14 November 2013

USA visit - October 2013

I returned from a month long USA visit 15 days back.

This was my first international travel ever.  Hence everything, the long journey, the overseas travel, the new country, was all a first experience for me.

Initially I was anxious that my luggage weighed too much.  I was anxious about my travel to Delhi to catch my flight in the wee hours. I was anxious about being able to follow the directions that were being given to me.  It helped that I was accompanied by my grown son.  It was good to have company while traveling, to have someone to talk to and to hold your purse while I went to the loo.

The journey was so long, I felt it would never end.  After a while the choices on the in-flight TV seemed rather limited.  I looked at the places we were going over on the monitor on the plane.  We traveled over Asia, Europe, London, over the Atlantic, New York, down the West Coast. Soon sleep took over and all I wanted to do was sleep, which was fitful and not very restful.  When the landing was announced and the 'plane hovered over Houston waiting for clearance to land, I looked out of the window, trying to get a look at the place I was visiting.  I could see a lot of green coverage, and very few buildings.

We walked through long corridors towards the immigration.  My first impression was that there were very few people there.  Sure there were lines in the immigration, people were being quizzed and cleared, but it was nothing like India, which ALWAYS teems with people.

My daughter was right at the gate of our exit.  There was a blur of greetings and hugs.  In my first act of disorientation, I opened the left door of the car to sit and looked amazed at the steering wheel there.  I did this a number of other times as well.  The right hand drive needed getting used to, even for a back-seat driver.

The roads seems very bare.  Only a few cars zipped alongside us, darkened window wound up tightly.  There was no eclectic traffic on the roads like in India where cycles, scooters and three-wheelers drive along co-exist happily on roads with cars and trucks.  Apart from that the topography seemed quite India-like to me.  It was still planet earth!

As soon as we got to my daughter's lovely little apartment, we chose to bathe before going out for dinner.  I was dying to sleep, but wanted to eat before sacking out.  We went to a little Thai place close by.  We were served water infused with chunks of fruit.  Straight off a long flight, my son and I were parched and drank the tasty water gratefully.  We were pleased with one noodle dish, but not so with a red curry which was too sweetish for our taste.

The lady at the restaurant asked us if we wanted anything more.  Still in my India haze, I said 'Bas, thanks!'
My kids burst into laughter at that.

Thus ended a very eventful day.  Even if I find myself globe trotting a lot in future and get very jaded by it, I doubt if I will forget my first day in USA.


  1. Congrats on your first visit abroad. The life there is very different. You must have had a very gala time with your daughter. Why don't you put some photographs of your memorable trip in FB?

  2. Ushaji,

    Thanks! I need to upload the pics on FB, not able to find time. I managed to upload them google+ as many of my near and dear ones are not on FB and I wanted to share with them.

  3. Welcome to the USA (& goodbye as well), hope you had a great time.
    I still remember bits & pieces of my first day abroad, not all of it since it was over 40 years ago.

  4. The whole experience must have been daunting also in a way na?

    Waiting to read more about the trip :)

  5. Welcome back! Enjoyed reading about your travel and first day in USA. Looking forward to read more stories from you about this trip!! :)

  6. Haan re Smita. In India everyone says your angrezi is very good. But to listen to Americans speak English, you are reduced to saying "What?"

    Traveling abroad is a unique experience.

    Shilpa, I intend to write about it in snippets. :) Warna bhool jaongi.

  7. Samir, Thanks :)

    But you are living there! So your memories of the initial days must have faded. Have they?

  8. Lovely to read this, Ava. Travelling abroad tends to enrich one's view of the world IMO. And there are always little anecdotes of the early days of being in a foreign country. Like your "bas, thanks" story. :-)

    Do write about the rest of your trip too. Would love to read more such anecdotes. Am sure there are more you have to share. :-)

  9. Thanks Raja,

    Yes, it slipped out before I realized it :)

    I intend to write about my trip. Keep watching this space.

  10. Nice to see you back Ava. Hope you had a great time in US. I agree with you, the journey is way too long. I get so bored everytime I travel.