Saturday, August 22, 2009

Resident Alien??

Accustoming to a new place is tough, and to a new place in another country is even more tougher. In the last 6 days of my stay here, I had some weird happenings and I would enlist them here

* The bank employee said "Thank You" 10 times in 2 minutes. Be it when I handed over the application form or when I confirmed the spelling of my name or when I typed the PIN first time, and when I typed it second time to confirm again I got a "Thank You" In return, I said "You are Welcome" twice after which I felt very awkward and stopped saying anything.

* These days when I go out, I prepare a short answer for the question "How are you doing?" Almost all whom your eyes meet up with ask that question. And by the time with an Indian accent I start saying something, they are out of earshot. Sometimes I look at the ground and walk or before anyone asks I quip the question and walk away he he!!! eppadi??

* The roads are all deserted (in comparison with our Indian traffic) and it is hard to find any houses/shops on either side of the highway, because of this all roads looks the same to me, and I cant keep anything as landmark to understand which part of the road I am in!!!

* After the long lecture about Fire alarm in the international orientation, and also the advice from seniors about how the whole world comes to you if you raise an fire alarm in this part of the world, I actually saw an alarm going up in college, and like we used to do in India at the HP office, I walked lethargically down the corridor, and hey presto the door opened and people were pouring out and almost ran over scaring the shit out of me!! By the time I came out of the building, Police, Fire brigade, etc etc were there on the entrance. I came back home and decided to have a chappathi and reheated it in the microwave. The timing I gave for it was more and it started smoking off. Knowing very well that the Fire alarm is going to go off any moment, my friend and myself took the oven and ran out of the house and opened it, and started waving the smoke out of it. Oh God!! we were saved!!! I stopped using the microwave after that.

* No one is allowed to wash their clothes in buckets and hang it in the balcony!!! One has to use the washing machine and drier only!!! To cap it all, one cant find a tap either in the toilet(that everyone knows) or in the bathroom (only a shower would be there!!)

* One good thing I did this week was enrolling with freewheels in college. Freewheels is an NGO organization who have a great passion for biking. I was given a cycle frame and I have to attend 3 classes 2 hrs each to assemble the whole cycle, End of the Day, I could keep the cycle with me till I leave the college. Thats cool isn't it?? If my father asks me what the hell did you learn from US after I return back. I could atleast tell him, I learnt how to fix a puncture!!! :)


And so I started from bangalore, leaving behind everything I own and I like. BIAL was good, and started giving the already-in-the-foreign-country-effect.There the whole bangalore group(15) was there, and so we entered in bidding adieu to the near and dear.The normal fear in the first flight experience from Bangalore -> chennai was not to be seen as we were travelling as a group. In chennai, the airport has become so bad, that it resembled a railway station.For the night we stayed at the retiring room in the airport @ 400/bed. Next day morning, we checked-in @ British airways, only to know that we wont get the seats together!!

The Plane was really big and somehow I swapped seats with a French lady to sit alongside Sharath. The flight's chief air-hostess resembled Bianca Castafiore of TinTin series, that I even thought of asking her to sing us "God save the Queen" :) I saw the flight takeoff in broad daylight for the first time from inside as the BLR->CHN was a night flight. 10.25 hr flight with the entertainment system programmes going around in loops drove me mad. Also, the breakfast was given in Indian breakfast time and the lunch in London Lunch time(Breakfast to lunch duration gap is 9hrs. Grr!!!).The plane circled around London and we saw the Big Ben, London bridge, and the new Olympic stadium being built near R.Thames.We got down at heathrow,London and was amazed at the consecutive flight take-off and landing taking place.

We ran across the Terminal-5 to catch our next connecting from London to New york which was in just 45 Min. The airport is truly out of the world and it is indeed unfortunate that we had to run off to our gate. The flight was waiting because of us, and we settled in slowly and then took-off to JFK. The person next to me was an American, and the next 3 hrs was a great comedy as he saw Ghajini-Hindi in the entertainment system and we both(myself and Rajesh) translated the same for him. At the end, he swore that he would buy a DVD of this and keep it next to memento in his DVD collection. :) The LON->JFK flight had a lot of entertainment channels and it kept me on the go. We landed in New York -JFK and I was received by my sister, Brother-in-law and in-laws. The First Flight EXPerience is one that many would remember throughout the life and I am no exception