Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Early Life in Chicago!

With all your best wishes with me, I reached Chicago safely. The flight started an hour late and so the connecting flight was also late.

All in all my first flight journey was a pleasant experience. I enjoyed watching the lights below during the night flight journey and then during the my second flight journey, I loved watching the fluffy clouds. It was so exciting to watch the rivers and terrain from above. What I enjoyed the most was the scene outside when the flight was landing. It was awesome! :)

I took a taxi and reached hotel room by 3:00PM. I observed that there were not many buildings on my way to the hotel from airport. As I was alone, I concentrated more on the signboards and the driver's conversation on his mobile, rather than on the scenery. When he dropped me at the hotel, I sighed in relief and gave him a huge tip! :)

Sreeram took me out on the very next day. We went to Lake Michegan and then to Downtown. I got on top of a 97 storey building and had a great view on Chicago. I even walked on the Millenium Avenue, where all the branded shops are present. May be we both were not feeling that comfortable in each other's presence. There were long silences in the conversations. Though we were trying to please each other and make the other feel at ease, there was still a kind of distance between us.

The whole I first week, I had my lunches and dinners with Sreeram, Vikranth and DK. I got to meet Vikranth's wife Sapna and her little daughter, Samika. They all take care of me like a family member. I feel so lucky and special!

It's all a new and strange kind of an experience here in Chicago.

First with the driving; the steering wheel is at the right... So many times, I have opened the driver's side of the door and then realized that I have to sit on the other side. I hope I am making sense. Anyway you got to read all my nonsense, because it's been ages since I have written to you.

My hotel room is very nice, with all the amenities. Imagine, I even have an iron box and hair dryer!

When the hotel management took so much care to provide all the necessities, they forgot on the basics. I have the entire kitchenware in the room, but there is no peeler. How am i supposed to cook and eat vegetables like beetroot? Strange... Last week, it took me almost an hour to peel the beetroot with knife and then cut it...

I was told that the weather is too cold in Chicago. The day I reached here, I was sweating from head to toe... Now that was not because I was nervous, it was because the weather was hot and sultry! It's becoming chiller day by day and I pray everyday that it should not rain. I forgot my umbrella in Hyd.

When I travelled, I paintstaking prepared the list of items to be carried. I managed to bring everything, except for a water bottle. So sad! You may ask: Why so sad? I will tell you. It's sad because the ppl here use a water fountain to drink water. And it took me almost 3 days to understand how it works. And during that time, I had to wait till I went back to my room, to drink a glass of water. I bought a bottle of coke for 1.75 dollars... that's close to Rs. 80, just to get it to office.

During the weekend when I had to wash my clothes, I realized one thing. How do I wash it with my hands? There's no bucket or anything. I went to the laundry and put most of my clothes in that vending washing machine. Still I had some more which I dint want to put in the machine. I dint want to give it to the hotel laundry either. So, how did I wash them? No, I dint fill the bath tub with water and wash... ha ha ha.... My wash basin in the bathroom has a stopper. I put the stopper and fill the basin with water (Mind you, the basin was really really clean.) Then, I put some washing powder into it and soak my clothes inside the wash basin. Funny no? Then somehow, I wash them and rinsed them inside the wash basin itself. And for drying them, I put them into the dryer downstairs. It charges me 1.5 dollars. The clothes that come out are wram and dry. But every positive point will be associated with side-effects. the side-effects here: wrinkles! every part of the garment had a wrinkle... Even the polyster and chiffon duppattas had wrinkles... Oh my God! My entire Sunday went away in ironing the clothes.

I went for a long walk in the afternoon last weekend. The place where I stay is called Buffalo Grove. It's in the suburbs of Chicago. The trees were in varieties of colours. They were shredding away their leaves. The sun and wind were playing with the trees. There was so much breeze. I felt very very happy. I observed the different kind of trees and flowers. I also noticed that there was nobody walking on the road. May be that's not the American way of enjoyment!
Thanks to Vikranth, I commute to office easily. He picks me and drops me up everyday. Must be a pain for him; yet he does it methodically with a cheerful face.

I am still getting used to the environment in office. There's not much work, except forwarding the mails from offshore to client and from client to offshore. I sometimes feel I am working in postal department. And sometimes I feel I am more like a telephone operator. ha ha ha. Let's see how things change in course of time.