I had to wait almost two hours for my parents to pick me up because my flight landed at a small hour that they couldn't quite do. (There's never a question of making my own way, I save my breath for the important battles.)
So I had time to look around me and felt much proprietary pride and pleasure in the shiny new airport until I encountered the petty bureaucracy of the free WiFi. One, it's not really free if you have to send text messages over international roaming for a one-hour password. Two, the password came four hours after I had reached home so it's not only unfree, it's also unusable.
But apart from this weirdness – I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt since it was just the one time for me – it's great. After all these years of no-strings camping in someone else's airfield, saying "but we're doing fine, why change things now", Bangalore has finally taken the plunge.
The airport is... well, a real airport. Swank too. They'd even opened up all the immigration counters instead of just one and a half as per usual government procedure. There are seven baggage carousels in place of the one rugby scrum that collecting luggage used to be. The trolleys work. All wheels. At the same time, in the same direction.
There are shops, cafes, bars, restaurants, a spa, more than one telephone, things to do. (I was once stuck in the old airport for seven hours because of a "suspicious flight" with nothing to eat, drink or do once I'd finished my book. It got so bad I risked arrest – unpleasantness, anyway - to sneak into the domestic terminal where the party was at. I bought a book, a sandwich and a coffee and got busted on the way back. I traded the coffee for my freedom.)
Standing in the immigration queue reading, I was briefly disoriented when I looked up, compounded by the fact that there was a giant ad on one wall for Damac properties, with Dubai phone numbers. For a moment I forgot where I was – Bengaluru International Airport did not know it, but that was a huge compliment.
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