This diary post is a part of a 30 day trip that I am taking this month which it also happens to be my first ever International trip. So for the next 30 days I will be posting here all my weird thoughts and commentary.
Day 23, 08-8-2012 – In my hotel room, Madison, WI, Local Time: 2241, Pakistan Time:09 August 2012, 0840
Apparently for a flight at 10 am you need to get up at 6 am… And I say this from experience! And let me add, that so early in the morning I am not a very nice or friendly person! This is simply for information!
Anyways, we wake up early, run with our suitcases out of this wonderful hotel and land at the Ronald Reagan Airport.. where we all await to know the dreadful news… Our luggage (or at least mine for sure) is overweight. When I loaded my luggage 22 days ago from the Karachi Airport, it was a mere 16 kg or 32 pounds approximetly. Today, when I had the same suitcase weighed, it was almost 79 pounds….. and it was all books… Oh well, there is nothing which I didnt already predict! Anyways, I get my luggage in and then I ask this old sweet man about which gate is my flight to be depart from.. I am travelling by Delta.. the old man however tells me to go to United Terminal.. that is located on the other end of the Terminal….. of course this is something that I will only get to know that much later. Not only do I go to the United terminal, I even clear security. I get done with the entire screening process and go inside the lounge and sit at this particular gate and wait.. until…. things start to seem fishy! I check from the counter and my suspicion is cleared! I am in the wrong Terminal. So I walk back to the Correct terminal, which guess what, is on the other end of the terminal!
But hey, you can never expect me to complain about getting lost… I loved the entire experience!
So I am finally at the right terminal and I board the right flight, and then after an hour or so of flight time, we are in Dallas, Texas Airport. Now I have been quite shocked about the Airports that they have in US, and this one was no exception… I mean there is a bloody train which moves inside of the Airport… I mean INSIDE! I mean you can be walking on those escalators, and all of a sudden you can see a train moving from one end of the Airport to the next! And there were around 78 or so gates in that one terminal alone, and I am sure there were other such more terminals!
And from Dallas Airport, we took another flight that took us to Madison! Now the plane in which we were suppose to travel was ridiculously small. I mean it was a matchstick! I don’t even know how we fitted into that plane, but anyways we did, and after another hour or so we had shifted … from our room in DC…
So, the place is amazing! It is small and petite and tiny, but there is a huge difference between the crowd of DC and Madison. Since Madison is a University town, where you can see these kids getting the ideas of liberalism for the first time, therefore there is a huge difference in the way they dress to even the way they flaunt their cigarettes in public, this being particularly true for women. But the women in DC were much more sophisticated and I think I hardly saw anyone smoke in public like the way I saw in DC.
So as soon as we reached our hotel, we were greeted by Dr Mark Kenoyer – the larger then life personality, who instructed us to put our luggage and come out for lunch with him. We headed to this Indian Pakistani Restaurant called “Mirch Masala” and I tell you, it was God send. I mean after days I had vegetables and desi food, and Achar (pickle) and roti…and Achar! I mean it was heaven! This is not to say I don’t enjoy what I am eating now, but I loved the desi food!
I think I hardly ate anything except this!
So, when the sun had gone done a bit we were given a private tour of the town by Dr Kenoyer and we got to see Madison with all its history and even the minutest of detail.
We took a tour around the University Campus where we even had the chance to see the Boating Club in full swing…. yes they have a boating Club!
We finally went up the Anthropology Department and from there we had the chance to see the various classes and rooms, before we finally took our spot in front of the amazing Bell Tower!
I think we sat on that spot for about an hour, or until it was already 7:30 and it was time to head back for dinner, which we had at this amazing Restaurant,
And we had such a variety of food that even I don’t know what we did have last night. I know there was Sushi involved, and there was Raw Fish, and there was a Shrimp Head, Saki and fried Ice-cream. Let me just say for the record, I didn’t like Sushi… the sea weed around it, I just didnt like!