So! After a long hiatus which saw plenty of ups and downs, I’m finally back on the blog. Though I want to get into details, this will be a short post with a summary of my trip to Chicago.
The last few months have been nothing but crazy. I quit work (I mean, I took a long break again and in the bargain jeopardized any chance of a favourable appraisal or promotion anytime in future). The BIL got married, the BF fell terribly ill in his short stay and in the flurry of rushing him to and fro from the hospital, we missed out on inviting many people for the wedding 😦 . The week after the wedding was spent in attending lunches and dinners by relatives to welcome the new bride and to bid us goodbye.
Suddenly, it was time for us to leave and I still hadn’t packed ! Mom came to the rescue. Being an expert packer, she managed to squeeze all of our stuff into four big and four small bags. Considering we are going for a possibly long term, the BF was impressed that we weren’t carrying the entire house 🙄
(There’s a LOT I forgot to pack though 😦 . Hopefully, the stuff I left back isn’t critical to our stay here! )
Farewell was tough 😦
Though I was excited, there was a lot I was leaving behind and that made me feel rather heavy. Mom and MIL were in tears and though the FIL kept a gruff exterior we knew he was crushed inside. His most adorable grandchildren were going away……and we have no clue when we will be back!
We took the road to reach Mumbai airport where we realized that ………
I think my heart goes out to all those people who travel frequently. Waiting long hours for immigration check not only tested our patience, but even the twin’s ! On their part, though it was late at night, the two kept up their good spirits and complied with moving along the queue at snail’s pace. Security check was another bummer 😦
Once inside the plane, Lui was upset that we didn’t get a window seat. Eventually, she gave in to routine and went off to sleep. Shobby enjoyed the cartoons playing on the in-flight entertainment system. He even ate the snacks available 🙂
(For some unknown reason, the snap above refuses to rotate right! ),
We reached Munich, local time around 5:30 in the morning. The next flight to Chicago was at 12:30 in the afternoon! We had nearly 6 hours to while away in a very deserted airport! But I must say, I saw some of the most stylish crowd in Munich. The BF had to remind me more than a couple of times to not stare at the women 😀 . The furs, the boots, the caps! The women, even at that ungodly hour were dressed to the nines. Compared to them, I looked like a dump in my tracks, knotted hair and obviously, no make up 😦 .
It was difficult to keep the kids occupied. The BF was still recovering from his ill-health and was in no condition to run after them. The twins, on their behalf, behaved much better. We sat near the windows and counted the aeroplanes, told stories, ate candies and biscuits, ran along the huge passage way when there was no crowd and just tried to while away the time. Finally, after 6 long hours, it was time for us to board the flight to Chicago.
You know how people make fun of flight attendants on Air India? Well, the United Airlines’ Flight Attendants were no better. The women were definitely over 40 and not in the best of mood. One male attendant must have been in his late thirties, but the others were definitely pushing forty. And no, none of them were skinny. I was possibly thinner than a couple of them 🙂 . So no more jokes on Air India, okay?!
After a really long flight…must have been 9 hours, we finally arrived at O’Hare airport in Chicago where we had to suffer another long wait for immigration check. Though the twins were irritated, they behaved and didn’t throw a tantrum even though they were tired of walking along the queue. Frankly, it was smooth sailing with no hiccups and thanks to Mom’s packing, my fears of our ayurvedic medicines being confiscated, were put to rest 😀 . We were cleared to go and were welcomed by the coldest blast of frigid air when we stepped out. So we stepped right back in 😀
The BF went out to book us a taxi, while I made sure that the twins were bundled up properly once again. I am used to snow as I have spent my early childhood in Kashmir. The cold air wasn’t a surprise to me . But to the kids, it sure was ! The minute Shobby was outside, he started shaking like a leaf! Lui handled the cold much better I think. Both were over-awed with the snow….their first time ever 🙂
We took a cab to the apartment. The BF loaded our luggage on a cart and took us to his floor. We came in and dumped our luggage on the floor. The BF left us to return the cart back to the admin office. He must have gone for around five minutes. When he got back, he found three bodies lying on the carpeted floor. We had crashed out. It was around 5:30 pm local time.
Lui woke me up at 3:30 AM. She was hungry. Shobby was also up. So we all headed to the kitchen to find something. The BF, God bless him, had stocked up the refrigerator with the essentials. We had bread and butter, a safe dish to eat at odd hours 🙂 . The BF woke up too, he couldn’t sleep with all the noise the twins were making.
It took us a week to get back into our normal day-night cycle! I had heard about jet lag but experiencing it first-hand was a different thing altogether 🙂 .
I am slowly getting used to this place. The twins are yet to start school (we are still hunting for something close to our place). At times, I take the twins out for a short walk, just to let them get them get the hang of the weather. Spending too much time at home isn’t good for little kids ! Thankfully, the two are in good spirits, the LOVE the snow and love going out (all bundled up of course). The only problem lies in the effort to get dressed for going out! The layers of clothing, outerwear, jackets, boots, gloves, ear-muffs, Whew! Its tiring just to get dressed!
It is week 2 in Chicago and I think I am more or less adjusted. The people are friendly and courteous, I know the relevant stores around our place and though this place is expensive, I’m slowly letting go of mentally converting everything to rupees and gasping at the rates. My breathing, Alhamdulillah, is pretty normal when I shop now 😀
I’m in downtown Chicago, so if there is any reader here who knows this place, do drop by and say hello. You are all welcome 🙂
Note : I am really sorry for the hiatus. There was a lot happening back home and at the end of each day, I just ran out of steam and didn’t have the heart to sit and do a post. Many of you messaged me, commented on posts and asked if everything was okay. I’m sorry that I could not even reply to those comments. Sincere apologies 😦
But I am back and intend to be here more often 🙂 . Looking forward to hearing from you all once again. Love you 🙂