I am safe and sound in Delhi with my fellow ETAs. We are going to be here for our in-country orientation for the next couple of days. Then, we will depart to our cities of affiliation, do a mini orientation there, and then start the house hunt.
My travel experience was quite pleasant. I landed in Chicago around 6:00 am. i had a lot of time to kill since my flight to India didn’t take off until 1:30 in the afternoon. So I spent the morning eating breakfast and watching Mad Men.
Here are some of the highlights of my experience so far:
1. Meeting up with other Fulbrighters in the airport. When I got to the international terminal to check-in for my Air India flight, I saw two of my fellow ETAs in line. It was such a relief to see familiar faces at that point because I knew I would have other people with me once I got to India.
2. Exit row. I was sitting in the exit row of the plane, which was awesome. I had so much leg room and I was close to the bathroom so I didnt have to worry about how much water I drank, or disturbing people to get up and go to the bathroom. Plus, we were always the first row to get our food and drinks. Despite all the space that I had, I did start to get a little stir crazy around hour 10, which made the next two hours really slow. But then we were given another meal and things started to speed up a bit. Time just flies by after the last meal. I always eat it really slow, which takes about an hour and then I’m usually energized enough to read a bit, maybe close my eyes for 30 min and then read some more, and then it’s just about time to land. And then I like to look out the window during landing so that eats up the last 20 minutes, at least.
3. Landing in India. I am finally here. it was almost one year ago that I started my application. And now, the whole experience is starting.
4. Hanging out with everyone before we go to our cities. No explanation needed, just a good group of people.
Next stop, Kolkata!