It has been more than five years since I landed for the first time in US. The travel in airplane was pretty hectic. I traveled in Lufthansa and it was pretty boring… I hardly talked to anyone. People who travel in airplanes do not talk. People just dose off, they do not even care to know the name of the other person who sits next to you for 12 or 14 hours. (Don’t be fooled by what they show in movies… ) It was very uncomfortable for me not to talk to anyone. I am used to talking to someone next to me in typical bus or train journeys. The food in airplane sucked…I only drank orange juice. There was no room for stretching my legs too…Overall, I had a pretty rough flight travel…
I land in Houston airport, went through immigration check and got my bags and came out. I was thinking like in movies….someone will be waiting with my name on a big board….Guess what? No Boards, nothing… Nothing fancy like Movies 😉
I was all confused and running around looking as a fully confused person…. After 15 min or so, a guy comes and asks me are you …? I said, “YES !!!”. They said, “we were looking for you… “ ( I thought to myself, you should have had a board with my name…did not say it though…) The senior students who came to pick me also picked another guy, so they ran late….Guess what, we got lost while getting to the car parking. Houston international airport was huge, ridiculously big…the parking lot, elevators, unbelievable. I was amazed by first looking at all the system and how big it was….it was an eye opener for me comparing Chennai airport to Houston’s….Anyways, finally we came to the car and put in all our bags of two students in a big SUV (Sports utility vehicle ) and headed to Beaumont.
My first experience looking at the roads was mind boggling…roads were wide, huge fancy buildings, the Houston downtown view from freeway was amazing. We were cruising at 120 KM an hour and I felt like we were going like 20KM an hour, the SUV was so good and the roads were better ! I was totally amazed by roads and cars…
I asked the seniors, why didn’t you all had a name board to find the students. They said, it is not needed, because it is very easy to identify new students or people. Firstly, there are less Indians and secondly, the big clue is : the new students are all confused and panic looking around. So, they never go wrong in finding them….I thought it was interesting! ( at that time, I thought board would be still cool and helpful. Not anymore J )
We were driving and driving…. got past city and then we were almost half way to our destination….Guess what ? All of a sudden a cop car with lights comes behind us and the senior pulled the car to side. I did not know what was happening…It was all new to me and I was confused. The senior said, do not move and stay in car and do not show any panic signs. We all stayed in car, the cop came over and asked license of driver and asked why he was speeding. The senior was smart and he said, he was running late to a class, etc…very nice story by senior. The cop checked the license and verified and gave a warning and said, do not speed and let us go with a warning instead of ticket! The senior explained us later about the concept of ticket and how you get fined for speeding…..
Anyways, it was one heck of an experience for the first time in US with confusion, cops, and getting lost….
Image credit : http://www.speed-cameradetector.com/images/cop_ticket.jpg