Tag Archives: Travel

Jillian 9 – Worst Travel Experience

For the start of these episodes go to http://career-change-strategies.com.au/jillian-1-meet-my-friend/

Well Jillian could only think of one worst experience. I'd have bet on more - but I only really wanted one so this is good.

Here goes.

It was early in a year we won't mention.

Jillian had some business meetings in Wellington in NZ. And it was hot, Damn Hot in Melbourne. Well over 30 degrees most days. Wellington was going to be windy as usual and her appointments were going to keep her right on the edge of the harbour. Even more wind. It would be much cooler than Melbourne, and probably even cool by Wellington NZ standards. Well it was. I'm not making this stuff up.

It was the first time Jillian had been promoting this line and it was very important. A sale here would make for a fairly decent commission (did I tell you she was at one time earlier in her peripatetic life a sales person? - It was only for a relatively short time, so it may not have come up before.)

Anyway, at this time, early in her working life, she was a sales person A commercial traveller as she found out they called them in NZ.

And this was not only going to be a lucrative 'one-off', but on-going sales were likely to keep it ticking on for some time.

She boarded the plane with one smallish suitcase, which, unfortunately, would not fit into the overhead locker. "Shouldn't matter," she said to herself. "Nothing valuable in there." Famous last words.

Since it was only a short trip both in duration of the flight and the time over there, Jillian was a tad casual about things, she now understands, but after all her business attire WAS in the suitcase and she had everything she needed to imbibe a few cold wines on the flight.

Did I say it was hot in Melbourne? Imagine this.

Hair tied back in a semblance of a pony tail. Multicoloured halter neck top in greens and golds. It was not revealing - designed for day-wear not the beach. And she was going on an international flight. So. Fine. OK?

It was teamed with a cotton wrap-around skirt of similar hue. and a pair of not very high, but still high heeled ankle strap, open toed sandals with wedge heels, light green in colour. Quite cool and summery. Very nice.

Not Business attire. Definitely NOT business attire.

Jillian arrived in Wellington. The airport buildings still seemed to be fashioned from a couple of WWII Nissan huts and not a lot of sophisticated equipment was in view.

And it was, as already promised, windy outside, (no aero-bridge - Just a wheeled set of gangway stairs here in good old Windy Wellington), and a LOT cooler then the Melbourne summer.

To Be Continued ...


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Jillian 8a – Best Travel Experience

Another time when we were talking about travel, Jillian spoke about a wonderful experience she had had in Mumbai or Bombay.

If you don't tell her, I won't; but India was another country I omitted from my list a few posts ago. Oh dear!

This is a really nice story and well worthy of being included in the best experiences category. India, unfortunately, is often on the other side of the best/worse experiences for travellers and I can vouch for this. One evening while walking on Chowpatti beach, during the most fantastic Ganesha Chaturthi Hindu festival, celebrated in honour of the elephant-headed God, Ganesh - remover of obstacles and the God of beginnings and wisdom, when Hindus immerse idols of Lord Ganapati with a variety of herbal leaves and plants into the Arabian Sea; I realised, too late, why no Indian people were bare footed in the sand. Oops.

Back to Jillian. On her 1st visit to Mumbai, she was able to snag a kind of a taxi, a really old, rusty and run down, but garishly painted in swirly rainbow colours, car of some sort with an unkempt scraggy young boy as a driver. The longish journey into the southern Mumbai suburb of Colaba was punctuated by very loud, very colourful fireworks, and a madly waving driver indicating with hands and bobbing head large numbers of incredible sights not to be missed, although the road appeared quite capable of taking care of itself without eyes, or hands on the steering wheel.

And the SPEED. Oh well that's another thing altogether. This guy took a shine to Jillian - a slight mix-up with money and a largish tip changing hands may have helped. He adopted her. He became her personal taxi driver in Mumbai. Slept on the bonnet of the cab outside her hotel. "I look after lovely white lady without man." he used to say. He must have had other clothes in the cab as he was sometimes in an ordinary shirt and trousers, sometimes an Indian dhoti with a shirt, not very clean and not always much more than threadbare. His odour was acceptable most days so he must have had a bit of a wash in the nearby Arabian Sea. In itself this is a risk as some of the stuff floating in and on this water had the ability to make things worse. Much worse.

Mumbai is a city where traffic cannot even begin to be described, taxis and hire cars are seemingly non-existent, cows roam the streets and motor bikes make up a greater population than sheep in the whole of New Zealand. And everything that moves - (except for the cows which can sit in the middle of the road often not moving at all for hours; and of course, because they are sacred you can't touch them), everything moves at lightning speed.

Walking is hard because of the beggars living, eating, feeding babies, defecating, yelling, and sleeping. The streets are often an extension of the slums. Jillian was very nearly run over by a young chap with no legs zooming along the footpath at warp speed on a skateboard.

So, it is good, no read REALLY GOOD, to have your own personal taxi driver. He can move anything - except cows (even a personal taxi driver can't do that), park anywhere, help you avoid the unavoidable beggars and peddlers and spruikers, circumvent for you the prominent back street, garishly decorated, overpriced emporiums where you can get the best fake Prada bags ever made. "I mean even the leather is fake," Jillian screamed hysterically at me.

And he can recommend shopping for real bargains, theatres for Bollywood movies, street food to avoid and that to eat, sights to see and – those that are a rip off. He can inform you of traditions and religious stuff to help you avoid the major gaffes most of us make.

In short he is an additional God to add to the possible 330 million others.


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Colin Rochford - Career Change Strategies

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