[Finally, 5 years after having obtained my US B1/B2 visa and incidentally, 5 years before it expires, I’ve managed to put it to good use and actually arrive in New York, on a 10-day whirlwind tour of the country ! Getting the visa had been a horrendous torture back then, and boy oh boy ….was the immigration a pain in the backside as well ??? 4 hours and sitting with 3 different officers later, they actually let me out 🙂 But hey, I guess that’s what you get from the US with a passport that says you’re born in Arabia !]
Yes, I know they are descendants of early European immigrants, but Americans, surprisingly, look and seem a lot like Europeans !!! Definitely, much more than I had expected them to ! Where are all the dumb, fat ones that we’ve been promised about ??? 😉 I know they’re all hiding somewhere, and they couldn’t possibly stay undercover for too long. But hey, I’ve just been here a night, so probably there’s a lot more left for me to see 🙂 To be honest, America doesn’t quite feel like America to me, yet ! The feeling has not yet sunk in. Its just as if I’ve woken up in some new city somewhere in the world. But then.. I wonder what more had I been expecting after all ?
The 8 hour Virgin Atlantic flight from London Heathrow had been great. Boy, do they know how to take care of their passengers or wat ? I could clearly see that our beloved Mr.Mallya had taken a few leaves out of Mr.Branson’s books when he set up Kingfisher airlines ! But I couldn’t help wondering, why on earth do these airlines employ male stewards, or ‘air hosts’ if you like ? And more worryingly, why do I end up at a seat that is being served by them 🙂[….and more often than not, I’d have just missed the cut by a row or 2. Not more, not less :O] But jokes apart, the service was great. And that really helps when all you get to see outside the window is the endless expanse of the Atlantic ocean.
Driving back from JFK airport last night, the glittering New York skyline was a sight to behold. The Empire State Building gleamed in its glory and in the far distance, I could make out the outline of a lit up Statue of Liberty ! Can’t wait to actually go there in the next few days 🙂 But then – so many places and so little time ! 10 days and have New York, Jersey City, Los Angeles, Princeton, Washington DC, Baltimore and Atlantic City to visit …and loads of good mates and relatives to meet. I have a feeling this is gonna be one epic trip !!! And meeting with one of my best-est friends after years has already made this trip worthwhile 🙂
I reckon the jetlag is getting the better of me. Its early dawn here and I am already up. I’ve barely managed to shut eye for about 5 hours in the last 24 hours, and my body reminds me that I had slept just 5 hours in the previous 24 hours as well !!!
WELCOME TO AMERICA !!! 🙂