Thursday, May 26, 2005

First HNLUite on the Island Continent...Certainly not the last...


The Nerang Train...

I got up around 5:00 AM (still Hong Kong time) and was glad to see the Australian Map on my monitor. We were still somewhere near the Gulf of Carpentaria as per the map. As we closed in on Brisbane and the aircraft started to descend, I was astonished by the extraordinary greenery on the ground below. From the aircraft, the outskirts of Brisbane appeared like a well maintained 'flowerless garden' wherein the houses were the empty flower pots, the water bodies, the tanks and the dense network of roads, the creepers. We touched down around 9:00 AM (Brisbane time is four and a half hours ahead of Delhi ) and I was convinced that Brisbane was certainly not a very busy International Airport as there were very few people around and every thing seemed to be moving at its own pace.

Australia has very strict quarantine rules. One is barred from carrying a legion of things (any kind of food, certain medicines, and the usual stuff like firearms, etc.) inside. Now, I was carrying certain medicines along. The immigration form asks you to "tick on the box if you are carrying explosives, firearms or prohibited medicines". I didn't know whether the medicines I was carrying were prohibited or not and hence ticked on the box to avoid any possible problem. After being through the immigration, one cop came to me and asked my about my purpose of visit...what was interesting to note here was that no other passenger had been subjected to such 'interrogation'. Had he not said, "have a nice stay mate!", I would have imputed certain offensive epithets to him right here on the blog. Anyways...I moved to the next counter...A lady cop checked my embarkation card and referred me to another cop who was supposed to scan my bags for any signs of prohibited medicines. The cop cheekily asked, "No firearms today. Right (today sounds like todaii in Australia)?" ...to which I told him, "Not todaii" and moved on.

After using the 'washroom facilities' at the airport (did I tell you about that incident at the Hong Kong Airport washroom...well, this information is classified and people who can meet me in person can know about it), I took the lift to the next floor which had an exit leading to the Airport Train Station (the organizers had already informed us about the train to catch and the place to get down at).The platform was deserted but immaculately clean. I hopped on to the next train...the compartment was near vacant...as it traveled, my eyes feasted on the outskirts of Brisbane, the farmlands and the cricket field (where a bunch of kids dressed up in impeccable whites chased a red cherry) which flashed by. The Nerang Station (Gold Coast) was still seventy five minutes away...

2 comments:

Neil Padayatty said...

Definitely not the last... Hey Debu update us on what you're upto these days.

Debanshu Mukherjee said...

hi there...am in raipur till the 31st...was at the Bombay HC for three weeks before my boss went on a vacation...am rejoining on the 6th of June for another 3 weeks...the grapewine says that Dr.Nagraj might become our new VC...but as you know, our grapewine has never been known for its credibility...what about u?