, the day finally arrived. I packed my bags and left for the Chennai airport. Several hours later, the plane landed in Hong Kong. The neat looking stewardess from Cathay came in and said, "Welcome to Hong Kong."

All my life I've dreamed of going to a different country.

But there's been a change in the flight plan and my transit hours got extended by 4 hours which made a total of 22 hours of transit. Amazing! Some brilliant chap told me that the airline will cover the stay and food and conveyance. Well, Cathay had its own rules. They didn’t cover transit which is less than 24 hours; not even a minute. As wonderful as it sounds, this wasn’t supposed to be on the itinerary, yet! 

I was on my own in the isolated airport for 22 hours. The child in me was excited though. It was a different place, I thought at first. When I started walking, I found the airport to be humongous to say the least. An ocean of shopping complexes, restaurants, convenient lounge chairs, travelators and a fascinating view.

Hong Kong airport - Source - Google

I had 200 U.S. dollars in my purse and a forex card pretty much loaded. Little did I know that I’d be broke by the time I entered Sydney. I browsed around for having a meal and found a coffee shop inviting, so I went there, had a burger and a hot café mocha. Relieved, I walked to pay for it. The themed coffee shop didn’t accept U.S. dollars. Seriously?! I politely told them I have only US dollars with me and they agreed to check if they could accept it. After a lot of commotion, I had to pay ‘Certify’ (loosely translated to Thirty five) U.S. Dollars.

My tummy was full and I was longing for a good sleep. So, I kept the alarm to wake myself up after 7 hours and took a shut- eye. When I woke up late at night, the airport looked all misty. I was happy. I plugged my laptop and called my family.

Sleeping beauty - Sketch by the sleeping beauty herself :P Me!!

I keep coming back to this point, why am I in the middle of this omnivores kingdom??? The airlines don’t even know what is ‘Vegetarian’ so to say. They offered me a fish meal with a label ‘Hindu vegetarian meal’. Excellent! I requested them to bring me something vegan and voila they brought me cold pasta with ‘cheese’ sauce. Hmmph! I gulped it, giving in to my tummy growls!

A strong sense of anticipation crept inside me, wanting to land in Sydney as soon as possible. As I was wondering how things would change, how I would meet a new group of people I would never have met… and I dozed off mildly.

The flight landed in Kingsford –Smith airport and I was ready for new highs!!!

Source - Nat Geo


That was Boomerang # 1. Thanks for reading; my next post will cover the tantrums I encountered in the airport.



  1. Wonderful to read Rohu, the experience & the narrative style!! :)

  2. I really like the name of ur blog :) nice drawing and interesting read :)

  3. Thanks Sreeja, I always like writing in unruled notebooks :)

  4. Sorry you had this bad experience at Cathay. Did you order IVML (Indian Vegetarian Meal) or AVML (Asian Vegetarian Meal) when you purchased the ticket in Chennai? If so, the airlines is at fault. You should write to them and ask for compensation. If you did not specify your meal request when you bought the ticket, they cannot do anything about it at 35,000 feet.

  5. Hey, thanks for the comment..
    I did order IVM , when I got the ticket. It was written on the food packet too. It was my first time going out of the country and I didn't quite bother about a compensation. All I wanted was a good meal after that :) No hard feelings now.. just going back memory lane.. I'd love to travel in Cathay again..


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