My maiden visit to USA


Being a software engineer in India, I too got a chance to visit United States of America on my work. I went to NetApp office located in Sunnyvale for an assignment of about one month. I was fortunate to have my room-mate Ekanth there, who is working in a startup in Bay area. He made my life easier on roaming around places and taking me for regular lunches and dinners to different restaurants. I was staying in Hotel Crowne Plaza, Milpitas and near to this hotel my classmate Kamalakannan was staying in Homestead Studio Suite. It was really surprising for both of us to visit US at same time for same duration and staying very near. So, daily evening I used to visit his room to show my cooking expertise for our dinner.
On a weekend, we three went to Sanfrancisco for a day trip and spent time on Golden Gate Bridge. It was a quite different experience to travel in public transport system there. Normally the journey time by a car on freeway from San Jose to Sanfrancisco will take around 40 minutes, but the public transport (except flight) took nearly 2.5 hours because of less-frequent buses and trains on weekend. So we were forced to make several hops like travel by VTA (Valley Transport Authority) light-rail to Sunnyvale downtown, then by Caltrain (California train) to Milbrae station, then by BART (Bay Area Rapid Transport) train to Civic Center station and then by a bus to Golden Gate bridge. Anyway, watching out-side during the journey was good.
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On the next weekend, we planned to go to Los Angeles city, which is film-entertainment capital of the world. We 7 guys, all are HCL-Cisco ex-colleagues, traveled in a car and reached LA in around 5 hours and stayed in Ramada hotel. The next day Saturday, we went to Universal Studios and it was very nice experience visiting this Hollywood theme park. Here they’ll take for a Hollywood tour, in which they’ll show the set made for famous movies like War of the Worlds, Titanic, King Kong, etc. We went for the thrilling rides in Jurassic Park and The Mummy. There will be many shows running in parallel and one has to run behind the schedule to cover most of it. We had managed to watch Water-world live-show, House-of-horrors, 3D movies on Shrek and Terminator 2, Animal Actors, Fear Factor and Special Effects. I’ve enjoyed much the 3D shows because of fantastic 3D visualizations, sound effects and air-blowing & water-sprinkling on us. Evening we just roamed around Hollywood Boulevard (a famous road in LA) and there we made a visit to Kodak Theatre (where the Oscar Academy awards will be given yearly), Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and Wax Museum. This same road hosts the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which is nothing but the pathway on the side of the road embosses the name of famous celebrities in every star. The next day, we went to Laguna Beach followed by Malibu Venkateswara Temple and headed back to San Jose.

During my stay, I went to some fast-food-chains/restaurants like Taco Bell, Chipotle, Togos, Subway, McDonald’s, Java Sushi, Spice Hut, KFC, Starbucks, Swagat, Thai Town and Saravanabhavan. Because of this I had food items in Japanese, Taiwanese, Mexican (Burrito and Chalupa), Continental, Irish, Italian and Indian taste. In the same period, I managed to watch movies too (Om Shanthi Om, Evano Oruvan and Billa) in Century theatre and Indian Movie theatre 6. Before returning, as a ritual went to Costo and bought chocolates and other stuffs.

Having wonderful memories in US like hearing American jargons, having Continental food, ramping up in freeways, learning of a Korean word (‘anyo haseyo’ means hello) from teammate, talking about sub-prime crisis, technology sharing with peers, cooking lotus-roots vegetable and witnessing Christmas celebrations, I look forward for many such free trips 😉

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1 comment so far

  1. ekanth on

    Takes me back to those days da! Good post..


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