Friday, March 14, 2014

International Trip

Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone in taking the road less travelled and doing things that are not a part of your banality. I’ve always been curious about life of people outside India .why there’s always been huge queues outside US embassies.  US myth or reality! The days leading to the trip were as exciting as the whole trip.

First and foremost, any trip definitely tests your geography skills, directions. What states are there in the country? Which states are there in which coast? How many time zones are there? Day light saving concept. What are the places to hangout and cuisines to try out in your visit? Weather is grossly underrated especially if you’re moving a different hemisphere and time zone. Get ready for a  deluge of advice from every Tom, dick and Harry you meet for his expert comments on airports, flights, metros, food like they’ve lived their lifetime abroad.

No better expression describes an international trip like ‘Familiarity breeds contempt’. Till now, no one gave a damn about your existence (because you’re a local engineering fellow, not even a MBA correspondence degree holder). The moment you announce your trip details to friends and family, it spreads like swine flu. Big-headed uncles and annoying aunties (who repeatedly crack the rhetoric ‘next in line’ marriage jokes) call from different parts of the country to congratulate and slyly boast about their international experience. East coast or west coast. My son is there in California. US is very different.. bhah blah. My wife’s cousin’s brother-in-law’s son is in DC area. He’s a very nice fellow, you should meet him. I’ll whatsapp his number. Knowingly or unknowingly, big contacts list comes your way and you’ll oblige to give a courtesy call.
Next shopping. The uncles and aunties have polluted parents’ minds with their first hand experience. Winter clothes, thermal wears, Podis from Grand sweets. One stop to the Indian walmart, Saravana Stores , gave a true indication of the real india than the posh outlets in Nungambakkam. Plus all shopping done quick speed.

Finally, any international trip throws up a whole range of emotions from happiness to anxiety. There’s so much pride and elation in getting your first international stamp on passport before it expires. So much fascination and allurement to set foot on a different continent, breathe a different air and get a closer look on all the hoopla on NRI life. Fear creeps in especially if you’re travelling 1 week after Malaysian Airlines MH370 disappearance. Plethora of questions unanswered. Will I catch my transit flight? Is 1 hr too small to shift terminals in London? How will I buy tickets if I miss flight? What if flight crashes? Too many random thoughts crossed the mind when you board the flight that you realize it is better to shutdown your mind and sleep than think on the uncontrollable.

No comments: