Sunday, April 29, 2012

US Trip : April / May 2012 (Day 1)


We arrived in Atlanta from Frankfurt at 3.30 pm, about one hour ahead of schedule. The early arrival was offset by the delay at the airport arising out of a very irritating security procedure.

Atlanta airport is The only airport I have seen, where there is a security procedure AFTER arrival. There is a personal security screening. The checked - in baggage is collected upon arrival, and once again put on a belt for further screening. One has to then take a train, and arrive at yet another terminal (at least 5 kms apart from the one where we landed), to collect one's baggage. All of this, after a half hour at the immigration. (The immigration officer this time, was a friendly type...)

The good thing about Atlanta airport is the ground transportation. Taxis are abundandtly available, a stark contrast to other airports like Chicago O'Hare, where there is complete chaos, and the wait for a cab is endless.

What surprised me also in Atlanta, is the weather. It was 34 degrees C, and needless to state, very warm. We felt a bit foolish, carrying a jacket for cold weather.

The Hitlon, where we are staying, is reasonably priced, yet good. Check in was smooth. The rooms are spacious and absolutely clean, with a grand view of downtown Atlanta. The Hotel has a nice gift shop (which I had to visit - to shop for neckties which I foolishly left behind at home), where the items sold are reasonably priced. Also there is 'Starbucks' for a good coffee.

Its past 7 pm here, and there is broad daylight.

Its been about 29 hours since I stepped out of the home. The travel involved an 8 hour flight to Frankfurt, a 5 hour wait before I caught the connecting flight to Atlanta, which was of 9 hours duration.
Time to rest now. Tomorrow we leave at 9.30 for a trip to Gainesville, Georgia, and from there, straight to the airport, to catch a flight to Chicago.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tour of USA - 2012 (Day 0)

And so - here I am - once again at the Lounge, in Terminal 3 of the IGI Airport, waiting to board my flight to Frankfurt, en route to the US...

My flight to Frankfurt will take 8 hours and 15 minutes. After an approximately three hour wait at Franfurt, I will board my flight to Atlanta that will take 10 hours to get to its destination.

By the time I reach my Hotel and check-in, folks in Delhi would be waking up from the slumber - to start getting ready for the first day of the new week. It would be about 5 am in India - Monday morning.

I plan to be here till the end of the week, and begin my journey back home on Friday evening. The tour in the US entails visits to Atlanta and Chicago, and their suburbs.
Visitng the US is always fun. You meet old and new people related to business, and catch up with some friends from School and College. The only dampner to the thought, is the gruelling 23 hour journey....

The Lounge seems more crowded than I've ever known it to be. I guess lots of people who finished business on Friday and are headed back home in the Western hemisphere. Or, people like me, who plan to reach the US by Sunday, to start their business right from the beginning of the week. Almost everyone peering into their cellphones, or laptop computers. Good opportunity for the single travellers to catch up on some exclusive moments alone and punch away into the keyboard without anyone around to nag...

With the help of a nice cold drink I brace myself for the long journey that will transport me to another part of the globe. And I hope and pray that the days fly, so that before long, I am back home