My first impressions of USA

Culver City Travel Blog

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The view from the apartment

I took this trip 3 years back so I am reconstructing the trip using emails I sent to friends and my boarding passes!!! It is not at all my intention to offend anyone with what I have written here. If I do, I hope we talk through our differences and become good friends.

I started feeling really nervous at the KL airport when I had to throw so many things out; but anyway, it had to be done. (Make sure your allotted baggage weights the exact weight specified by the airline. I found it hard to pack my entire life in 2 suitcases and leave). The only way to look at it is that I did not need what I threw away. I am a big hoarder and I paid the price. I think that was what started getting me down when I reached here.

The flight was very long (17 hours) I had 3 meals most of which I did not eat, but the view was good as long as there was light.

A Hummmmer!!
I just kept falling asleep every 3 hours or so and then walked around the plane and made a couple of friends. Every plane coming to the USA has to have a security stop. Our plane stopped at Taipei for an hour. All of us had a leave the plane and board again. Taipei airport was really nice.

I got back on the plane and watched a movie and fell asleep. I woke up 4 hours before we landed. I passed customs and immigration without any hassles and then I was in!!! After the KL airport California airport (LAX) was a big disappointment. I reached here on the same day I had left!!!! April 5th. I had gained a day. Before I knew it, it was dark and then it hit me that I had left Bangalore and everything I knew. This is a new chapter in the making.

The next morning it was nice having breakfast with dad in the morning and spending some time talking or just sitting together.

My first impressions of the place go something like this.

Things that made me go ohhh
. Everything is so big here. The spaces are so huge. The place is so quiet. There are no people on the roads. Actually California has a lot of people as compared to the rest of America I hear!!!! But where are all the people? Every time I go for a walk I take a different direction. It is amazing the houses nearby. Every house has a pathway, a lawn, flowers the building and a space at the back of the house. There are different colour trash cans outside the houses. I will have to find out what they mean. Some houses are cheaper than others but the good ones are so amazing. Every house has a character of its own. People dress the way they want speak the way they want and are the way they want to be. I found the nearby library and the post office :-)

It is a little more than a week since I came  here and I have seen 9 Limo's, 5 mini coopers a hell of a lot of BMW's convertibles, so many SUV's some oddly shaped cars and many restored vintage cars as well. Went with my dad to this car wash place where we put in quarters and used the spray, brush and rinse available there to clean the car. It was fun.

Everything is available here but at a cost.

Things that made me go ohhh
I went to this car service place and their store alone is as big as the ground floor of Garudamall (in Bangalore) and everything to do with automobiles was available. They had kiosks where you could search for what you wanted and...Bumpers with stickers, Cycle ramps to attach to cars, cd players, jumpstarts, alloy wheels, seat covers, steering wheels, bikes, all sorts of things....I have not thought of even.

I saw the Hollywood sign. I took a bus to the Santa Monica Pier. It was very nice. Then I went to various stores such as Best Buys, Vons, Target, and Payless Shoes etc.....

So many things so many choices so many prices....Different places have different prices for milk, mangoes, chicken...soon and so forth. Can you believe comparing prices for all that before buying what you want?

You know how simple they have made things? A bulb screws on to the bulb holder on a lamp.

My room!
Why the hell do we have such a sophisticated spring system on our bulb holders? To differentiate between one buyer's things to another in a mall they just use a sticklike separator at the billing counter. Such simple things make life easier. The thing that I like the most is the standard that is followed everywhere. It is the same; whether you go to best buys, fry's.... or another store. A light switch turns on when you flip the switch from the down position to the up position!!! That is exactly opposite from how I have been doing it until now!!

Our neighbors are Mexican so I am going to learn some Spanish soon.

I am having bouts of sadness and loneliness coupled with other things. I have been told that it takes a year to accustom to a new place.

I went to a school to help conduct some ASAT exams and got paid $175 for 7 hours work.

The first left hand drive automatic I drove!!
Cool eh? This is a place where you can make money very easily but if you’re foolish you can spend more than you earn too!!! Credit card is so big here. Having a credit rating is so important. I got my cell phone no. and have got my Indian calling card too. I got my driving license, my bank accounts and my green card as well. All in 13 days, Yipeee!! It looks like I can make the trip I am planning.

Important phrases I am taking with me on my trip.

Chugging down a drink means = drinking a drink bottoms up

Preview is pronounced=pre view

Hauled ass = hurried (I guess there are other interpretations)

 

I am leaving for Huston tomorrow 14th April ‘06 and then going to Cleveland on the 18th April ‘06. I will keep you posted about my trip.

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The view from the apartment
The view from the apartment
A Hummmmer!!
A Hummmmer!!
Things that made me go ohhh
Things that made me go ohhh
Things that made me go ohhh
Things that made me go ohhh
My room!
My room!
The first left hand drive automati…
The first left hand drive automat…
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photo by: oriel