When in a foreign country, hungry, with a multitude of culinary options available, do not go to the counter with the prettiest chic. -CeG<oBelIX>
This post, for your convenience is divided into sections. Everything described here did happen. I meant to write this up many months ago but then general laziness etc etc and as they say, “Better late than never”. (I don’t know who *they* are but if you do, do drop a comment. I’ve got a bone to pick with them). This is also a very long post, and I promise to put the same energy and focus into each section as I have put in this introductory paragraph which “Windows Live Writer” [excellent software by the way, I recommend it wholeheartedly] tells me is several lines too many too long.
Part I: The journey to the US of A
Do not fly via JFK. -CeG<oBelIX>
So, I left for a business trip to the USA sometime in September. Flew emirates, which is an unbelievable airline. Really super. The flight from Dubai to JFK was in an Airbus A-380 which is an unbelievable piece of engineering. It is unbelievably quiet inside. Emirates’ food service is unbelievable as well. The in-flight entertainment is the most unbelievably awesome in-flight entertainment system I’ve seen. [Note to self: Open up word and look for synonyms for adjectives in future 🙂]
The travel guys had booked me onto HYD-DXB-JFK-SEA. There were two problems with this as I discovered.
- It took a very long time to get to Seattle. I reached the hotel at 2AM, woke up the next morning at 8, took a shower, ate breakfast and reached a meeting at 9 🙂
- It took me through JFK which is the most useless airport in the world. Absolutely pathetic, you’d think the richest country in the world would have a new, shiny, exquisite airport that says, “Yeah, this is America”. But no, JFK is old and just so blah. Beijing airport is better. Delhi airport is better.
Part II: Redmond – First Impressions
The company that I work for makes excellent operating systems and is headquartered in Redmond, a suburb outside Seattle. The weirdest thing for someone coming from India is the sheer lack of people and the sheer number of cars. There are no people on the street. No gaay/bhains, bacchas playing gulli-cricket, stray dog running around etc. The whole place is built for people with cars.
The first morning, I am dressed formally, well fed [in a manner of speaking] and outside. The first problem: traffic intersections. I’m at this traffic junction, waiting for the light for pedestrians to turn green. Everyone gets their turn, but the light for pedestrians to cross hasn’t yet turned green. I wait. Another turn. Still no green. I wonder, “Daal main kuch kaala hai”. Another turn. Now, bemused, I am scratching my head thinking that the whole system is defective. Then this cyclist, clad in a weird jumpsuit type dress comes up to the pole, hits a button and the it turns green. So, faithful readers who have endured many paragraphs of numbing narrative, I give you another piece of hard-earned wisdom: You gotta hit the button at the traffic lights so that it will turn green for you to cross.
… To be continued