Beijing, Aug 5 (UNI) That the security was going to be stiffling was expected, but that it will start from the Indira Gandhi International airport itself was hardly anticipated.
The Indians travelling to Beijing got the taste of it at IGI airport when the Air China flight was delayed by over 90 minutes because the Chinese security officials checked every body's bag before allowing them to get into the plane.
This despite the fact that passengers had been thoroughly checked at the airport before allowing them to get into the bus for the plane.
However, the bus was stopped near the plane for nearly 15 minutes and nobody was allowed to get out of it as the Chinese officials were checking the bags of the first lot of passengers.
Among those stranded including high profile congress MP Satish Sharma and his wife. Suddenly a VIP car came and that too was halted near the plane and after a 10 minute wait the VIP - Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi - got out of the car to board the plane.
Meanwhile, an old lady, because of the long wait, fell sick and had to be taken off the plane and was not allowed to board again. But the Chinese were not apologetic about the security drill. Even after passengers were allowed to board the plane it did not take off for another 45 minutes.
The security was even stringent at the majestic Beijing International Airport. The sniffer dogs were every where and every piece of luggage again went through the security machines.
But the Chinese, despite the stiff security measures, had to be given credit for efficient handling and clearing of the huge number of people in virtually no time.
Outside the airport, the scene was one of chaos and this time it had nothing to do with security, it was now the turn of language.
Despite the official propaganda for last two years that the visitors will not face language problem, the young volunteers meant for helping the sports persons and officials have little or no knowledge of English. They are trained to smile, say good morning and yes or no. But beyond that the visitors is left to his understanding of sign language.
UNI HSB AB BST1920