Well, I have a lot of things to do in front of me and I have decided to do the least important one. Writing blog. I am feeling this pressure as soon as I stepped in this country. There is so little time and so many things to do. I am still not used to with this. But I am trying to cope up.
Anyway, let me finish my story first, in the Memphis International Airport I was pretty sure that no one is coming to pick us. Although Dr. Yeasin sent me an email telling that Mahbub Bhai will be at the airport, but I didn’t contact him. I just sent an email regarding our arrival time but I forgot to mention out flight. And Memphis airport is too big to find a person without knowing his flight details.
Therefore, what we did is to take a taxi in order to go to the only known address – Shahed bhai’s house. But that time, I didn’t know that Shahed bhai has left University of Memphis. I also didn’t know that Memphis is one of the most crime prone cities in United States. Anyway, we reached Shahed Bhai’s house safely. However, knocking at the door for a very long time didn’t work. We didn’t got the door opened because there is nobody in the house. What to do in that situation? To make the situation worse, we have 4 big suitcases, 2 hand carry bag and two laptop bags with us. So, we decided to talk with a 3rd American person in our life (The 1st one was my visa issuing officer and the second one was the officer sitting in immigration desk in JFK). We knocked the door next to Shahed bhai’s. A white American person opened the door. With some short conversation with the guy I came to understand that in this country people don’t even know your nearest neighbor! The time of great panic started when that guy slammed the door in front of you. Man, Americans are not as friendly as us.
Fortunately, we got an Indian student just passing us. Yes, that person is like us at least to see (Later I discovered that Indian culture is very similar to ours – in every aspect). We told everything to him. He doesn’t know Shahed bhai or Dr. Yeasin but he knows the CVPIA lab. And he knows a member of that lab too. WOW!!! Within some time we could meet Pratiksha, a member of our lab and she did all the communication part for us. She called Mahbub bhai, gave us some place to take rest, and lots of things. We are really grateful to her for that. One interesting thing is when Pratiksha called Mahbub bhai, he was in the Memphis Airport in search of us. lol. If we would wait for some more time in the Memphis airport he would find us.
Anyway, with that adventure, our life in USA started. I started to feel the big differences from our country from the next day. We went to have a walk in our university. When we were waiting to cross the road, all the cars stopped in front of us. They let us to cross the road first. That is something completely unimaginable back home. There, who has the big vehicle has greater right upon the road. But here, the pedestrians have the greatest priority – at least in the high pedestrian areas.
Some more interesting things are – people always greet others with a smiling face. Even a stranger will say “Hello” or “Doing good?” if he comes in front of you in the road. They say thank you at the drop of a hat. If there is a “Stop” sign in the road, vehicles will certainly stop there even if there is nothing around. Keys and the Switches work in the other way. etc etc.
Overall, it is quite a puzzling emotion being in USA. But the study pressure is definitely very very high. Let us see whether I can withstand that.