Monday, February 23, 2009

US Trip Log

Day 1(20 Feb, 2009), Part 1: NY

Newark Airport :

At Times Square

Just a day has passed since we left Mumbai and already so much has happened that it’s tough to believe.

Things started at Mumbai itself where I left our poster (brought for a competition) at the immigration desk. Realized it later after having gone through all the security checks and had to go back, reversing all steps and finally retrieving it. After multiple security checks, we finally boarded the aircraft. Raka’s row was different so he boarded late and with that came another news that he gave the wrong boarding pass (the one meant for travel from Newark to Seattle) for the Mumbai – NY flight. With that settled after some time, started the 16 hour long journey. There were plenty of movies on board (which I was quite excited to see initially) but eventually landed up watching only 1 and rest of the time listening to music only. 16 hours passed easier than expected. All the time it was dark outside, so was good that I got an Aisle seat. It was a first time being in an aircraft with 3 columns of seats.

After more security checks and questioning at the immigration desk in Newark, we finally settled down for the 8 hour wait to the connecting flight to Seattle. It was while waiting that we met Manisha – an Indian settled in Columbia. She was also waiting for a connecting flight and suggested we go out to see NY as we had lots of time on our hands. Raka had already proposed it but the fear of unknown had led to turn us down. After a bit of reluctance initially everyone agreed – Manisha had been to NY so the resistance was considerably reduced. The trip turned out to be a chilly and memorable one. Gloves were the first thing bought to beat the cold. In record time Times Square, Grand Central Station, Wall Street, Statue of liberty (not upclose) were visited. Time spent at each place was minimal – due to cold and lack of time.

Managing to Hold on!!!

Some insights:

1. Desi help was readiliy available – from airports (all guidance about sight seeing in NY was in a Hindi/Gujrati mix) to buying gloves (maandwali to lower the prices in Hindi).

2. As we entered Grand Central station – one color that hit us was black. Everyone was wearing black – the preferred color of heavy over coats.

3. There was no clock at the airport. Surprising. Yes!!

4. There was no security at the front gate of the airport. Generally when you enter a airport in India, the policewala checks your ticket and then lets you enter. Nothing like that here. 

Writing this post @ Newark Airport

1 comment:

Mahadevan said...

:) subtle read,, was very sure that such a post was coming,, cant wait for the next one