Saturday, August 06, 2005

In Austin

Finally I'm in Austin.Phew!

On the night of Aug 1st when it was raining cats, dogs and everything in Mumbai, I thought that I would have to cancel my ticket and leave some other day. But after literally swimming my way to the aiport I managed to board the plane on time. The journey after that was uneventful. The flight was only 70% full as the remaining passengers did not make it due to water-logging. As usual I had opted for the aisle seat and seeing that the 2 seat besides me were empty I stretched myself and for the first time I actually slept on a flight.

I had nothing to do at the Frankfurt airport, so was just playing games on my laptop and listening to the I-pod. There was a gentleman of African descent sitting besides me doing something on his laptop. Slowly we got talking and I gotta know that he was from Nigeria and that the dude was a banker. He was the IT manager of his bank. I asked him whether he is familiar with my company and he said he is. He then went on to mention other IT services companies too but was most happy to talk about I-Flex as his bank was using their product called Flexicube. See the benefit of being a products company as opposed to a services company. Even a man in Nigeria is aware of such companies.

He then went on to tell me that he was married and had two kids and was going to the US to meet up with his family who was already there and also to take his kids to Disneyland. I then went on to give him a rundown of the things to do in Disneyland and Orlando in general.
I almost fell of my chair when he mentioned his salary. Its 9 million Naira's (local Nigerian currency). I asked how much does that translate into USD and he said $64,000. Thats a fair amount of money in Nigeria. He also said that ' I'm a big man in Nigeria'. I was actually confounded. What did he mean by that. Only when we exchanged cards that I realized what he meant. His business card had the title of Prince before his name. I asked him why was that so. He told me that his father is one of the 12 kings in Nigeria and that after his death, he will become a king. I was like what the heck are you saying. Anyway, we had our respective flights to catch so we bid goodbye to each other.

The flight from Frankfurt to Washington D.C was the same 'ol story. No sleeping and watching some dumb movies. Saw Miss Congeniality-2. OKish movie. Sandra Bullock has gone overboard in certain scenes. Had a smooth immigration and also did what is now my customary habit of helping aunties who are visiting their sons or daughters for the first time with their baggage and immigration formalities. I got my cell phone connection reinstated and got the aunty to call her daughter. (The aunty's daughter was married so hard luck there!)

A representative from Indian Cultural Association was there at the airport to receive me and I'm currently crashing at his place. The next day, Wednesday 3rd August, got my student ID, got done with the international briefing and also submitted my immunization forms. The apartment hunt is also almost over.

I'm writing this post from my school's computer lab. Its called the Millenium lab and is located on the fifth floor of the school building. The building is very well maintained and even has a stock quotes ticker. It feels good to get back to the student mode. The excitement of Orientation, the initial classes, the mid-terms, the finals and ofcourse all the fun activities in between seem to excite me a lot.

More about my feelings on rejoining campus in my next post.