Arrived at Mumbai airport yesterday around 4am. Nice airport! still work-in-progress but pretty neat. My thoughts were reaffirmed when I saw the toilets. 3 Clean squat toilets and 3 clean western toilets – with toilet paper! I couldn’t believe it.
As much as India is a stable economy, developing very fast, has the youngest educated youth population, it’s a certain mentality of the masses that sometimes gets the better of me when I go to India.
For instance: I go to the conveyor belt to get my bag. Now everyone has got there way before me as they went running to the belt. Why do you need to run? your bags aren’t going anywhere. So ofcourse I fall into the unprivileged lot who didn’t make it to the first row around the belt, so I have to stand in the 3rd row – the second row had the trolleys of the people in the first row. Fine, I will just wait here till it clears a bit, I think.
The people in the previliged first row stand so close to the belt, that their knees get scraped by the large bags on the belt, they get pushed behind, so their trolleys get pushed behind, so they fall onto their trolleys and knock out the people in the 3rd row. Nobody will move their trolleys! It’s like the bag has to go straight onto the trolley.
”Excuse me, can you move your trolley to the side please,”, I say politely with a smile.
“It’s not mine,” he replies. And then I notice, the guys in the 1st row getting their bags are actually walking past the trolleys to another trolley kept considerably away from the belt. Who’s trolleys are they?! If they are not the 1st row’s, why are they there and why isn’t anyone moving them?
Anyway, I move the one infront of me aside so I can be the only lucky one in the 2nd row with the trolleys.
In about 5-minutes I got pushed into the first row-which was a whole different story. People were so close together they couldn’t even face the belt and even if one of them had an itch, his movement bothered the whole line.
10 minutes into waiting, people were complaining because they couldn’t see their bags yet, and you had atleast 5 people trying to change their place in the line. They wanted to see where else their bag could be on the conveyor belt – maybe they missed it (ofcourse they didn’t realise that the belt moves, so if they missed it the first time, I would come around to them again). This meant that they had to push through the trolley row and the 3rd row, and come back into the 1st row the same way.
What chaos man. Nobody was helping each other and the looks that were happening between people were lethal. I felt like standing on the conveyor belt and shouting out ‘ guys! your bags aren’t going anywhere, and nobody wants your bags, so just chill out and wait for your bags!’
Finally when my bag came, when I pulled it off the belt I must have hurt atleast 3 people.
Ok I know I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill, but seriously whatever happened to a bit of etiquette at the conveyor belt!