Sunday, August 14, 2011

ONE HELLUVA JOURNEY - March 21 2010

Yes, it’s about my first trip to US of A. And the journey has been one helluva day and night.

It began with the cab coming late to my place in PUNE and then the fuel was over so by some difficulty we got the fuel and started to MUMBAI from where I got the flight, the cabin baggage was overweight, the officer asked me to pay and I said "let this go with check in, I have only one". Just pulled out my documents into one small bag and started on board at 5 AM (IST). (Now note the timings are important).

The flight was from MUMBAI to DOHA (Qatar) and well impressed by a couple of air hostess but was very sleepy to have more glares and thus dozed off. when I woke up, my watch was ticking 8 30 AM (IST) and I saw the VIBGYOR (blue up, white down and in between was a thin ray of all the colors which if not looked carefully might not be so and it would just seem an orange ray). This was a spectacle for few minutes before it diffused as the sun rose. Then the flight just landed in DOHA at about 8 45 AM (IST).

I walked in to DOHA airport; it was a great one, with options of shopping, eating, relaxing etc. But I did not avail any as I wasn't need of any. Then the flight was from DOHA to WASHINGTON D.C. and man what a flight it was. It started with a good view of the green INDIAN OCEAN below and the clouds were slowly appearing first they were brown, I remember seeing, and dark clouds, white clouds and even grey clouds but first time I saw light brown clouds and were amazed. Well, I took with myself an IPOD and a NOVEL additional to my VISA and IMMIGRATION docs but none came to use. This flight was very happening, there was a screen given to me and a remote to control it with a headphones set. I straight away went to browse MUSIC and was delighted to find that THE DOORS (one of my favorite bands) was the featured artist of the month. And then I browsed movies list, there were some HINDI movies (MILI etc..) and many English movies. I started with HURT LOCKER and after it passed about 10 minutes, I dozed off again and when I woke up, I was offered lunch and I took a couple HEINEKEN beers along with it (seemed good, must drink it again). The food was vegetarian with potato capsicum and rice (ah, for my delight again) with salads and fruits which were fine. Now back to entertainment, I started with RAISING ARIZONA (a COEN BORTHERS movie) and it was a fun movie and was happy since I wanted to watch it since long and I got it done. Then, I queued up all the songs that were my favorites to JUKEBOX. (The song collection was awesome, BOB DYLAN, BEATLES, THE DOORS, PINK FLOYD, JOHNNY CASH, it was like you name it they have it and I put some four hours of songs). Then again a slumber did strike. When I woke up now, I was being offered dinner and man I ate rice and dal and it was just an awesome feeling, despite the dal being pretty ordinary now But no alcohol, just a coke for company.

Then the landing form and i94 were filled and I landed in WASHINGTON D.C. So I took the first steps in AMERICA, I got clearance of immigration but for a while got lost as I did not submit my baggage at the specified airlines so I got to find that and so I did after an hour and then the officer said, that the two bags were uneven and so I distributed it by transferring the pickles he said "are the pickles good?" "Yes" I replied and gave small pouch of pickle for gratitude of his and he gave back a laugh.

Moving on, I went into terminal where I was supposed to board the flight from WASHINGTON to TAMPA (the final destination). But since, there was a long gap of 4 hours, I just checked out some stores as I was curious to know how is AMERICA different from INDIA, yes the price was more, a small note book I got for 5 rupees (nearly 10 cents) was here 2$ and the quality was great too. I just got a water bottle for 2.31$ my first purchase in US and made a call to my colleague in TAMPA (my first local phone call) and hey I observed that there were an INDIAN mom and son who were managing a store in the airport so I was just happy to hear some hindi from them and also I got a change for 5$. Also, in the WASHINTON airport, I met a middle aged couple who were from HYDERABAD (INDIA) and were telugu speaking so passed some time
with them.

I needed some relief so I got the chair and for the first time I took out my IPOD, it was shuffle mode, and the song it started was VANDEMATARAM (from VANDEMATARAM - AN ELECTRONIC EXPLORATION album) and I was rejoiced to be hearing that as the first song in U S of A. Then again a nap and then the couple woke me up as it was time for the next flight.

Got into the flight, just continued my nap and woke up just half an hour before landing TAMPA 10 20 AM (IST) and man the view of city was just awesome, there was the crescent moon peeping through the window and there was this well lit city down, with lights of blue, orange, white etc.. So was just gazing through the window till I landed.

Got down, met my friends and got into their car at 1 26 AM TAMPA time and 10 56 AM (IST) and came to the room of a friend.

So that was my voyage, half in slumber and the other in fun. And hey, my watch is ticking, 2 35 PM (IST). I will set it now.

About Me

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I firstly declare here that all the content written in the blog is exclusively written by me and I hold the copyrights of each and everything. Be it a poem or a movie review. Also, the videos or photographs I upload or attach are exclusively owned by me. This declaration is important in a world that seems so worried of piracy. The prime purpose of these blogs is to put my writings and photographs on the net. and well to start with.... I live in my mind, and existence is the attempt to bring my thoughts into physical reality, I celebrate myself, sing myself and I am always happy in my own company.....I am not the best in the world but I strive for excellence and thats what keeps me alive... Talking much about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself--Friedrich Nietzsche