21 June 2006

My First Visit to US.

Finally, After 24 hours of gruelling flying, I landed on US shores.. i.e literally a 'Shore'.. since California is on the West coastline of US. The journey was as interesting as the destination. After taking off at Hyderabad at 11 pm, a quick 4 hour flight took us to Singapore at around 6.15 am. (Yep.. we lost time...3 hrs here). Singapore Airport was unlike any other airport I had seen earlier. It was like a very big mall / shopping complex, much bigger than anything I had been to in Hyderabad. I was not sure if it was an airport with a shopping complex attached or a shopping complex with an airport attached. Both compliment each other in beauty. We had a quick breakfast at the airport and had to catch the connecting flight to US at 9.15 am. The airport had huge corridoors to connect to various arrival and departure gates. And throughout the length of the corridor were travellators. Travellators are much like elevators, but run thru the length horizontally unlike elivators which run thru the height vertically.

Our next flight was to San Francisco with 1 hr stopover at Seoul. We landed at Seoul at around 4.30 pm their time (Yep.. we lost 3 hrs again.. :-( I was growing old faster). The airport was very clean and the airport staff very efficient and helpful. After we disembarked from the flight, the airport staff guided us to the appropriate gate, gave us clear instructions to the waiting area and embarking gate. None of the passengers were left with a doubt on what to do and where to go. The airport was really well-managed. If you want to see where everything works.. its here. Every light lit...every tile was clean..every tap had water ... every elevator worked.. every signboard was appropriate.. no broken glasses.. no broken tiles.. no broken seats.. no torn canvases.. Only if we could make that happen back home.

The journey next was nonstop 10 hr flight to San Francisco. Seemed a little boring, but then I also watched 3 movies back-2-back. By this time my biological clock was totally screwed up and I ended up having lunch first and breakfast next. We landed at Sanfrancisco shortly after 12 noon (we gained time, this time..). The customs clearance was quick.. there were around 20 clearance stations and within 15 min we were out of the airport. We hired a cab to Townplace Suites, Twin Dolphin Drive. The place was around 20 miles away from airport. The cab driver had no idea where it was and we were lucky to have taken the map downloaded from net. In India, our auto-drivers would know nook and corner of the city. And if its a matter of a big Hotel, like the one above, then it was all the more easier. But here, the cab drivers were totally unaware of routes. Probably they serve much larger area than our guys do.

My journey ended at the Suites. 24 hrs...4 countries..2 continents...and 2 oceans later..jet lag caught up with me...zzzzz..

No comments: