Airport adventures and close calls…

Overall the flights were uneventful–altho veerry long.  13 hours Detroit to Tokyo, 7 hours Tokyo to Bangkok–only about 4 hours total sleep during two days!!  Stayed in Bangkok at Indra Hotel–I’ll do another post on Bangkok activities. 

I was sure I had checked my Bangladesh visa and that it was good until August.  Well, upon rechecking as we are heading to airport, I discovered that it was good until August–AUGUST 2010–so now I am facing no visa.  A traveling companion also without visa and it looked like she wouldn’teven be able to board the plane.  I was allowed to board plane since our purpose of visit is business and hopefully I would be eligible for an “on arrival” visa.  At the very last minute we were all able to board the plane and fly to Dhaka via Thai Air which is a wonderful –in fact, all the women passenger got an orchid as we left the plane .  As we collected our luggage (each piece got the “H” for heavy tag), colleague Fran, reached to yank her  bag off the carousel and was just catapaulted backwards and landed on her tush on a cart, just like it was waiting there to catch her fall!  Good comic relief for all of us!

Upon arrival in Dhaka we were met by three men with a sign with one of our names.  They whisked us away to the immigration area.  We weren’t sure if we were going to the naughty corner, or to get help.  In the meantime, other passengers in line for Immigration believed they were  being delayed by attention given to us and became vocally upset.  After sometime (and the authorities had our passports) we were whisked to a cashier office to exchange $51 USD for Thaka and back to Immigration.  Eventually we were given entry visas and all is well.  Behind the scenes connections from many locations were pulling strings to make this happen and we are forever grateful to all who worked so hard on our behalf!

As we finally got out of the naughty corner and out of Immigration, there was Reaz waiting for us–such a welcome sight.  Next challenge–getting all 8 bags into the van.  We managed to pile them onto a cart (several carts) and exited the airport to find ourselves and everyone else surrounded by military.  A little disconcerting at first, but the soldiers didn’t seem on high alert, and it turns out they were there to greet and protect the arriving British and Bangladesh Cricket Teams.  The World Cup Cricket is underway and Bangladesh is the host country.  Much work has been done in airports and roadways to be festive and welcoming to the Cricket Teams and fans. 

Sorry about no photos–I  have some good ones but can’t get them into the post.  Maybe next time.

Published in: on March 5, 2011 at 9:04 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. It seems as though Passport and VISA woes are a way of life for your travel! I know you were glad to see Reaz! Anxious to see your pictures and hear about the hospitals.

  2. Such an adventure! So now you’re in Chittagong hard at work? Xoxo

  3. I am so excited to track your adventures. You are a great writer!

  4. A beginning to remember for sure! Can’t wait to hear more & see pictures! Stay well!

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