Wednesday, September 21, 2005

American Pie: Slice 1- Getting there

PIC: First impression, Washington DC.
I know it is a bad way to begin this, but internet is not the cheapest thing in the United States of America. Over the course of time, I will find many other things not so well with the "world superpower" or its inhabitants and many things that are appreciable, but let's take that as they come...

Land beneath the clouds
After over nine and a half hours in a very cramped economy section of the Lufthansa plane from Chennai to Frankfurt, I could have jumped for joy as the pilot said we were going to be landing in Frankfurt. WEll, i would have, if I could have... Stiff as I was, that action of joy would have to be postponed.
Soft, fluffy clouds covered the entire city and its famous, humungous airport, making you want to drop gently down and lay your head on them. Which would, of course, be a very silly idea if you are on a plane several thousands of feet above them. But the landing was one of the smoothest I've ever seen and the Germans as functional a race as I've ever seen. I mean functional as in efficient, brisk, even brusque, perfunctory smiles, measured words.
And there, I had my first taste of airport security: that meant taking off my shoes, belts etc and coming out of a line to be scanned specially! :) Mind you, I dint even get none of theat in America, but I could have been lucky. Plain lucky.

The phenomenon of the visiting Indian Parent
I need to put a chapter on this and maybe I will, when I have more time and don't have to pay for the internet.
Anyone travelling from India towards the WEst is going to encounter a special group of people, burgeoning in numbers, travelling along with them, speaking different languages, visiting sons, daughters, neices and newphews in America and England. I say this, because you cannot miss them, on flights, in airports... elderly gentlemen travelling with ladies, apparently their wives, wrapped up against the anticipated, but non-existent cold of late summer, crowding around in clusters, finding support in each other, proudly discussing their children''sachievements. "My daughter topped at IIT and now she is a topper at MIT." "My son has a car and lives in a house facing the Hudson." or simply like the Reddy's who sat next to me, " All my children are in the US, Lousiana, New York, Delaware..." Some of them like Mrs. Reddy are such intrepid travellors, that they will guide you from terminal to imposing terminal in Frankfurt airport and through the procedures with elan, it amuses you, after you've stopped being amazed.
Which is why it is so important for me to chronicle the peregrinations of the Indian Visiting Parent.
But that is all for the moment and next time, it will be Sunny Side UP!

x

26 Comments:

Blogger Twin-Gemini said...

Internet is high? You using it from the hotel?...Then I wouldnt be surprised. But otherwise I wouldnt quite agree with you, Internet is pretty economical for the datarate that you get here. I get it for about $20 a month for a cable modem line which has an excellent data rate of about 2 Mbps.

You are in the US? Where at? Which places are you planning on visiting? If coming over to Chicago, do email me and we can certainly meet. Just came back from a UK bloggers meet...so would be fun to do a Chicago meet. :-)

7:48 am

 
Blogger SamY said...

ha ha the parents thingy was nice ... had a few laughs :)) ... now did u miss the scene that they make @ the airport?

therez more of crazy stuff in US ... our own ppl ... more crazier that we could imagine ... ;)

guess u'd have loads of fun now that u observe all this :p ... hav fun ;)

8:49 am

 
Blogger sanchapanzo said...

And there, I had my first taste of airport security: that meant taking off my shoes, belts etc and coming out of a line to be scanned specially! :) Mind you, I dint even get none of theat in America, but I could have been lucky. Plain lucky.
Nice one!

check this out

11:26 am

 
Blogger Swahilya said...

Hi Ramya: Refreshing read, especially after the "Q is dead..' Good for me too with plans to go in Nov. Missing you here.

12:57 pm

 
Blogger Anandkumar_V said...

These crusaders (read Whites), they themselves are terrorists, the Vatican/Pope is yet to give any proper justification for the Iraq War, and no German Chancellor till now has owned moral responsibility for the II World War. To Hell with Vatican, To Hell with Nazis (read Germans), To Hell with American-Whites.

I only hope n pray Emir Osama sooner (or later) strike US n Europe more often.

Regards,
Anandkumar V

1:19 pm

 
Blogger Ganesh said...

Ramya
Are you in DC ?
By any chance covering WB meetings ?

DCilla enga irukeenga.

12:53 am

 
Blogger Sriram said...

Welcome to the West... so, hows the difference? any culture shocks so far? ;)... as you can see, I'm jobless now.. so will be back to check back on your replies :)

1:13 am

 
Anonymous F e r r a r i said...

Hey!!!!!!!!!!!
So maanged time to make a new post eh? Great :-) Please do take loads of pictures and upload them in your photo blog :-)
And yeah. Regular aa post pannunga

9:35 am

 
Blogger Shyam said...

Been waiting for your first post from Amreeka :) Get lotsa pics too!

4:32 pm

 
Anonymous Ravi said...

Hey Akka,
Glad you've made it safely over to good ol' US of A. Nice post too. Gonna keep an eye out here more often, especially for "Chronicling the peregrinations of the Indian Visiting Parent." Keep 'em coming, you hear? :)

5:28 pm

 
Blogger Saravan said...

>> internet is not the cheapest thing in the United States of America

as anand said you might be using internet in the hotel. internet in hotels is always pricey even if it is in usa. otherwise its cheaper here.

Lot of free wifi networks are available throughout usa. try googling,
http://www.google.com/search?q=free+wifi+locations
http://local.google.com/local?q=free+wifi+locations&near=washington+dc

>>I dint even get none of theat in America, but I could have been lucky.

Security check is always done when you board the plane not during deplane.

if u r visiting New York
drop a mail to saravanannkl@gmail.com

10:18 pm

 
Blogger None said...

twin gemini,

hey i aint using it at the hotel, except now, where it is free... but i'm talking abut kinkos where download is slow and when i buy a 5 buck card, all i can send is two emails, in 15 mts. THAT is high!
ah, i wish, but no chicago! :(

cheers

3:52 am

 
Blogger None said...

samy,

u betcha! :)

cheers!
ramya

3:53 am

 
Blogger None said...

sancho,
thanks! how you doing?

cheers!

3:55 am

 
Blogger None said...

hi swaha,

how you doing? what is the gossip...sent you mail. check office account!

cheers!
ramya

3:56 am

 
Blogger None said...

ganesh,

dc-la irunthen, ippo ny vaasam! :) off to florida sunday morning!

cheers!
ramya

3:57 am

 
Blogger None said...

sriram,

well, not much shock, been west before, so it's much the same, but with some essential differences...
but yes, see, i replied to you this time!

cheers!
ramya

3:58 am

 
Blogger None said...

ferrari!

ha! i'm surprised at my own industry in posting despite the hectic schedule, but i seem to have more energy here! NY ROCKS, btw!

cheers!
ramya

3:59 am

 
Blogger None said...

shyam

o ya, i do have tons of pics. and i'll put them up soon... hopefully... we meet in england?

cheers!
ramya

4:00 am

 
Blogger None said...

saravan,

i already explained the net thingy.
yeah, i've now come to realise that these insurmountable hurdles lie ahead of me... btw, in frankfurt, they got me to do that deplaning too, not emplaning!
am in ny now and tomorrow (sat) and leaving early sun morning...

cheers!
ramya

4:01 am

 
Blogger Venky Krishnamoorthy said...

Ramya, Do you have a number where you can be reached? Send me an e-mail to venky.krishnamoorthy@gmail.com

9:01 am

 
Anonymous deepakjeswal said...

Hey Ramya, seeing all new places and unknown experiences...envy ya envy ya :-))

But i m sure u will get some real brilliant insights that will break the myths surrounding the 'superpower'...waiting for more.

12:22 pm

 
Blogger sanchapanzo said...

RamyaK,

Thanks for asking, me doing good.
Hope things are great for you as well!
Enjoy the trip!

8:13 pm

 
Blogger None said...

Venky,

i've just mailed you!

cheers!
ramya

10:36 pm

 
Blogger None said...

hey deepak!

howdy? howr things in nepal!
and yeah, this is turning out to be a great trip! wholesome enrichment and i dont mean i'm merely fascinated by america... i'm questioning too...

cheers!
ramya

10:37 pm

 
Blogger Twin-Gemini said...

Kinkos? Yeah thats right, those places are quite high priced. In fact I havent really been to an Internet center here, so really wouldnt know how much they fleece their customers :-)

5:36 am

 

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