Friday, August 29, 2008

y r STRANGErs called so?...

For a gal who never makes it to any destination without getting into weird situations, one of the successfully independent things I did was to travel to the US alone when I had to leave for my onsite assignment.
Bangalore to Columbus via Dubai-NY.... doing most of the things on my own for the 1st time… After bitter goodbyes to my family n friends who’d come to see me off at the airport n me still thinking ‘do I really have to go?’.. I made it through customs still crying terribly.
An officer (Angel in disguise No.1) asked me if something was wrong & I told him that I would be away from my family. He said that he’d trade places with me anytime(thinking back- I’m not sure if it was the being away from family part or the going abroad part that made him feel so ;)). When he got to know that I’d be away for a year & a half, he nodded sympathetically which brought forth fresh tears. A few more words of worldly wisdom and I was at the gate waiting for my flight.. n yes.. still crying.. :) ;) - silent non-stop tears that never seemed to stop- kinda funny when I think back. A couple (Angels in disguise No.2) headed to Africa, seated next to me, were my God sent messengers. Their lively chatter stopped my tears & I had begun to believe that this would be one of the best learning experiences for me.
This was to be my first flight. Safely tucked and cozy, I was looking forward to the experience only to awaken and realize that I had slept through my 1st take off. Hmmn.. never mind I said to myself. I’d make sure to stay awake when my connecting flight would take off.
(Ate .. slept.. n watched movies)*n till I reached Dubai.. & everything went smoothly (something very unusual 4 me!) ..n then we ended up an hour late coz of the fog.. I literally ran through to catch my next flight..i did bump into some people… and finally made it to my connecting flight.
N yeah, this time I pinched myself & stayed awake when we took off. Loved it! :)
New York- 13 looong hrs later.. n well.. guess LOST is the word. I had to run again(.. I REALLY RAN!!) - through mazes of terminals & gates & ‘sorry’s & ‘thank you’s I made it just in time (after hassles with my baggage- one of them turned up just after I had registered a complaint).. My next flight was to Columbus.. I had to wait for ages before it took off. We were delayed for 2 hours & I had no change to make any calls.. :(
Something that happened in NY occupied my thoughts during the wait. I was not able to locate an airline counter & so asked somebody standing close by for directions. He pointed out the place to me but with no results.. n he was like- 'do u wan me to lift you so that you can see?’ :O !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I jus stared at him for sometime before I burst out laughing'! It was really nice of him to come all the way (Angel in disguise No.3) to show me d place & when I said -'thnx a ton'.. he was like- 'I love uuuuu.. mmuuaaaaaaah'.. Weird- but made me smile.. :)
Anyways, made it to Columbus @ 12PM (around 25hrs in all!!) n called up my project mates from a co-passenger’s (Angel in disguise No.4) cell.. Since I had not yet met my project mates, I told them that they could identify me by my luggage- 2 big bags, one red and the other black and a red cabin bag.
I had just heaved a sigh when I realized that I had lost both my checked in bags.. J Funny that losing my bags dint put me off the track.. My client is GAP & I lose my bags… wouldn’t it be great if the client offered to help? ;)
Registered a complaint & called up my project mates. I told them that it was easier to spot me now. I was the only person with the least luggage. A single red cabin bag. :)
I reached the apartment with my laptop, a pair of spare clothes, sans thermals. Nice roomie.. :) she'd even prepared dinner for me.. To cut things short, I got my bags after 4days. Now they feel like family (the missing and the wait developed those feelings I guess! ;) )...
I lost the contact info of the lovely couple who made me laugh, but their presence will stay forever. I still miss my folks a lot but I can’t deny that being here is interesting in its own way. I don’t really feel that
I would have felt the same if I had not met all those people during my journey. Strange that people I’d just met made my trip memorable. Probably thatz why they are called STRANGErs.. ;)

The flowers were just beginning to bloom.. Spring was here!!!
By the way, I can now dodge people, counters & luggage through the terminals really well when I run along dragging my cabin luggage.. dunno if can walk through that well, though.. :D never got a chance to walk through till date... :)


vishu said...

stran·ger /ˈstreɪndʒər/ [streyn-jer] –noun "a person with whom one has had no personal acquaintance"

everyonez a STRANGEr until ya know tem!

prasanna said...

Hi "SnowFlakes",

Nice blog. Was interesting to hear stuff about your journey from before you reached Columbus. Hope to read more of your adventures in the near future.

PS. You'll get to see snowflakes in about 3 months. Can't wait to read about that!

snigs said...

Good one!Nice to know about your adventures! You know once a "stranger" called me and said "I am looking forward to meet you, coz i dont' know anyone else there". I am glad that I met that "stranger".

Sunil said...

So nice... Inspired me as well to write n made me think "Kash mujhay bhi koi airport pe ladki milte n bolte I luv uuuuuu muuuaahhhhh ;) hihi)