Thursday, August 08, 2013

Ten years ago...

It's been ten years to the day that I landed in the US. Here's a fun story from where it all started! It might sound a little long/kiddish/sms language (I can't believe I wrote like this) - but it surely is memorable to me. This post and the subsequent Life n Times emails were what eventually transcribed into this blog! Hope you like it and do leave a comment if you do.

hi ppl

well now the big story

well landed up at 7 aug nite at CSI :) chhatrapati shivaji int'l family and a few close
relatives had come to drop me on ...and so had my coll frnds..

was walkin down the long terminal ..when suddenly i bumped into a huge figur in front of me...pleasantly
surprsied to find it was our very ownb dharam paji...

(Yes, I actually met Dharmendra on Bombay airport - I somehow lost the other part of this email. Basically I boarded the plane and reached Hong Kong. The flight had been late to take off, and I thought to myself that it would probably land late as well. The connection time I had as per schedule was one hour. Story continues after landing at HK airport)

as already told...landed at hk airport...

i looked at the watch b4 landing was 115 pm my nxt flight was at 140 pm ist...and this flight was late..coz of the initial delay...i realised tht i wud prob hv no time at hk airport to send an email or for tht matter even call up home...

first thing i realised..i cudnt find neone gettin down who was goin to be with me till LA...made me nervous
came down ffrm the airport-plane bridge..there was this chinese guy standin

i told him mu flight no and dest..

he put a sticker on my jacket

and said(he didnt knw much english)

'there...go downstairs..catch train...upstairs...gate
4 runnnnnnn'

gosh..first cudnt find ne downstairs...

after abt 500 m of running ..found a escalator goin down..still no company...

found a train stop...which was pretty ultramodern..

soon trrain arrived...

now for those of u who think tht we indians are worstin boarding trains..these ppl are no better...

it was like ppl rushin for a train at VT:) catchins eats and even standin supports...

first i hd to figure out where i hd to get down ..

luckily the train only had 2 where i got on..and the other where i hd to get off

got off ..anbd found an escalator on which again ppl
started rushing

went to a counter where there was this female...
i gv her my boarding pass..and she saw it, saw her watch and said

'u've ne idea wht time it is ..dont speak ..just run'

and started running
and i was running behind her on the big hk airpotr

just say she was fast and helpful

took me to the beginnin of a big security check line..had a security check done...the guy cudnt cpeak
good english and i cudnt understand so pretty problematic again

neways started running again. got nervous abt my docs as i was runnin hap hazardly..finally got near the

the staff was helpful..they checlked and stamped my docs.,,and let me into the flight bridge

and yes, here one more thing

there was this old gujjulady running the same way as i was...and when she came to the checkin counter ..her
ticket was taken frm here.../and she started worryin and fightin with them to return back the ticket

now she sudnt speak english and these ppl cud not understand nethin..

so i was called frm halfway down by the security officer to explain her..and i was actin as a translator..was reall funny ewven in this time ...

to top it all hand baggge gave in beautifully..tore off right next to the chain..with
all my imp docs in........gave me the scare of my lif.e.

neways got into the flight..

and as the plane was abt to tke off i wanst sure if nethin had dropped frm tht bag..coz i dudnt knw when
had given in........heart in my mouth

neways flight took were ok ....

still no companuy..although oi had a gentleman who wasan indian settled in the US and he was good to me...

soon was up in the air

the altitutde went higher and higher
..8600-8700-8800-8900 and soon realiised tht i was
higher thtn mt everest :D

neways it got till 11300 m after which it was const...

now i was in a boring flight for 13 hrs..with not much company...


the flight was boring..

i had no one 4 company ..u cud say..except 2 gentlemen
who were pretty old but ....phir was good

the food was too horrible..i hv to say

theer were roti's tht looked like omletttes...sabji had no taste..wasnt even like bland..just terrible there was some rabdi yes..and tht was good :) then some time durin the flight i asked for some veg
snacks and all they cud offer me was peanuts!!!!!

neways. ..i slept quite a lot on the flight..almost 8-9 hrs...aur kucch thaa bhi nahin

cathay boasts of givin every person a personal tv ad a personal audio channel with speakers..sounds hi tech
doesnt it :)

the fact is all but 2 channels in each carry chinese programs grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

and yes...the ppl on this flight..well..i wud say in my chamber...i cud find exactly 4 indians..suddenly this atmosphere seems hostile...

believe me...there's a strange sense of hostility tht u feel in such a flight...the sun was out when we started at 4 pm hk time...itwent down at abt rise back at 11 again ...i was findin it pretty amusin...

finally we reached the coast of california..and in a few min landed at LAx....

to be frank here..i didnt find this airport way too different frm our very own CSI :) airport at bbay...

its not out of the world or nethin..but yes..ppl r def more co-op at the airport thn at bbay

for eg..i needed help in a form and a spanish gurl at the counter actually offered to fill one for me...and
explain me everythin..nice ppl:)

and now for a thrillin one.


at La airport there was this long line for immigration..took me abt 2 hrs+

finally got thru it and found my baggages lying somewhere....(US..organized?????????NO!!!!!!!)

the baggages were all scattered over the place...

and went thru for the customs...

to save on luggage, i was wearin a suit andon it, a leather jacket..and tht too in a hot temp at LAx.(close to 40 degree celcius)

and prob a cop found me suspicious he asked 'u feelin too cold out here'.

and thne he started questionin me abt my univ, why hv i come, where frm...(terrorsit type ;)

then he took me to a restricted area..and srarted seein my docs and askin questions

finally he asked me to open my bag.he wore proper gloves n all.imagine this in a foreign country..a cop is questionin u and checkin u ..andnsuspectin u to be a terrorist :)

and by one all items were removed from the bag

pehle clothes..and then there was lotsa food courtesy my mom of course:)

and every food packet he saw..he asked' whts this'

and i said' food'

he was kind of amused at the food i was carryin

then more sweets
still more
then theplas

he was now showin signs of frustration

then finally came a big dabba full of gol papdi..and he was like..are these also food..and i said
yeah sweets

then he said probs at all..

and then when i asked him if he wanted to open my 2nd
bag..he was like' no no its ok'.he was prob so irritated by the 1st..tht he cudnt
think of goin for the 2nd:)

so finally got out..the person who was supp to pick me up was waitin for almost 3 hrs..but i cudnt find her..

all i cud see was chinese ppl with boards..and gettin more into my head..neways i finally found my
aunt...and got to the apt in some time

rushabh and dipesh (my roomies who had reached earlier) were there  to welcome me
:)..neways thts abt the story..will continue to send mails...

so guys
do keep in touch

i m missin u all a lot

i hope u hv the number

do call in its 7 rs a min :D