Ah..!! Finally after all the deliberation and confusion.. I decide to leave for US.. well.. just about 10 hours before I m supposed to take THE FLIGHT.. a flight that hasn't even been booked yet..
But Ah..!! Just as all my other wonder trips.. this one ends up working out for me too..
I finally manage to.. get the visa (well, I got that a day earlier), the tickets.. do all the formalities.. Pack up.. Vacate my room in the hostel here.. and well, even have a dinner.. before leaving... all in a matter of 10 hours..
I even manage to catch up with friends and relatives ( in all the spare time I get at the airport after checking in ).
Ah.. thats me... Would I ever have an actual 'Planned trip' in my life..? Ummm.. havn't planned on that one yet ;)
So.. well.. The flight is kinda cramped up.. ( Wat more u expect.. its economy.. after all..!!) and aah.. long..!! seemed to be very long.. and surprisingly, I'm more tired than excited.. To prove that one, I have over three hours at Chicago ( The Stop where I change flights ) and instead of rushing out as soon as I land.. to make the most of this time.. to explore the place.. I end up just sitting at the airport.. waiting for the next flight.. doing nothing.. Well, that came as a surprise even to me..
Finally, I take the flight to Peoria..one of those low cost ones where you cant even stand up straight.. Well I can.. but most of those Americans couldn't... After all, I realise being short has at least some advantages...if not many...
I land at Peoria and I'm trying yto figure out how to get to the university.. when I get talking to a couple of local Medics, who are going the same way.. and are nice enough to drop me to the exact place where I need to go.. That makes it easy.. I didn't even have to go through the trouble of finding it...
Ah, so, I collect my keys and find nurse who obliges me by accompanying me all the way to my room to show me the way, which I probably would have taken an hour to figure out on my own... the confusing place this is... and as I dump my stuff in my room.. Well, thats a good one... with a nice view.. I realise I'm pretty much the only one on the floor...
But, well, who cares..? I m too tired to think ( Well yes.. Its been almost three nights since I slept ).
Soon after i m done with the shower, I realise I might probably want something to eat. I can't find the meal cards in the envelope left in my name. I also realise I should inform people back home that I'm here ( didn't lose myself somewhere on the way, miss a flight, overslept, lose my passport or get robbed by the cab guy ). I observe I can't charge my phone or laptop coz of the difference in the sockets and the plug points.
I ring up the security and tell them I dont have anything to eat and I need to get in touch with people back home... the resourceful person that I am..!!
They can't figure out a way to handle me and all my problems.. so they somehow manage to find the person I have been in touch all this time, yes thats Chris. And well, she is actually nice enough to drive down all the way to the hospital from her home on a weekened to sort this out ( probably because they told her I had no money and didn't know where to eat and bla bla.. as if it was a big emergency... which she told me only after she saw me ). But anyway, that was sweet of her..
So, she knocks on my door, for God knows how long, before I wake up and let her in. Ah, then she finds the meal tickets for me, right in the same envelope they were supposed to be in.. and in which I has already looked.. Gawd.. I wished I could blend with air.. when she said.. " Ah! there they are.. I put them in there..!!"
Umm.. So, the next day, I actually wake up ( with just the alarm) and get ready ( I actually shower, even put on contact lenses) and get to the assigned place at 7:00 ( in the morning). Did that sound like the 8th wonder in the world..? Yeah, I have been behaving weird on this trip..
There is an orientation till about 7:30.. and guess what.. we are done for the day..!! It doesn't just end here.. I gather that I m "free" for the whole of first week.. no classes, no clinics.. only some half an hour conference.. that I can choose to attend...
So, well, what am I supposed to do..? The answer is .. "READ"...
Ah, know me better, I make friends with one of the M4s here and well, she takes me around the town.. We pick up the prescribed book..( jus for the formality), a calling card to call back home, an adaptor.. and a couple of other things...
I come back to my room and I realise I'm probably the only one in the whole building..!! Not that I care.. It gives me a feeling I have the whole place to myslf ;)
So, Thats my first day in America.. Ah.. ' Alice in the Wonderland..'