Airport Adventures:
Mumbai Airport

by Rookie, 1/25/2010

I found the absolutely RANK loo - the most indescribable filthy toilet with which I've ever been confronted and with a 'Notip' employee standing guard at the door handing out.....wait for it.......1 (one) count it, one square of toilet tissue to all comers.

It was on a flight from Hong Kong to Zurich when I was introduced to the wonders of Bombay Airport, the station stop for the Swissair flight (before the days of non-stop Europe to Asia flights). My seat mate was flying from Jakarta to Bombay, he said, to 'collect the rent' as, according to him, he couldn't trust his countrymen (Indians).

We landed for our refuelling stop and deplaned to be confronted at the end of the air bridge by soldiers with sub-machineguns patrolling the terminal. As I needed to use the loo, I marched off to find one and, on this journey of discovery passed scrawny men pushing brooms with the name of their employer 'Notip' emblazoned on their military-style shirts where soldiers' surnames are usually found. I found the absolutely RANK loo - the most indescribable filthy toilet with which I've ever been confronted and with a 'Notip' employee standing guard at the door handing out.....wait for it.......1 (one) count it, one square of toilet tissue to all comers. When I asked for more, he held out his hand and said 'thikarek', which I took to mean 'cigarette'. He counted out 5 and gave me 5 more squares. It was then that I realised that 'Notip' was not the contracting firm to Bombay Airport, but an admonition not to tip. I felt I had no choice.

Fortunately for me, when I wandered out of the loo, I noticed a sign that said 'Diner's Club Lounge' and, as a member, was able to access this haven in what is undoubtedly the world's worst airport; worse, even, than Charles de Gaulle. I've never been back to India (surprise, surprise) and I intend never to return for, as my rent-collecting seat-mate informed me, Bombay Airport is the best part of Bombay.

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