Monday, March 2, 2009

Onsite travel.

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The excellent news

It’s really an overwhelming feeling to visit a new country, different set of people, diverse mindset, different ethnicity and lots and lots of fairy tale places to visit.


Here I will tell my experience about overseas travel (Europe particularly because I have been there only) and few things you might want to know before and during journey so that the first travel does not become frustrating. Most of the points can be adapted even if you are holidaying too. 


Things you must purchase,

1. A good suitcase which is strong to defy the abuse from airline baggage transfer crew, look for the bag which could carry up to 25
kgs (Except US, its 44 kgs I guess) and make sure that bag must not exceed a weight of 3-4 kgs of its own.

2. Inner wear Thermals, a monkey cap, high-quality gloves and woolen
socks, you will need it since its freezing for almost 11 months and almost boiling for 1 months, JUNE usually. Keep one good quality jacket which to keep you warm, don’t go for fancy thing which looks good from outside but does not keep the warmth. You really need to fight cold there because it goes as low as -10 degrees in some countries in Europe.

3. Carry some necessary stuff which you might not get there or you might get it with high difficulty like, Nail cutter, scissors, Medicines (buy whole strips and buy for EVERY single normal disease, balm, cough syrup, ENO, painkillers, fever, cough, cold, thermometer etc.), adhesive tape, few passport size photographs (you will need them when you will get your bus pass ready and few other things).

4. Keep eatables ONLY for 1st week, more eatables and more weight they would claim, keep as much as Maggie you could because that's the one thing you can eat 3 times a day (Some of us actually can including me), you can even keep few ready to made MTR packets which can be prepared in hot water but each packet is about half kgs.

5. If you are planning to cook there then you must keep a tea-vessel which would serve the purpose for many things like for making tea, Maggie etc, Keep 250 grams of all sorts of Masalas (spices) it will be sufficient for 6 months for a single person even if you cook every day. Also, carry a tawa to prepare chapati, a cooker (If feasible to carry) which could also serve as kadahi to prepare side dishes, 2 spoons, a knife, Belan (Chapati Roller), rest of the things you can find there itself but try to purchase everything plastic there because steel is expensive in Europe.

Few things to Note:-

Before voyage:-

# Have a
travel Itinerary which is painless to pursue, try to keep away from domestic flight within India (Applicable only If the airport in your city operates international flights) prior to catching the global flight.

# Make sure you have no less than 1.5 – 2 hrs between every linking
flight so that you will be competent to catch a glimpse of the airport and have adequate time to board the connecting flight even if you have to go to some terminal which is little far away.

# You will get Vegetarian food onboard without difficulty when you will begin from India but you might not be blessed with the same in the following flights so ensure that you ask your agent to get availability of vegetarian for ALL following flights, all airlines WILL arrange vegetarian food for you if they are told in advance.

At Airports:-

# Take a picture of your passport and keep it in your mobile and camera so that you have it readily accessible if some catastrophe happens, have 2-3 copies of Xerox of every vital document and preserve it in all different baggage so even if your 1 bag goes missing (Usually happens, don’t be afraid because it comes back
after some time) you still have 1 copy with you, keep your necessary documents handy for immigration like Passport, client invitation letter, company ID card (extremely essential).

# Do NOT keep any fluid in the check in baggage or in hand baggage and do not keep any knife, nail cutter, scissor in hand bag, it will be thrown away.

# Make sure that you click pictures on any airport before seeking the authorization from airport staff/security because it’s forbidden at many places and could land you in nuisance.

At Onsite:-

1. Don't take woolen pajamas because every house in
Europe has centralized heating system so within the house you will have the temperature as good as India, so you will not want to wear anything which will keep you warm in the house and evidently you will not wear that outside.

2.
Clothes I would advise to keep

# 7 pairs of undergarments so that you can wash them without any stress on the weekends.
# 2-3 pair of jeans not more then that.
# 6-7 shirts or t-shirts for the whole week is enough.

Since it’s TOO cold and TOO clean there, you will not perspire or even get dirty, so you will not have need of washing as repeatedly as you require in India. I remember that I washed my 3 pair of jeans only once in the span of 2.5 months and please trust me I was not being lazy.

3. DO NOT lose sleep about FOOD AT ALL because every country in this world has Indians so you will find
Indian restaurant and Indian general stores without any difficulty with slight hunt but do not hesitate in going to local general stores chains also because there also you will get many things like rice, bread, SNACKS and beverages. Vegetables like Onion, Tomato, Cabbage, capsicum, Garlic and Potato are available in almost everywhere in the world but its very hard to find ginger and chillies, you will get them only in Indian or Pakistani stores.

4. Look for the house which is close to the office but don't try toooooooo hard to seek out, first reach there and get yourself easy and then do investigate in your free time on weekends, you will find everything with no trouble.

5. First thing you should do on weekends is to get the bus pass done it will eliminate one Burdon off your shoulders, I would recommend to do a lots of groundwork from India itself so that you wont face much troubles. You can be acquainted with many many things from the site www.wikitravel.com


6. Memorize few terms which you cannot be used outside India,

Nonveg = meat (no one understands what is non veg, ask if the food contains meat or not)
Petrol pump/bunk = Gas station
Do you know English = Do you speak English
General store = Grocery store
Rice = Reese (at least in Copenhagen, it might work for you too)
Cold drinks = Soda

7. Don’t give the impression of being a tourist, especially Indian by being in sports shoes, find something other then sports shoes also. For them it looks truly weird to wear sports shoes at places other then gymnasium or while playing. You can wear them but not every-time, wear them only once in a week to the office, Please remember that sports shoes does not go with Formals AT ALL. Wear them when you will have to walk a lot but don't be dependent only on them.

8. Follow rules, follow traffic light, don’t push people in queues, be polite and people will treat you like a celebrity, so learn from them and improvise on your Indian tactics while being within there rules and regulations.

You will know as you start staying, don't be bothered that you need to pack more if you are going for 6 months, pack as less as possible because you might wanna bring lots of things from there for you and many of your relatives :-)

DO NOT carry anything for friends because it will simply overload your luggage for someone who is not as important as your relatives.

DO NOT panic at any point because nothing will happen since its not INDIA :-)

Keep your cool, have endurance and keep your eyes and ears open, learn from different people of different ethnicity and DO NOT falter to ask about anything from any one.

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