My name is Nadine Uwase, and I am a Sophomore here at UMass Lowell. For a very long time, I have always wanted to study abroad, and it is finally happening. As I am writing this, I am on the final flight to Hubli. FINALLY! So how was my trip to India you may ask? Well, definitely not what I had in mind.
On Dec 27th, I left my house in Springfield at 6PM to catch the 10PM flight in Boston. I arrived in Boston exactly 8pm, which gave me more than enough time to check in and board. This would be my very first time taking Qatar airlines. I did not expect much from the airline, but to my surprise, the eleven hours flight to Qatar was worthwhile. The plane was very spacious and wide. Although I did not get a window seat, the free movies and entertainment provided kept me sane. The first movie I watched was a Bollywood movie. I do not remember its name, but I sure learned a whole lot of Hindi, as the movie was in Hindi with English subtitles. As I started the movie, the flight crew began to serve dinner, which I thought would not be that great. Luckily, the food was very decent. I had chicken with rice, and a few beverages. The crew was so kind and welcoming, as they came around asking if you wanted anything else to eat. 5 STARS FOR QATAR AIRLINES. After the movie, it was about 1AM and I decided to go to sleep.
I woke up six hours later, and we had five more hours to go till arrival in Qatar. The crew came around and served us brunch, and I found out I had 1 hour of free Wi-Fi, and full Wi-Fi for the whole flight for just 10 USD. ANOTHER STAR FOR QATAR AIRLINES. Finally, we arrived in Doha, Qatar at 5:40pm, and had two hours layover till our flight to Bangalore. The Doha airport was so beautiful. It looked like a small New York and Vegas smashed together, although the culture shock began to hit me. I saw four women in full black dresses with their whole face covered in black cloth, which I came to find out is called a burka. I’ve only seen it on TV, but it still took me by surprise seeing it in person. I tried my hardest not to stare, but I don’t think I tried hard enough. All I kept wondering was “How do they actually look like?” “What’s the culture and religious aspects behind it?” This led me to want to do more research on the Islam religion.
Finally, we boarded ANOTHER Qatar Airline to head to Bangalore. Can you tell how much I love Qatar Airlines? This flight was much shorter, just four hours. During the flight, I reviewed my class notes and ate dinner. Upon arrival to Bangalore, I was so excited. We got off the plane and went straight to immigration. They asked us a lot of questions, but we conquered and made it through. We headed to baggage claim, and an airport staff decided to help me pick out my baggage and place it on a rack. When it was time for the group and I to head to the transfer section of the airport, he began asking money for his services. I was so confused. What services was he talking about? I didn’t ask for any services I thought to myself. He said he needed to be compensated for helping me with my suitcase. I was in awe. I told him I had no cash on me, and he insisted I go by the nearest ATM. I became very frustrated and scared, as I saw the seriousness in his eyes. Gladly, Chris came to the rescue and gave the man five dollar. As the man walked off he said “don’t tell any authorities.” Unbelievable.
There goes my first encounter in India. I began to second guess on how good of an experience this was going to be, but the group members motivated me to stay positive. The six hours layover in Bangalore did not help the situation. I started to become very inpatient, and tired. Than goodness we’re finally on our way to Hubli. I pray the rest of the trip goes well. Stay tuned!