Chennai Born Confused Softie
Chennai Ambi's Musings...
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
The trip that was jinxed right from the start
This year gandhi jayanthi happened on a monday and so we got 3 days leave and me and my roomie manu decided to meet "Pongal pandey" aka harshil in bangalore and also view the festivities at mysore. i was told that dussehra festivities at mysore are brilliant comprising of folk dances, wrestling competitions, fireworks, processions, huge crowd , blah blah.. we realized this pretty late and tried to book a hotel room on sunday the 1st of october.no hotel rooms were available and finally by sheer luck we got a double bedroom in a hotel belonging to teh taj group of hotels..( a budget one of course.. but still prices were high w.r.t the services it provided). we booked the hotel ticket through a website( a 3rd party) with whom the hotel had a tie up.
We took a bus from bengalooru bus stand on sunday morning and reached the hotel by 9 AM. teh hotel design looked pretty impressive.I had some fundoo designs and i thought we were going to have a ball of a time. ( with billiards, gym, jacuzzi and stuff..) but fate had something else in store for us and we were in for a rude shock !!
we go there and show our transaction receipt which we got from the 3rd party and the hotel fellas tell us we dont have a reservation. They said the 3rd party had not conveyed to them that we were coming and all hotel rooms were booked. we plead, request, argue, those dumbos dont understand. half an hour passes one hour apasses 2 hours these guyz were just fumbling asking us to wait and calling up different people rather than trying to find a soolution.
I lose my temper, its been 2 hours and i still was not done with my bath and felt itchy twitchy. i call up the 3rd party representative and blast them and in the vein , my marketing passion unfolds and i start lecturing her abt "customer centricity" much to the chagrin of my friends. Harshil being a suave guy(gujju naa, helps) realized the gravity of the situation, knowing that i would blow up the fuse took the phone from me and handled the situation with aplomb and ease which led to the 3rd party dealer requesting the hotel people to give us 2 single rooms.they finally relented and gave us two single rooms which increased the existing hole in our purse.
then i go to the lady at the reception to pay the bill the bill comes to 1408. ( we had paid some advance amt earlier while booking). I pay her 1500 initially and then pay her 10 rs and ask her to give me 100 back. she does not listen. she uses her calculator subtracts 1500 from 1408 it comes as -92 then she adds 10 (since i had given 10 later) , it comes as -82 and she asks me why she should pay me 100. i was already frustrated for waiting 2 hrs in the lobby , on top of it she is asking me to explain mathematics to her.grrrrrrrrrr..... i bet she is a graduate.. but that was really so dumb !!!
we finally get into the room.have a quick bath and rush out. we have breakfast at some hotel called "original" ramdas bhavan or something..then we ask the locals where we can meet a tour operator.
We go to find a tour operator from the bus stand. an auto wallah takes us to the tour operator and then the tour operator says that we will be covering a list of 15 places and asks the autowallah to take us to where the bus is parked. this is where the second list of suffereings start .We were unable to find the bus and after roaming here and there and a few phone calls to the operator we finally reached that place. and for reaching there the autowallah again fleeced us. we could not sight any bus but the coordinators stated that the bus will come.finally no bus came and one tata sumo came. there were already 11 people inside it and we were also queeezed into it.my seating was the worst. beneath my seat there were bags which could have contained dresses of a 4 member family for 10 days. i had no leg space and my leg was in fact touching teh roof of the car. i looked like a total idiot sitting
there. i protested but to no avail the driver said he will put it above the car once he reaches the hills.
the driver who drove us was a number one a$$h***. couldn't drive for nuts. he looks
behind, talks with someone behind, and presses the accelerator and drives the car forward, outcome being him hitting a stationary car which was caught up in a traffic jam. a huge blunder and the bugger does nbot even apologize and scold the other guy. what a parody !! he was giving some totally illogical explanations and finally insulted the guy by saying he will pay 100 rupees towards the damages. a big fight ensued and another hour of our time was wasted.from there we went to chamundi hills. nothing much to rave abt it. were there for half an hour and then went to mysore palace. we could see a 1 kilometer long queue and it was impossible to get into the palace and see it within a hour or two. so the palace plan was royally screwed.we just saw the palace exteriors took some snaps, tried desperately to getinto teh NDTV video footage, posed with the sculpted lions, tried some camera tricks and came back after half an hour to the mini bus.( from mysore palace a larger crowd was there so
all of us got into a mini bus).
then we get a shock as we get into the mini bus, the guy charges each of us 15 rs/head for guide charges . as it is he gave no useful info and he takes us to philomena chgurch and says that the height of the church is 175 feet from the BOTTOM.( as if its some KBC final question and every dumbass knows that u measue the height from the bottom). To listen to this stupid info i had to pay 15 bucks..i could have very well given it to a more deserving person.
from there we went to srirangapattinam and the guide showed us the ruins of the palace, tippu's toilet,bedrooms, his place of death and what not.. totally arbit..
from there we went to a vishnu temple. Here is where the ultimate event happened.
i wanted to go for a ride on a horse . so i enquired about the cost of the ride which turned out to be 60 rupees. i also took a photo with myself on the horse. after finishing the ride, i gave a 100 rupee note to the horse owner and he gave me back 60 rupees.
Me: hey, you have given me just 60 you ought to give me 70
horse owner: you took photo naa, for that 10 rupees sir..
Me: dude, hold on, teh camera is mine
horse owner: so what sir, horse is mine.
i was stumped !!
then we proceeded to brindavan gardens. as luck would have it we were held up in a tarffic jam for more than 3 hours and reached brindavan gardens at 9: 30. finally lady luck smiled on us and there was a last dussehra special screening of the fountain show which was a visual treat and somewhat compensated us for all the bullshit we had been experiencing the entire day.we reached our hotel by 11 and food was there. we were damn hungry and seeing the menu items on teh buffet we immediately ordered it. and yes !! you guessed it right..the food was terrible..had some two scoops of rice and finished . ate for not more than 15 minutes. food was awful. spent a solid 175 for that sham !!
and that ended the ennui !!
next day we caught the first bus to bangalore...