Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Roads To Everywhere!

What a memorable month this has been. Everything is new and fascinating. Peggy took me  to a driving school for registration. But before enrolling, I had to pass a interview. An old lady named Karen took my interview. I had to give some tests like, connecting the English alphabets and to recognise different colours etc. This was conducted to test my knowledge of English language and to check how fast I could grasp things.

These tests were followed by some physical exercises. There were about 4-5 funny exercises for which I was judged. I wondered if it was necessary for driving. But Karen had all the good reasons to justify each and every test.

“This is for testing your concentration. And this one’s to test your judgment capability”.

The result of this rigorous test was that I had to practice on some of the exercises but could start my classes.

My boss decided to take me out for lunch one day to get to know me. He choose the restaurant named 3 margaritas. Though there are very few choices for a vegetarian, I liked the Veg burrito a lot. It was good to know that my boss, Alan too enjoyed writing. May it be Peggy, Mike or Alan, all preferred science fictions. This was common thing I noticed in most of the Americans I had met till then, they liked sci-fi and fantasy stories. On the other hand, I enjoyed more of reality. I was sure to get influenced.

Almost every evening I would take a walk around the Cotton wood creek park that was very close to my house. I enjoyed the sight of the Rocky Mountains changing colors with the setting sun.




Everything excited me here, everything was new and good. Firstly I enjoyed living in America. I realised that it is “The place” for lazy people like me. Everything is made easy and automatic to live. I did not have to struggle for any kind of work at home or outside. I truly appreciate this level of Convenience and comfort provided in America. In Bangalore I would be so tired to clean the house or wash my clothes but here, it was just a matter of pressing a switch. If you are bored of cutting vegetables, get a pack of already cut ones. If you want to have chocolates or food anywhere, it's just a matter of dropping few coins into a wending machine.

Apart from comfort side of America I was also impressed by the culture.One nature I liked the most is that people mind their own business. They respect others privacy and independence is a key word in their culture. Punctuality is another good behavior in them. Everybody respects time. I remembered how disrespectful I was to time and now it was time to change and change, I did.

But there are somethings that i found weird. Like for example when people had gathered for a meeting or training, they would actually sit there eating or drinking and would place their legs on the next chair and walk in and out as they wish. This act in India would be considered disrespectful.

But if we look at the root cause of every debatable issue like this, all of them end at one answer- Population. More the people, more the question of manners and formalities. More the people, less punctual they are and so on.

Like everybody else, I too was flattered by the US roads. I greatly appreciate the thought and planning put into development of interstate roads and traffic rules. While watching some of the Hollywood films, I always liked to see the speeding cars, especially the quick lane changes that they made and now it was a delight to watch them happen right in front of me.




So coming back to the driving class. After that interview I was scheduled for all the theory classes. My first class room session was on a Sunday, during the same month. I was the only 24 year old guy sitting in the room. I was surprised to see that all the other students were kids of about 14-17 years old. My first classroom session was terribly boring. It did not take me long enough to notice that these sessions were designed mainly for kids of age 15. That is the normal age when kids start to learn driving. But I have to appreciate the amount of knowledge they had about driving at such a young age. It was evident that being an observer in the car, since childhood, they have had enough exposure to driving skills. After that long day, I had to give my permit test. I passed the test and I was told that I could get my permit from the DMV (Department of motor vehicles). At the end of the class, there was a reason to feel happy for.

I met Subbaiaha one evening and we dinned at a Chinese restaurant called Asian empire buffet. It was nice talking to him.

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