USA a Decade before – Personal Story
My first ever flight was to Chicago from Bangalore. It was ten years back today. Since then I have travelled so much, but this first one remains very memorable one. It was my first ever flight. It was to a place where I didn’t have any friends or I didn’t know much about. Also for the first time I was going to be away from family and friends for a long time.
This year incidentally I was in USA. It kind of made me realize how much I have changed and how little America has changed. That made me write this blog which I always wanted to write but never got around.
During my second year at Infosys I got my H1B, without much trouble. These days it takes more trouble to get a tourist visa. Well anyway after I got my H1B it was just matter of time. So in Oct 2004, I was scheduled to work for one of my clients in a small town in USA called Milwaukee. I was curious.
Everything went well, I did my ‘shopping’ and went to airport with friends and family. But then there was drama at the client side when I was at the airport. So I had to return from airport. I was sad. There were so many expectations. Three weeks later I was again at HAL airport. My close friends were there again to drop me. This time I actually got to fly. Air India’s Air Hostess were very nice to me. They fed me well and allowed me to sleep on a three seater. In no time, after a change in Chicago, I reached Milwaukee.
I have very fond memories of Milwaukee and its people. I lived at 1129, N Jackson St. It looks the same even today. My roommates were fun. I can think of innumerable things to write about them. But at this moment I want to thank them for making my first ever trip, comfortable. specially it kind of surprises me how much I was prepared and not prepared at the same time.
Most of my time went in hacking on my website, cleaning, watching movies, shopping gadgets, travelling, drinking coffee and beer. Work at NM was comfortable. I remember how friendly my clients were and I learnt so much from them.
Five hundred meters from the office was lake. On the banks of the lake was this beautiful building of Milwaukee Art Museum. This picture of the Museum is the first picture that I took on a mobile phone and uploaded to web.
My first ever big trip was to Niagara. It was July 04th, 2005 that we reached Niagara from DC. It was a big deal because we were going to three big places NYC, DC and Niagara. Almost ten years later last month I was at DC, NYC and Niagara. It was kind of Déjà vu trip. All three places still look the same after a decade. But my personal experience was different. For a change I had a better company to travel with. I did not carry a camera just a phone. I was connected to family and world all the time. I also got to meet very nice people who showed us around. Were very nice and kind.
The photos below were taken using my first digital camera. A Sony 3 mega pixel, 3x zoom which costed upwards of $250. It still shoots well. Its used by my father now. They are not great pictures but you know they are memories.
Pictures from the recent trip. I will write about the trip itself later. But these pictures are for comparison.