<< This post is dedicated to the wonderful people in Ewing. I miss you all. >>
On 28th July, I completed one year in the United States. Thanks to Facebook, I was notified about the same with the status update a year back:
It has hardly been a day and I’m already missing the irregularities and chaos among many other things.
The last entry in The States Diary is more than 9 months old now. And, like I have mentioned in my last entry, there is not just as much ‘excitement’ here for me as it was in Mumbai. Anyways, I have visited a few places here in the last 9 months and although I said that the stay hasn’t been exactly “exciting”, the trips were definitely memorable to say the least.
After the last post, which was in October 2014, it was time to welcome the winter. If you’re in the east coast of the States, you can very easily comprehend the emotion behind the famous Games of Thrones dialogue – “Winter is coming!“. You just can’t plan anything in those 4-5 months. The greenery goes away and it’s black and white everywhere. You have to clean your car everyday before you can drive it to office. Your car wheels may not obey your steering wheel if the roads are icy. You have to wear clothes of weight more than yours before you leave from your home. There are a lot of reasons for people to hate winter. But, I somehow liked it – may be because it was the first winter for me here. The other reason can very well be the fact, as people told me, that it was not as bad as the previous year.
With winter, comes the season of festivals – Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas, New Year, and there could be more which I don’t know. People take leaves. The offices are almost half empty or half full depending on how optimist you are about these things. We visited to Atlantic City on the Christmas eve and New York on the New Year eve. There was almost nothing in the next 2 months.
In February, I came to know about my release from the project I was working on. I had been working very hard in that project and the news was almost a surprise to me. But, it was one of those lessons about corporate world that I got reminded of – “No resource is indispensable!”. But I was somehow happy about it. There were 2 reasons – one, there was a mild chance that I could go to India for project reallocation; and two, I needed a change in work – I had been working in the same project and the same team for more than 5 years.
At last, I got selected for a project in Malvern, Pennsylvania. That’s when I realized that I needed a change in work but definitely not a change in the location. It was like moving away from home once again. Those few months in Ewing, I guess, will be the best days of my bachelor life in the States.
But, before I moved to Malvern, I had around a month to spare without any work and I decided take full advantage of that. The first trip I made was a 2-day tour to Philadephia and Washington DC. It was a wonderful experience. The trip started from the beautiful Princeton University campus. Then we went to Philadelphia to see the Bell of Liberty and the Independece Hall. Philadelphia was kind of the dullest part of the trip.
The next stop was an Amish Village in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I opted for a fully guided tour. You can look up about the Amish people and their tradition and you’ll be surprised that there is still such a community in a developed and modern country country like the United States. The Amish people still follow these rules:
- They don’t have electricity or cable connection in their homes. They believe that they shouldn’t have connection with the external world.
- They don’t use cars; use horses and cycles for traveling and transportation.
- One person is allowed to have only one wife or husband at a time. Remarriage is allowed if the partner dies, but only after one year of mourning.
- They don’t use birth control; every family has, on average, 6-7 children.
- They don’t take pictures. They have names of members in the family tree framed.
- The highest education one can get is up to 8th standard. Their school has only one classroom where students of all standards sit together. However, no one is unemployed; everyone has a skill and a work.
- Every house has a coffin. This is to remind everyone that no one lives forever.
It was like going centuries back in time.
After a nice Amish dinner, we left for Washington DC. We had a very nice accommodation near the city and it helped in getting good night’s sleep after a beautiful day of travelling. Early morning next day, we started for a city tour of the capital of the United States. We visited Lincoln Memorial, Washington National Monument, the White House, United States Capitol and the National Air and Space Museum. It was a wonderful experience. I was expecting the White House to be a bit bigger though. 😉
Here is a small photo gallery with pictures captured from my mobile:
The next tour was in the Big Apple – New York City. Again, I opted for a fully guided one-day tour and it was definitely worth every penny I spent on it. Here is the link to my Facebook Album:
As I finish writing this post, I must mention that I’m really excited about my next trip, which could be to city in the west coast called Las Vegas! 🙂
See you folks. Take care.
P.S. – I bought a new car. 🙂