Travel to Kerala, An Early Morning Landing at Kochin Airport, A post-Covid Trip.


A post-covid trip and travel experience from Capetown to Kochin by Qatar Airways.  An early morning landing at Kochin, Nedumbassery International and an airport-taxi trip home sweet home.  

#FoodPeopleTravel is a new category on my website.   A place to showcase my travel experiences.  Travel is an exciting and envigorating matter with expectations and excitement in meeting new faces and places.  It is an opportunity to refresh and supplement your memories with new ones.  It is also loaded with packages of anxiety and tensions to start with, and sometimes never-ending.  

Home-sweet home.

No, this post is not about climbing Mount Everest, our post-COVID travel to Kerala, our homeland.

This is about our travel to Kerala after the COVID break.

The Boeing 737 of Qatar Airways touched the tarmac of the Kochi airport at Nedumbasseri with the ease of a feather gliding down from the sky.  We boarded our flight from Cape Town International, South Africa, to Qatar a day before and had to stay long hours in transit, a post-COVID flight phenomenon.  

The transit schedules of one or two hours now turned into more than ten despite exorbitant upward ticket charges.  By the time we landed in Kochi, our travel fatigue was high. 

An image of Capetown International airport.
Capetown International credit to Getty Images.

Kerala is our native place and home, and we look forward to it with high expectations and nostalgia.  Many living in foreign countries travel to our birthplace with high expectations.  It is like finding the nest.  Finding the nest symbolically means reaching a warm, welcoming, embracing environment oozing with care and affection.  They find them often unmet, but they come again, hoping it will be better next time.   

It was an early morning flight, arriving at Kochi by 3:30 a.m.  The time was optimistic about reaching home before the sun was all out with its sunny and scorching burn.  Recently, we have resorted to airport taxi hiring to reach home.  A taxi arriving from our home town and waiting at the airport and the flight getting delayed we wanted to avoid.

There were the usual rituals and procedures to meet inside the airport, and after collecting the luggage, we spent some time with the duty-free at the arrivals.  However, I found that the pre-COVID shopping experience was more encouraging than the post-COVID as the commodity prices had increased many times.  But then the prices were shooting like rockets in any shop I would find soon.

 After completing the round of rituals, we were in the airport taxi queue to book one.  

By thirty minutes past 5, we were rolling the travel boxes packed trolleys through the exit door.  In the waiting area, there was no rush.  We got organised on the sofas where we had to wait till the taxi time, 8:30.  

The waiting was alright; we still had some energy to spare, but what wasn't alright was the toilet facilities.  The toilets were far away; I wondered whether it was meant for the airport or the public.  The noisy crowd and their stares along my walk to the toilet building could not put me at ease regarding my safety and security.  

The situation in the toilet building raised my doubts further.  Men were having easy movement all over in the toilet areas.  

An image of Kochin International airport.
Kochin International credit to Getty Images

Every day, I watched the breaking news on the Kerala channels of women of all ages murdered, attacked, molested or abused in public or inside their homes and law and order lacking in action deliberately or ineptitude.  

By 8:30, the taxi guy allotted with our order arrived at their despatch counter close to where we had waited.  When our time came, we heard we had to pay more than the lady inside the taxi counter had calculated.  It's not good to argue there or anywhere in Kerala that will put you in serious trouble.  

We were all set inside the taxi, and it slowly moved.   The driver took no time to start with intrusive questions regarding our finances and identity status.  He was a moving display of his communal identity.  And he was educating us about his hold on local and foreign affairs.  We didn't entertain his questions, have dampened his intentions.

NRIs are generally a vulnerable group there,  easy prey to families, friends, associates, communities, and the general public let alone the government offices.  They are the breadwinners of the families at the same time, dependent on the families and others to manage their wealth and properties and where lies their vulnerabilities.   

He did something impressive; he took us to a friend to organise a sim card for our phone usage.  And we were at our gate in two hours, covering a 30 km distance.  We were back to our home: home sweet home. 

Take away.

We all make short and long travels, exciting and meet people who are interesting, irritating or intruding.  Have you met someone approaching you intending to exploit you?   Share your experiences here.  

This is the 6/10 post in Blog Chatter Half Marathon.