Friday, August 28, 2009

Welcomed to USA !!!

A first time international trip is always exciting. As an Indian, I wished not to take Air-India and so booked Qatar airways - the cheapest of all. It all started with disappointment when visitors were not allowed inside Chennai Anna Terminal due to Independence Day security reasons. As many effusively sentimental people bidding farewell to their loved ones, my parents were there with tears in their eyes as we departed by 4:45 am (IST) flight.. It was me and Naga together (and that continues till now! And finding a way to stop it).

The flight (airbus 320) took off promptly and sailed like a paper in breeze. Anybody would love the ambiance - the food, beautiful stewards around etc. The transit at Doha (9 am Doha time) was in fact really good. It was a large airport and the first international terminal I stepped in ! The journey to Washington was long & tiring but equally exciting. We reached Washington DullesInternational terminal by 16:20 (US Eastern time) and had our immigration & custom checks ended fairly well. Suddenly, I realized that I was IN US ! I mean.. I have reached my dream land..

When you are on such a high, you can obviously expect an abysmal low. At 18:15, We came to know that our flight (UA) to Roanoke which was originally scheduled at 21:55 was rescheduled to 18:30 giving us an ample time of 15 mins (!) within which we were expected to complete baggage check-in and security check. And as thought, we missed the flight before reaching the domestic terminal with next flight to Roanoke only at 13:30 next day. In such a pathetic situation, there was a rescuer - Nag's uncle, who had come to see us at Dulles to wish 'bon-voyage' but finally had to say 'welcome to Baltimore' ! A night stay at Baltimore was fun, thanks to Neha - a 6 yr old smart, cute American Indian and the last qualifier - Nag's cousin.

Boarding the flight next day, we reached Roanoke by 14:15 and had to wait for 5 hours before someone from college came for pick-up. We reached home at Blacksburg at around 21:00 hrs as planned, but delayed by a day. But who cares, I have been welcomed to United States !