Jet lagged and tired, mentally bruised and battered; landed at SFO at 1.15 PM local time which is an unearthly hour in India where I would have slept cuddled like a baby!!
1.5 more hours in immigration and baggage collection and finally when I checked into the hotel and entered my room, I hit the bed, literally!
Long flight journey is one thing. The air sickness, pressure difference, that cold and bland food, dehydration. At the end of it all, you feel pale and lifeless, groggy eyes, chapped lips, bloodless skin.......
My first encounter of getting treated indifferently(read discrimination) was at the Dubai airport. Its not something new, it seems to be a norm. Indians are treated with some sort of indifference thanks to the infamous impression that we lack civic sense and discipline. Sad but true. Coming to the getting indifferently treated part; I wanted to use the rest room before taking my flight to San Francisco.
The queue was long. As I was waiting, a janitor pointed towards me and said "There is a toilet free. A squatting one; I think you could use it". Hmmmmm now all I wanted was to use a toilet, never mind if it was the Western or the Indian. You may ask what was indifferent here. Nothing was until this. When I was out of the toilet, a white woman wanted to use the toilet. The janitor warned her "Its a squatting one. You may not want to use it"
What the heck? Anyway, I have always ignored such things. My next encounter of being treated indifferently was in the flight. My request was ignored by the attendants. Now I am not sure if it was unintentional or not.
It was once again time to move from IST to PDT. Once again time to get used to right-hand traffic, priority to right of way, yield, priority to pedestrians, freeway and expressway. Once again; start stopping at compulsory stop, stop at pedestrian xing, use specific lanes for carpools. Once again time to brush up the forgotten facts that switches work opposite, fridge doors that open the other way, walk paths and hash browns and large trucks. Once again time to start greeting strangers and stop jaywalking.
To admire preference given to people with physical disabilities; at the cinema hall, at hotels, in the metro services; special parking areas for them.
Welcome to America where you see signs as these and sigh! when do we get to see such signs in India