Sunday, 25 March 2012

Abandoned in India: The Blind Man, The Pepsi Man and the Phone

I was PUMPED full of excitement!

Just landed in India.

First time ever. 

About to see my sister, first time in several months.

About to see my uni classmate, first time in several years!

I entered the arrivals area, scanning for a sign with my name on or familiar faces to scream at...





My first thought: how many airports are there in Mumbai? Are they at the right one??

I waited a while.

Then I felt a bit stupid/bored/worried and decided to take some pro-active steps.


I walked back towards the terminal but the armed guard stopped me.


I asked for a phone.

He pointed that way.

I went that way and saw nothing. So I asked the man at the Pepsi stand.

Me: Is there a phone

Pepsi Man: Yes, there [he points at taxi rank. what?]

Me: ...Where?

Pepsi Man: There. The red box.

I still didn't really get it.

Me: ...Ok. Thanks. 

I went in the general direction. And sure enough there was an old, blind man sitting at a little red booth with an office phone on top.

Me: Can I use the phone?

Blind Man: Local call?

Me: Yes. How much?

Blind Man: 3 rupees. 

Well, I just landed and the smallest note I have is 500 rupees. That's not gonna work.

I go back to the Pepsi stand and buy a drink.

Now I have a 50.

But...still not really good enough.

I ask the Pepsi Man for smaller change.

He looks doubtful.

Me: I just need 3rps to use the phone :'(

Then pitying.

And takes 3 rps coins from his own pocket.



I call my friend - apparently there's only one airport and we're both at it.

So I describe my location and wait for rescue.


There is no rescue.

But the phone rings and the old, blind man starts waving it around and making noises, which I interpret (correctly) as, "where's that girl, whoever you called has you called back."

My friends. They can't find me. After scrabbling for a common landmark, I spot theirs. Hang up, go find them.

But first I have to pay for the privilege of receiving a call.

And I really don't have any change now...

Blind Man: One dollar

Me: I don't have any change left.

Blind Man: Just one dollar. 

Me: I don't have small change. I just got here.

Blind Man: Please. Give luck for me. I am blind. 


How lah??

Me: I don't...mmm...I only have this drink. You can have my drink?

Blind Man: Please, lucky for me.

Me: I don't have anything. 

Blind Man: ...

Me: Do you want my drink?

Blind Man: Yes. 

Ok good.

And off I go on my merry way, I find my friends and my car and my hotel.

Helloooo India...

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