Our plane was arriving in Chennai at midnight. Also, the forecast called for rains. I don’t know about other airports. In Chennai, people who come to receive arriving passengers have to stand in the street. If it is raining, they will be standing in the rain. They should give some adequate space inside the airport for people who come to receive the passengers. Therefore, I have told our relatives (my wife’s brothers) not to come to the airport.
I always believed in CCC. Cash in the Bank, Credit Card, Computer. I thought, with these three, you can do anything in the world. Before leaving
, I looked at
the website and made arrangements from a reputed tourist cab company for a car
(qualis) to pick us at the airport. I
gave my flight information. I told the company my flight is arriving at
midnight and I should be out of the airport anywhere from 1 am to 1:30 am. I
had 4 email correspondence and 2 telephone conversation. I told them the driver should stand outside
with a sign prominently displaying my name.
Everything was set. California
We came out of the airport at exactly 1 am with 4 suitcases and 2 carry-ons. No driver with my name. We thought he was delayed. We waited until 2 am. No one showed up. Wanted to call the tourist cab company. But I don’t have an Indian cell phone. I sweet talked to a lady standing nearby and dialed the tourist cab office from her cell phone. It was ringing and ringing and no one answered.
Now it is almost 2:30 am. Almost deserted outside the airport with no one. We decided to take some other taxi and go to our service apartment. We arranged one from the airport taxi services.
The taxi came within 5 minutes. All our luggage and we boarded the taxi. I told the driver to go to T.Nagar. His first response “enga irukunga adhu” (Where is it located?). I was shocked. What will you think if a cab driver in Mumbai asks where is
Marine Drive. What will you think if a cab driver in asks where is New Delhi Connaught Place. He has been in Chennai for the last 4 days
only. Looks like lot of young guys from
all over Tamilnadu get a driver’s license and come to Chennai to drive
taxi. No guidance or mentor for them. No one to give them training for a few days
and show them various parts of the city.
I told him I know how to go to T.Nagar and will navigate him. But in T.Nagar, we have to ask someone where the particular street is located. There were people walking and standing in the streets at 3 am. We asked couple of guys for direction and finally reached our service apartment.
PS: My wife asked me to call the tourist cab company and enquire why they did not show up at the airport. I told her it is of no use. I have learned what they would say in Chennai in such a situation. “My driver was waiting for you since midnight for 4 hours. You did not show up.”