My friend, colleague Mr. Katta Chaitanya had recently traveled to Trumbull (Milford, US) for an onsite assignment. After he’s gone there, as an acknowledgment he has sent us a longest mail that i have ever seen in my life. I generally don’t read long mails but as this is from Chaitanya i had to read it.
This mail was very informative and funny. I can imagine him explaining to me with his unique style and expressions (shocking his shoulders all the time). Here goes the mail by chaitanya in his words……
I reached to US safely.. The journey was nice. I got a window seat in both the flights.
From chennai to paris.. everything was nice.(cute lady.. Indian food..)
From paris to JFK(NewYork). It was good..(Nice man.. very helping..but no Indian food).
overall..It’s a very nice and a very different experience as everything was new for me..
To start with ..
Luggage clearance is the first activity that happens..Here you will get your boarding pass and immigration form…(Instead of filling I went to my parents and friends to meet bcoz once you go for Immigration clearance you can’t come back..)then comes the Immigration form filling and clearance..that’s it I was all set to board the flight. My Airlines was AirFrance and it was very good.
After the Immigration clearance.. search for the gate number in chennai airport for your respective airlines. for me it was gate6. There was a delay of 15 mins in boarding and 20 more mins for the takeoff (A small girl was crying and was out of her seat.. everyone should be in their seats with seat belts on.. there were 20 flights waiting for our flight to take off 🙂 ).
I boarded the flight and airhostess guided me to my seat#. I sat and was waiting to feel the experience of my first take off. The flight took off and can’t express my experience in words. I was delighted. after half an hour.. they served us food (a kind of breakfast). I was trying to operate the TV(a kind of learning) then had my breakfast and was looking from the window and the Geovision measurements(altitude, speed, # of miles travelled..etc etc).
I spoke to the lady beside me for few minutes and slept…. woke up and had food(lunch).. (After take off.. you will be served food and before you reach your destination you will be served food..i.e 30 mins after take off.. and 30 mins before your destination tentatively). For Lunch they served dosa,upma,coffee/tea, cool drink, bread, butter, jam, cookie..etc etc..
i landed in Paris airport and cleared the customs then searched for the gate#,terminal of my connecting flight. (we need not worry.. people will always be there to help you out…)Then waited there for more than 4 hrs for my connecting flight to Newyork. After a long waiting.. the time has come and I boarded the flight (Here one important thing is… If it is a connecting flight for you.. then you will not be given I-94 form and for others it will be given, So don’t forget to take the I-94 at your destination before you go for customs clearance.. I did this and wasted 15-20 mins at JFK)Here also I got a window seat.. I was feeling very tired and sleepy..So after take off I had my food (here one other important thing to note is.. you will be given menu card first .. just after take off, so read it and decide your food (veg/non-veg be careful..bcoz you don’t even know which is veg and which is non veg..same thing happened in my connecting flight….paris to JFK…I was given a menu and i didn’t see it.. when the guy came to serve me food I asked for a vegetarian meal and he didn’t understand that.. then he gave me the option of chicken or …… don’t remember A strange new word… so I said I want some thing other than chicken.. he said ok sir upon your request I will serve it.. I took it but was hesitating to eat as i am not sure whether it is veg or non.. so I asked the fellow passenger and he was not sure.. and i asked another fellow passenger.. He said Ask for ‘PASTA’ it is a veg.. I called him/her and asked for PASTA and to my surprise he said it is pasta only.. i was very hungry too and ate it happily.. coming to other items.. i have gone through the menu and selected veg items and left some non veg mixed items… A minute of caution is needed before eating if you r particular about veggy) After eating watched TV (this time I operated the TV better as I got used to it in the first flight and even dragged the Remote outside..generally it will be fixed at the oneside of your hands)I slept and had a nice sleep.. The one sitting beside me woke me up saying..please get up and put your seat belt..Then i realised that I slept for almost 7 hours and put my seat belt..then the same story continued..they served a light meal(snack) and I was doing my window watching.. i reached JFK and they were giving some instructions in French in the flight(Anyway we don’t understand)..
Then I came out of flight and the security officers have guided me to customs clearance (remember I didn’t fill my I-94)..I went to the counter and there was beautiful lady sitting.. I said Hello with a smile and she greeted me.. I gave my passport and boarding pass and then she asked “where are your forms?”… I asked which forms?.. she asked the forms you have filled in.. I said I didn’t fill any forms and said I don’t require any forms..Then she said why you don’t need any forms? everyone entering US has to fill in the forms..go back and fill them… i was not understanding about which forms she is referring to.. A bit disappointment.. then went back and asked other officer saying ” This is my first visit and what forms I need to fill in?” she has shown me another guy.. I went to him and asked him for the form.. he has given a wrong form and a correct form (total 2 forms).. and after filling I went to a different counter intelligently :-))..he verified and said “this is a wrong form” go back and fill the white form(I-94)..Again I went and found a white form and to my surprise it was I-94.. I filled it and went to a different counter (as the previous officer was not present).. I gave my index fingers and a photo.. He asked “what was the reason for the delay?” i explained him the funda happened.. he asked me for the reason of my visit.. I told Internal company transfer and working for TCS. He has written the expiry date and company name in my I-94 and stapled it to my passport. I have verified the expiry date, name and other things in I-94. Everything was correct and I collected the luggage and went out..while going out I have given another form which i had filled in.. to go out of the airport..he will ask “Any food items” you should say A confident NO that’s it.. i came out and booked a prime time shuttle (Ground Transportation)to Milford.. After 2 hours I reached Milford and landed in Guru’s room.. :-))
I have missed out many of my experiences as its already a very lenghty mail..
Missing all you guys..
NOTE: I was thinking that I will be given I-94 at some place or counter and will be asked to fill in.. I didn’t expect that I have to take I-94..fill it.. then go for clearance.. Remember it..
Hope you guys enjoyed it. Your comments are always welcome.