Tale of tourists

So you are planning a holiday trip with family?

In our experience vacations can turn out to be the pleasant experience they are deemed to be provided you holiday in your own home after dispatching your family members to some distant place. This is a strategy that is increasingly finding favour among experienced holidayers who have seen it all and done it all.

This is from their typical diary:

Day of Departure: Handle comes off the suitcase. Probably due to the weight of the unpeeled airline tags you retain to showoff that you are a frequent flier. Make urgent and ungainly repairs to the handle.

Cab arrives late. Driver in a permanent state of surly moroseness. Space for the bags is inadequate (First rule of travel: Luggage space is never adequate).

Son throws a tantrum over something.

Forget the emergency medical kit at home.

Fret over whether you closed the main door of the house properly.

1st Day: Need a painkiller to subside the splitting headache due to the jerky journey. But no emergency medicine at hand. (Second rule of travel: The first and the foremost thing you need on a vacation trip is the one you forgot to bring along).

Hotel room rent is exorbitant. Apparently they charge for the weather outside too.

Now, it is the turn of the daughter to throw a tantrum.

Driver acts funny and mutters many incomprehensible words.

You wax eloquent over the mist engulfing the hotel room. Missus disabuses you of your imagination and points to the billowing mosquito repellant that had caused all the smoky halo.

Head to the nearest tourist spot. Find roughly one lakh fellow holidayers seeking the same view and experience. Take a few snaps with the camera. Its battery runs out. (Third rule of travel: You need roughly 43,267 batteries to last a single vacation trip).

Son wants to go boating. Daughter wants to trek. But it begins to rain.

Come back to hotel. Watch TV in the room. Criticise all the programmes to be trashy. Go to sleep with the promise to wake up early and catch in all the fun of the place.

2nd Day: Wake up late. Feel groggy. Order coffee on room service. Feel bad even more. (Fourth rule of travel: Holiday-spot hotels provide the worst coffee in the entire world).

Children wake up throwing tantrums. The hotel has no wi-fi.

Driver throws a tantrum after enduring a cold night in the vehicle.

Join the crores of revellers at the botanical garden. There are as many visitors as there are as many blades of grass. Every one thinks that he or she is having fun while others are just going through the routine. Every one takes photograph of everything and everyone.

Daughter wants to eat the dubious-looking baked corn and groundnut. This was the girl that refused to touch the milk and cereals at the breakfast table. Reason? The tablecloth was stained.

Buy yourself a monkey cap. Look positively stupid.

Son forgets the Rayban coolers you gave him to pose for a photograph.

Search frantically for it. Miss the next leg of the scheduled programme.

@#§Fy##%%: Your state of mind.

(Fifth rule of travel: You will lose at least one of your favourite and costly possessions on every holiday trip).

Come back to hotel. Watch TV. Children fight over which channel to watch. Promise yourself to enjoy better the next day.

3rd Day: Wake up late. Find out missus had ordered coffee as she was nursing a headache. After the coffee, you also have a headache and you make a nice pair.

No hot water on tap. (Sixth rule of travel: Hot water will play truant at least for a day when you are in a hill station. Corollary: The AC will conk off if you are in a seaside resort).

Driver looks waspish.

Go to rose garden. Roses there are named on the indubitable botanical principle that common people know nothing about botany and anything can pass muster with them. ‘Schwap’ is one of the rose varieties. Make what you can out of that.

Slipper gives way. Or your pant gets torn. Or something similar happens so that you never get to enjoy the promised fun.

Son and daughter throw a tantrum perhaps for nothing better to do.

Get fleeced by all the local vendors. (Seventh rule of travel: All the most cheating and shady traders are headquartered in the holiday spot you are vacationing).

Eat at a trashy hotel that charges a premium for trashiness. You understand that the wise men were right when they said: Travel broadens the wallet.

Cash runs out. The ATMs nearby are out of service. They inevitably are. They have a whacky sense of humour. Or perhaps, they are all throwing a tantrum, as tantrums are known to be the most infectious things on earth.

Kids are bored throwing tantrums. They are sulking.

Driver is fuming.

Return to hotel. Room service takes roughly 1256 hours to deliver the humble curd rice you ordered. You puke after dinner. Missus has run out of patience and perseverance. Sleep is the sole need of the hour. But son and daughter are all radiant and want to play cards. (Eighth rule of travel: Nothing works according to plan. Especially if you are the one doing the planning).

4th Day: Coffee-tantrums-batteries-more tantrums-fleecing-poor food-crowds-headache-exchange of words with driver over fare-broken handle of suitcase.

It all passes in a blur. Nothing really matters. You are ready to kiss the doormat in relief on your arrival back home.