Series of interview undertaken for months and finally, I was selected amongst three hundred candidates to be the Country Manager stationed at Ghana as the head Quarters in West Africa for six adjoining countries.
I still remember very vividly my first long journey overseas in Flight ever. The flight was to take off early morning vide ‘Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport’, formerly known as ‘Sahar International Airport', Mumbai – India at 7 A.M (Indian Standard Time). I had to be in the airport at least One hour before the flight departure time for the security check formalities.
I thought it wise to check in one of adjacent hotel the night before the departure. So, I went by train accordingly from Kolkata to Mumbai and stayed in a comfortable economical hotel near the Mumbai Airport. There was pulsating excitement all night. This practically kept me awake whole night before the journey. The alarm clock cautioned me to get ready for the journey.
I reached with my baggage already packed intactly at the Mumbai Airport at sharp 5:30 A.M. The early dawn was energetically full with vibration and my intuition gave me a signal that I will have an amazing long journey.
After standing in queue and obtaining the boarding pass and getting the airline tag having weighted the baggage and sending them as luggage carriage; I walked forward on the announcement for the security check and boarding the bus to reach the flight in the runway.
My flight ticket for Accra (West Africa) was booked by my Employer of Ghana by Ethiopian Airlines which usually takes about 12 h 50 m + time via Addis Ababa to reach ‘Kotoka International Airport ’ in Accra, the capital of Ghana.
A beautiful black beauty was waiting at the huge entrance gate of the very spacious Flight climbing the stairs on the runway. Inside the temperature was cool in comparision to the scorching sunheat temperature outside. The Airhostess inside gave an lovable ambience and helped to keep my hand baggage on the top of my window seat in front portion of the aircraft. By their experience in the industry and travel as often made, they understand who the regular and first time travelers are. Accordingly, they make the passengers feel comfortable and homely in the entire journey. Of course, that is the primary job of these Airhostesses.
I sat on my window seat. Lifted the window shutter. Faint early dawn sunlight kissed my face to give a glimpse of the morning sun and a little warmth of temperature through the opaque window glasses of the huge aircraft. Through the window pane, I could view the long runway and greenery of the Mumbai suburb of Santacruz area.
As soon as the passengers had boarded the flight, the entrance gate of the flight was closed tightly by two airhostesses. Announcement ensued about the destination, it’s time to be taken, the temperature inside and outside and the flight formalities need to be maintained by the passengers. The announcement of seat belts to be tied by the passengers. The flight started with an immense speed to run on the runway first and then took off the land with a huge giggling sensation in the stomach for which I had to hold tightly with my hands on both seat handles. Later on, I travelled so many times in flight and got used to it and never felt giddy.
The Air-hostess came next to my seat, a two sitter and with a pleasant smile gave me the soft drink and a packaged drinking water for use when the flight was steadily travelling through the small white round clouds. Then came the biscuits and snacks. Enough for the breakfast which again ensued later? After a gourmet lunch came the time for a change to another flight comparatively smaller in Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, Bole; Ethiopia. Spending for about one and half hours in this airport, I boarded to another small Ethiopian aircraft to reach Accra. The experience in this flight was also very pleasing with unique ambience and food and smooth travel. Only the Air-hostesses here had the touch and style of typical African and skin color quite dark.
You can understand how enterprising was the experience of my first long International journey that I still remember its minute experience even after such a long time.