Flight to Somalia

Hyderabad Travel Blog

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October 23, 2002 - After so much of thoughts and internet investigation we have accepted to work in Somalia. It didn't take much days to get our work permit and travel confirmation. We packed our baggage and moved to Hyderabad airport on October 31, 2002. We were anxious but determined. After obtaining boarding pass, as we were approaching emigration officer, we were stopped for asking plenty of questions, which I felt harassing. As I was from Kerala and my wife was from West Bengal, we had our passports issued from two different states. Their query was "you are from Kerala and your wife is from Bengal but you are traveling from Hyderabad (Andra Pradesh). Can you explain why is it so?" I have given him the true explanation but he was expecting a different explanation, I believe. The next question was "do you have no objection letter from your parents?". I was quite embarrassed with that question as we were adults. His questions continued even up to the level that "what salary Somalian Organization is offering you?". Any how after almost 60 minutes of interrogation with no benefit for him, other than the enjoyment of sadistic satisfaction,  he allowed us to travel.
After almost 5+ hours of journey, with a stop in Bangalore our flight reached Sharjah. As we were informed, we waited at the lounge in Sharjah airport. It was mentioned to us that we will be traveling by Damaal airlines from Sharjah to Bosaso via Hargeisa. After waiting for almost 2 hours in the lounge, crew of Damaal airlines made an announcement in our name and we moved towards the help desk. Our crew Abdi-Rehman did greet us and direct us to the flight. The flight was better than cargo flights. All seats ahead of wings were broken and kept for dumping cargo. Seats behind the wings were good to sit. We were only five human beings in the flight - me and my wife, Abdi-Rehman, and two Russian pilots. After flying for almost 20 to 25 minutes our flight was landed at Dubai airport and I couldn't believe my eyes. Not less than 50 passengers were crowding with their baggage like bus passengers rushing in bus stations back in India. Some of them could grab their seats, mostly women and children, and others were standing. I was so worried about the situation and safety of journey. The flight toilets were also dumped with baggage and I never thought of visiting washroom. We flew almost 6 hours and reached Hargeisa with a stop at Yemen for filling fuel. Hargeisa airport was like a small air strip and we came out of the flight for fresh air. In 40 minutes time we were back in the air and continued to Bosaso. While reaching Bosaso, it was almost 12:30pm and sun was really messing the situation. Bosaso airport was hard to believe. This international airport do not have a runway, a waiting lounge or not even a waiting shed. We were expected to be welcomed by ministers and so on, but no one were available to receive us. Any how Abdi-Rehman, our crew was aware about our appointment and he did suggest us to wait beneath the flight. Sun was hot, land was dry, and we did not have any shelter but the beach was really amazing. We enjoyed the view of sea and sea birds for almost 30 minutes before the minister and other officials arrived to welcome us. From airport, it was 20 minutes drive to our accommodation and it was well organized and arranged.
bhugolechappanno says:
this is out of the ordinary....
Posted on: Aug 11, 2011
sylviandavid says:
Very interesting.... You were in the air a long time total....
Posted on: Feb 12, 2010
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