It was a Sunday, I woke up at 6:30 usually and craned my neck out of the window to look at the street. It was a nice neighbourhood.
I didn’t see any person on street. I kept looking for sometime but not a single person. The people in the house were fast asleep I guess.
Not a voice, not a sound.
It was indeed a one eighty degree phase shift to the noisy New Delhi home of mine.The first person I saw out was a girl taking her dog out at 9:30.
Suddenly, I was despondent.I started feeling lost and bad for myself.I did a $ 10 recharge for Skype account and called home.My sister gave a hangout call to me.
I started feeling ok. Then I called GA , and the moment I heard her voice my eyes got wet.I talked to her.Then took bath, did puja.
The landlady took me to a gurudwara nearby.I could see lot of Sikh people there. They were serving prasad of chole bathure.I had a small amount of it, as I was sceptical of the oil and also my digestive system.
Then in the evening, I paid her rent and she took me to a temple in her car. I went to ATM and got some money out.Here the limit is $800 for one day.
I saw a deduction of extra $3 as I used some other bank’s ATM. I felt very annoyed.
I could see north Indian people there.It was 3pm and the roads were not very crowded, totally opposed to New Delhi.
She told me except Manhattan, you cannot find a lot of people anywhere.
I went on to see the map of Long Island rail road and from there I went to T-mobile and got myself a phone connection $77 were shelled out.
The day seemed so long to me.I dozed off and woke up at 8, had my dinner and tried to sleep again.Since that day I have been waking
up at 3 am regularly , sometime to go to wash room and sometime for other reasons.Never in my life I waited so desperately to go to office.
I went to the nearby LIRR station next morning, and caught the train to Penn station.The ticket for both sides costed $22.My heart skipped a beat.
This was way too expensive. In 30 minute I was at Penn, Now getting out of the station was an issue.I had no clue where to go. There were so many signs.
I went to the information centre and asked about Herald square station to catch F train.I reached H-square, asked few people from where to get the train, and wonderful thing was that everyone pointed in different direction.
Totally nonplussed.I came out of the subway and asked some people.After 10 min of GPS tracking I decided to take the train from Herald Sq. only. I had to get a ticket.
$2.75. I inserted the $3, but one of the $1 note came out.I had no more change.I used my credit card for the same.
Finally I reached 57th Street. On reaching there, I had no clue about 1345 Av. of Americas. GPS was not working for some reason.
And you cannot really ask people in NY as all of them have headphones or earphones plugged in.
Though New York city is a grid and its very easy to find your way here, as its very logical. But I was next to lost on day one.
One thing that I have observed about people in NY is that most of them dont have sense of direction. and also, they dont have much knowledge
about anything apart from the fixed route from their home to work and vice versa. You can feel this.
Anargha, with whom I went to see Statue of Liberty, also had the same comment about people of NY.
Mainly its a tourist place. So there are higher chances that you bump into a tourist when you are trying to find your way, so he may or may not know.
After 15-20 min of haggling I found my way to office. I got my temp Id to enter building and there I was in NY accenture office.
Trust me, it felt like home.
Diana helped me there with few forms and other things.Then I met Tomas and Paul also had flown from Chicago for a week.
It was a nice day. In the evening I went to Times Sq. and Rockefeller with my Brother In Law and stayed with him for next 2 nights.
Life was easy, had breakfast at Marriott ,his hotel and lunch at chipotle, Minar.Dinner he cooked at his studio room in hotel.
On tuesday’s night we went to the 5th Avenue, world’s costliest street, best showrooms of the world are there.Apple Store’s glass building is also there. It was all fun!
Few meetings and calls, some formalities, paper work etc and on Wednesday night I returned to my room. ughh !! I didnt want to leave Manhattan.
Manhattan is like New Delhi, crowded, a total city ,I felt like home there.I can relate to the place. On the other hand , Bellerose in Queens though New York it is, feels like a quiet place.
Like I have come to some suburb of India.
Anyway,I went to 34th Herald square and god knows what exit did I use and it took me half an hour in chilling cold to find my way to Penn station.
The wonderful thing about New York is that many of the traffic police guys themselves don’t know which way goes where.Thanks to them, I took few more minutes to reach Penn.
Train to Floral Park was on platform 19.I had bought 2 way ticket on Monday itself. So, confidently I placed myself on the train standing on platform 19.One thing I hate about LIRR and subways is that,
not all of them have maps route. So, when Jamaica came I was assured I am on the right path. The ticket checker came and punched my ticket and went away. After a while I started realising ,thats not the route I took on Monday.
WTF !! Can anything go right in my life. Possibly not. A girl standing next to me said that this train is not going to floral park and told me to get off on the next station and take a cab back home.
Seeing the distressed look at my face, she asked me if I have some money to go home or not. I nodded. The both of us got off at Mineola ,god knows what place it it, and she hauled a taxi for me.
$25 were charged by the taxi guy. I had started feeling irritated by this NY city now.
I entered home, chatted for few moments with aunty and she asked me if I have a metro card or not.I said no, at 8 in the night she drove me to the local store which sells metro cards.
I got a $20 card and had my dinner and jet lag kept me awake.
The next day: I boarded an early N24 bus,aunty had asked me to get off at 169th street .I took out GPS on phone and looked ,it showed the bus goes till 179th.I got confused where do I need to go, 169 or 179. I chose latter and again I was left wandering in cold.
After some enquiry I found my way to the subway and rode the F train to office.
20 min in Bus and 35 min in subway was my daily commute. Thankfully the subway is very near to office.
New york city is a good place to live in. My eyes kept looking for Indians ,but latin americans look very similar to us, so do many asian people. And there is this thing that
I have observed ,if you spot one Indian person, they will try not to engage in conversation. They will flaunt fake accents and will try to portray themselves as some other nationality.
But I am widely travelled in India, I can spot one if I get even an iota of sign. In office I haven’t seen or met any Indian as of yet.May be ,all of them are merged into the colours of
this multi variate ,multi ethnic city .