It really shouldn’t be that difficult to plan a weekend trip to Goa. People go all the time. It’s only a 50 minute flight. There are trains, buses, and flights that go around the clock! But somehow getting the three of us blondes out of bombay for 4 days has been a monumental task!
First trying to decide whether we should fly or train it down, took ages. We decided to train it down there and fly back. But of course India doesn’t always agree with your plans. The trains were booked solid. Over 50 people on the waiting list for first class. And even when looking at the option of tourist quota tickets it said unavailable. What is going on.. its not supposed to be high season anymore! Too many tourists in India I guess — and all heading to Goa the same day apparently!
So we go to plan 2 – fly both ways. Some history – a return to goa last year would cost 2000 INR (50 USD), but now on EVERY flight, there are 2000 rupees worth of taxes alone. So the cheapest you could even hope for is 2001 rupees. not a chance that you can get that at the last minute. We agree on the flight and the price of 5,086 INR – more than we hoped, but decent enough. Oh, nope.. not gonna happen! As soon as we click to book, we see the return flight has increased by over 1,000. pwwww. So now we have no idea what to do. We figure perhaps we will just have to take the train back – at least it would be one way and would reduce our costs a bit. Check the trains again… still waitlisted, but not so bad with only 3 on the waitlist. There might be a chance of getting on….
For now, we decide lets just book the flight there and we’ll figure out how to get back home later! One step at a time. I booked mine. J booked hers. S…. not so lucky. See, previously there was this issue with booking flights/trains with an international credit card. Some young ‘ens working at Indian call centers thought it would be cool to steal foreign credit card numbers from their job and sell to other people. There was a big scandel and instead of dealing with the root of the problem, merchants here just decided that the best thing to do was to stop accepting ALL foreign credit cards. One website has finally stopped this – cleartrip – with whom we booked our tickets. Well.. apparently in all of this credit card business, they forgot about local Indians and people with Indian accounts. Of all of us – S the one with a local account couldn’t book her ticket — through 3 different websites!
In the meantime, I decided to go ahead and book our train tickets even if they are waitlisted… oh but guess what?!?! the Indian railway WEBSITE closes at 11:30 pm!!!! LOL have you ever heard of a website closing?! Ok. so no luck there. Back to see what S is managing. Still no luck on her end, so I just buy it with my foreign credit card. Sad isn’t it that you have to resort to using a foreign credit card in India when you can’t use your own INDIAN account!
So for now, our flights are booked to Goa. We still have no idea how we will get home. But that will come later. We need to get ahold of someone’s passport so we can book tourist quota tickets – S is out of town until wed so we need a replacement passport for hers! one thing at a time.. one step then the next. this is what you have to remember in India.
Well J’s motto as of late is “India always wins”… and perhaps she does!
I guess the good of all this… we will get good and stressed out, so we can fully enjoy the relaxation of the beach!