Finally, the announcement was made. We had been flying over the outskirts of NY when I woke up. All I could see was an endless array of light bulbs glowing as if a billion lightening bugs were neatly stacked in blocks of varying sizes! The expanse of New York City was something that I had neither seen nor imagined. It was 1145PM on 03/Mar NY time. Our flight landed at the John F. Kennedy International Airport 5 mins later. Seeing the JFK made me realize that the Delhi Airport needs another 100 years to even come close to what JFK is today!
Anyways, we walked through the corridor towards the immigration counter, only to find a line for immigration. As I stood there waiting, I could feel my heart race with excitement about how I was finally here in US, my plans for the next two months and a million other things!! The gentleman at the immigration called out for me, asked why I was here and a few questions later, I was stamped for a max. stay of SIX months in US!!
I had to wait for half an hour for my luggage to arrive, the reason for which, as one could imagine, was that my bags would’ve been placed perhaps at the bottom of the whole stack as I was one of the few people on the flight who were flying from New-Delhi to New York. All that time was utilized in thinking and drafting an emergency backup plan in case my bags didn’t arrive at all!!! (hehe!) Guess what… it takes $3 (Rs. 120) for luggage trolley!! (All I could manage for this was… wtf!!)
I then reached the customs counter, which took away a pre-filled form, asked if I was carrying any food (No points for guessing the answer) and then, I was finally in the USA. I took an AIRTRAIN to the Howard Beach Station. It was an awesome experience riding in a train (slightly smaller than Delhi Metro) which runs on an elevated track (almost making you feel as if in air and hence the name). My friend (Ankit) had come to pick me up. It was getting late (around 1:30AM) and we decided to take a train to reach his house in New Jersey.
More in the next post!