Day 2, Feb 19th
It's 7am in the morning. I am lying here in my bed in my home town and writing this up with the full intentions of typing it on a computer at a later time. I arrived here yesterday morning. I landed in Bangalore this time and then took a flight to Vizag via Hyderabad. I met my cousins at the Bangalore airport. My aunt came to the airport with shrimp biryani and dahi-vada. I think she thinks that they starve you on the plane for 24 hours, that's why she brought all that food to feed me. And then she asked me to take some of the food on the flight to Vizag! I knew what was was in store for me food wise on an India trip but certainly wasn't expecting to be stuffed even before I reached home. For the ladies in the family, showing love = stuffing me with food, which means at least a 10 pound gain for me by the end of it in 2 weeks time.
The domestic airlines in India are an unbelievable mess. If in the US, there are too many restrictions, here it's the opposite. The lady making the announcements is constantly blabbering and I cannot fully understand what she says. There are no clear directions to the flights and I had to keep asking all the attendants. The good thing though is the service on the flight. At the Hyderabad airport, I saw this extremely cute girl. What more, even she was giving me the looks for a while. I gathered all my courage and was making a move towards her when her mom came and sat next to her. Then another guy came up to her saying "Madam, the flight is a bit late." She must have been a movie actress or some thing. Thus ended my one thousand twenty third one minute love story. Who knows, a minute earlier and I could have been romancing a movie star. On the flight to Vizag, I sat next to an anglo Indian couple from Canada and was chatting up with them. They told me their journey makes them feel like they are in "The amazing race".
The first day of an India trip is always the best. There is that great anticipation of meeting the family after a long time. Just when I arrived at Vizag, the Indian cricket team was leaving. I did not get to see any of the players since I was busy with hi's to family. My cousin had bowled to most of the batsman at the nets and I will put up that video on youtube some time. After the initial feet touching and hugging, we made a move to our home. That's when the fun starts. Sitting in the car at that time is like being in the best roller coaster of the world! The traffic is unbelievable. I think the Indian traffic system is the most efficient system in the world. Seriously, think of it. There are people driving towards you from all directions, and it seems like they are going to hit you but some how they miss at the last minute. Nothing ever happens and the traffic never stops. Even if there's an accident on the road, and the path is closed, you can just turn the car back, and take a close by exit. In the US, a few cops would come to the scene, block the lane, and the traffic gets jammed! The traffic in India makes you believe in the saying "What's destined to happen will happen!" There is no other explanation for it, other than that every thing is controlled by destiny. Anyway, the first day I begin to question myself if I can ever come back and settle here. You really need to have a "me first" attitude here. If in the US, you need to learn to hold a door for some one, here you need to learn to slam it on some one's face! Ok, it's not quite that bad but cos of the constant hustle and bustle, you need to ignore others around you. You cannot afford to give fake smiles and hi's to strangers on the road as in the US.
One of my baggages was missing, the one that had all my clothes. This, amazingly, happens to every one. If you have two baggages, one of which has your friends' stuff in it, the missing baggage is always the one that has your stuff! Anyway, as a result of that, I had to go shopping yesterday, with my uncle of all people. Now, he is the person I respect the most in my life and I am a complete "yes man" when it comes to him. Going shopping with him reminded me of the movie "Bommarillu". All he had to do was pick up a shirt and say "isn't this nice?" and the next thing you know, I was buying it! Even the shop keeper was intimidated by him. The clothes weren't that bad and I think I can wear them to work.
The easiest way to avoid jet lag is to fight the sleep during the day on the first day, which is what I did. But this morning, I woke up very early after hearing the "puja bell" that my mom was ringing. And then she asks me if it was my jet lag! It's election day here. So every one's going to be home, which is great for me. Later.