So the journey started from Mumbai International Airport.
Travelling to Rio de Janeiro, more famously called Rio, for a series of business meetings, I was lucky to be able to extend the trip for a couple of days to explore the beautiful city. Days 1 & 2 were spent attending business meetings and dinners. Days were spent working, but we ventured out during the little time we got in the evenings.How to reach Rio?We took the Emirates flight from Mumbai->Dubai->Rio De Janeiro. It was a smooth flying experience. Very similar to an Etihad or Lufthansa. It was more enjoyable as there were a lot of Latin American co-passengers and they know how to have a blast. Being seated next to a group of doctors from Argentina and sharing a few drinks with them was an entertaining experience.The staff was very cordial and helped us out whenever needed. Latin America is a difficult place to survive if you're a vegetarian as the food options are very limited. We got a taste of this at the very beginning of the trip, on the flight from Dubai to Rio. But full marks to the Aircraft personnel in managing to keep us satisfied by some 'jugaad'.The return Airfare for Mumbai->Rio De Janeiro -> Mumbai cost us Rs 1,65,000 INR per person.
As I stand at the immigration counter at Mumbai airport, excited that my Japan trip is about to begin, the immigration officer starts the routine questions- how many days, return flight, purpose of visit. But one question caught me off-guard and left a smile on my face too. “You are celebrating your birthday in Japan alone?,” “ Yes, “ I say with a bright smile. The officer gives me a warm smile back. Both the question and smile, followed me in Japan too.***