Sunday, September 06, 2009

Aloha from Springfield!

Hi there folks! I know this may come as a surprise - since I myself expected my next post would be from Toronto. However, it is not! This post comes to you from Springfield, Illinois...yeah, that's right - home of the Simpsons, or not.

How, When, Why, What? Easy, patience is key here. I mean, a lot of stuff has happened in the past 10 days or so since I landed, but I'll try to touch on everything. Me and my cuz sis Anita drove down here all the way from Toronto on Thursday evening. Yup, via the bordertown of Sarnia (which seemed almost as beautiful as C.S. Lewis' fantasy land of Narnia) - an approx drive of 12 hours. I was pretty skeptical about my chances of coming to the US on my business visa I'd got in 2006 when working in MindTree, but then I found out that I had a B1/B2 visa which could work as a tourist visa as well. Swell!! Well its weird that most Indian companies help get us these visas stamped instead of just B1s, but I'm glad whatever! Of course we spent almost an hour and a half at the border, since I had to get my i-94 done and all that. The officer was almost borderline racist in the way he told me to get my fingerprint scanned and then the photo, which he sneakily commented to be a "mugshot". Well, what can you say - "just shut up and get on with it?" No, so I just kept quiet. It was worth it later when we told him we had 9 bottles in the car trunk (from the duty free - for my cuz bro - cos it's super cheap)...he went "Are you serioussss"? Anyway, we finally landed up at my cousin's house at half past 2am in the morning in one piece and hit the sack.

It's been an eventful weekend alright - complete with barbeques and cocktails and all that. We had a mini road trip the day before when we went to St. Louis, Missouri. Fun outing - went to the zoo, then the gateway arch - which is so stunning I tell ya, and later hit the casinos past dusk. We're heading back tomorrow since I gotta get back soon. Launch Week starts Tuesday!! I know I sound excited but I really don't know what to expect. I skipped almost the entire orientation for International students (cos of the road trip) but the 3 hours I sat through was a drag so I ain't complaining.

Well, that's that I guess. Looking back, the past 10 days have been more of settling in and getting acclimatised...spent a couple of days with my uncle and aunt in Brampton (which I now know is where Russell Peters grew up). Shifted out to campus then with Naveen and shifted our stuff to the apartment. It's on the 15th floor of the apt building so not many complains there either! Especially with the view at night of the city lights and the CN tower. So far the weather's been holding up and has been pretty warm in fact but I guess that's just gonna remain for a week at the max. Univ campus is HUGE and I don't think I've covered even 30% of it yet. Lot's of settling in yet to do so I look forward to that once I get back. More notes about campus life then too. Oh, and York Univ's undergrad gals? Let's just say my analogy of the broken-down bus in the last post seems to have come true ;)

More later folks, have a good one!