Thursday, August 27, 2009

Treasure I found to cherish for my entire life - part 2

After landing at the Frankfurt airport we started to move towards our transit. We had the next flight to Chicago. My husband was of the assumption that we had a long waiting time of 5 hrs in the transit. Thanks to me I never had a look at the itinerary even after enquiry about my travel from many persons. So no worries about the stay and other stuffs. Being first time traveler, you may enjoy everything but I bet this waiting [when you are alone] is really a boring stuff.

He was a bit relaxed till we came across the departure chart. It was a surprise for him that we just had 2 hours of waiting time. [Can I call it surprise or tensed?!?!?! I was not really able to make it] We wandered to find where our gate was. Imagine we just circled around the same place twice to find the gate. I just wanted to ask him if I ,of the two, were the only person to travel abroad for the first time!

Finally after a 15 minutes of search he got to know where exactly we must move. The airport was huge and I was enjoying the view of the same. Different outlets for variety of food! After reaching the terminal my hubby drained off the happy feelings pounding inside me by warning about the questions I may be asked when I have to cross the security check. It was worse than a visa interview and I was back to my normal self just expecting the queue before me to get longer instead of shorter! As the queue moved further, me and my hubby got separated in different lines.

It was most humiliating security check I ever had! We were asked to remove our shoes, socks, jackets, empty our pockets including the ornaments we had. I was not very much sure to remove my mangal sutra and was determined to fight if I am asked to! [Don't ask me now, the current situation is I don't really bother to wear it all time! This event took place just within a month of marriage when you are with fresh memories!] Unknowingly I did not get off my belt and hence rang the alarm when I had passed through. I was asked to stand aside and was half expecting to be checked in a closed space. To my surprise I was checked in open air and I felt highly humiliated when the security personal had raised my tops off exposing my waist a bit. I offered to help by holding my dress and also trying to explain that it should have been the belt. All I got in response was a tone of authority to keep my hands up and do nothing.

It was true that there weren't anyone around bothered or looking at us but still it indeed affected me. Its was a sudden blow to realize the different culture and perceptions. Only happy part of all this was it was a lady security guard and not a male who was examining me. Atleast this basic manners is maintained here. "Ladies to be checked by a lady security personnel"

Now having had this encounter, I collected my baggage and was waiting for my hubby to join me as I had no intention to go near the two security officials, whose questioner I had to face and succeed to pass through the gate which would lead me to my terminal, sitting across from me. The officials seeing me standing at a distance gestured me towards them. Having had no better option I strolled towards them as slow as possible hoping every second for my hubby to catch up with me. Upon reaching them I handed over my boarding pass and my passport. On seeing my visa details one of them exclaimed "Are you from India" and another asked me from where in India. I just told from chennai. Both of them were excited and just asked me why am I going to US. I told I got married and traveling with my hubby when my hubby just joined me. One of the official told "Vannakam" [a greeting in Tamil language though it indeed sounded strangely] when other told "I love inida, I love chennai" and just asked me to have a great stay in US

It was all over within just seconds. Even my hubby dint believe that it went on so well. We greeted both of them and carried on. In the airport my hubby insisted me to purchase water and gave a $10 bill. That was the first time I am seeing a dollar bill. I knew nothing about the money value system in US. I went and asked for a bottle in shop and the lady told me or that was what I was able to make it out from what ever she told "I dont have proper change can I give you in euros". I just shook my head. For me neither dollar nor euro dint make a difference as I had no idea of both the value system. Only concern was what my husband would comment when I go back with change and what if it was not correct and with euros which I wasnt very sure would of help to him in US. To my relief when I returned with change and told I dont know anything about this calculation he simply replied saying even he is not so sure of euros so not an issue.

Thus we had come to wait in the terminal for our next flight to Chicago, MY ENTRY INTO US SOIL!


deeps said...

wow u seem to have quite an experience... good thing everything went well.

My cooking experiments said...

I can very much relate to your experience.I came here the first time with my baby thro' Frankfurt.Imagine my plight.The procedure is tedious.But now a days i anticipate a lot before i go and ready for anything.Anyway it is not our soil and not rules made by us to argue leave alone winning the arguement

Anonymous said...

Frankfurt to Chicago when the flight take off ?