My Visit To USA
My recent visit to USA - I am here for few more months - was a memorable trip and I enjoyed every moment.
We chose Pacific route and reached the destination Sanfrancisco by 11.35 am. My 65 odd days of stay in USA passed off swiftly in just 9 weekends! Our initial tour was to Sunnyvale Hindu temple, followed by visit to Fremont Hindu temple - Though I am not an expert photographer I was busy shooting the pictures myself and registering the impressions in my screen, though I shudder to think whether how many names of the locales I could recall later to caption the photographs.
I left India when it was hotting up. My preparation for the trip started in right earnest. My daughter and son in law are employed in USA. Though I need no invitation to visit them, yet the US consulate expects a formal invitation! I was transiting Hongkong, which is a huge airport. The timing of the trip was influenced by my grandson's welcome arrival few days after we reached USA. Since my better half is a VRS optee, we could plan our holiday at any time.
The preparation for any type of overseas trip is quite arduous and needs careful planning. The important requirements are having adequate finance, compilation of documents for obtaining Visa and enlisting of a good travel agent to plan the journey within the available resources. Due to less physical activity I have admirably gained 5 pounds in about 2 months.
Washing of utensils and clothes are carried out through assigned machines. These appliances are a must in every house-hold, since the comfort of a maid to attend to these chores is a luxury. In India if you google: "maid servants in India, you'd not be disappointed with number of hits. 'Maid in USA' is not easy to get. Notwithstanding the enough time we had to sit back, relax, and fold, washing and ironing were done twice in a week.
Unlike India in USA, one accumulates the cooked utensils till the quantity reaches a full load of dish washer. Similar logic is applied to washing machine for clothes. When it comes to dish washing in India, clearing the sink is no longer a cleaning task. It is part of our daily routine..with or without a maid assistant.
Martin Murphy Junior Historical Park
This unique, well shaded 5.83 acre park features several picnic areas for small gatherings and is also a historical point of interest. As far as outing is concerned, we were handicapped as we had to virtually depend on our daughter/son in law, Although I had an international driving license and availability of cars , I never ventured to take it out even on short trips, thanks to counseling by our beloved children.
As we all are aware, regular physical activity improves strength and endurance, builds bone mass and controls weight. Walking is one of the easiest forms of physical activity because it can be done by people of all ages and fitness levels, and costs almost nothing. We lived near Martin Murphy Junior Historical Park and were frequent visitors to the park, it can get very windy and chilly in winter. We loved the Park for its maintenance, and walking or jogging here was quite pleasant. The park was in fact a squirrel's kingdom and one could spot umpteen number of them there on any day. One can also do some picnic and BBQ ; its kids friendly because there are playgrounds and swings. What is better than joining a club With lawn bowling you really join a community of clubs. You will meet and play with new friends all over the Bay area and even around the world. Whether you call one of the local clubs or find yourself in some small town in Australia small town in Australia you will have instant friends ready to share a game and may be even show you the town.
Sunnyvale Public Library
Another pastime used to be the Sunnyvale Public Library. I got a Library Card in my own name on a simple declaration and verification of proof of residence. The Library provides a wide range of materials that will appeal to all users of all ages, backgrounds, and education levels. The Sunnyvale Public Library is a full service library located in then heart of Silicon Valley serving a community of diverse cultural, linguistic and educational backgrounds. The residents of Sunnyvale many different ethnic groups and slightly more than half of the residents of the city speak a language other than English at home.he residents of Sunnyvale reflect many different ethnic groups and slightly more than half of the residents of the City speak a language other than English at home.
I am referring to my recent visit to USA. It was a memorable trip and I enjoyed every moment. Let us begin with our recent visit to Sanfrancisco. Six months ago when we went to Sanfrancisco from India, to live with our daughter's family, we knew it would keep us busy in an alien country by caring for our first grandson, the sweet Gattu.In 2006, our daughter was the first in the family to arrive in the U.S after her wedding. Four years later thanks to the son in law who had been in US right after his Masters in 2000 all have become the coveted GC holders now.
Back home, you get people to do all kinds of chores for you, but here, you get hands-on experience. Once I came here, I realized if I have to be productive, I would have to drive . This way, I could help with grocery shopping. To live in the suburbs, learning to drive is the key to success . It allows me to manage my own time. However, the over protective attitude of my daughter was left to her choice without much debate. For those who don't drive, the Internet keeps them connected to an outside world they want to be a part of. Every day, one can spend a few hours online. A recent mail received made me and my better half sit up and laugh to our heart's content, as laughter is so necessary for us seniors. The mail read as "In case of an emergency, speak only in English and forget about saying prayers in any other language..You never know what kind of translation problem you can run into..."
An Indian in the US suffered a heart attack on the road and was picked up by an ambulance. Being religious, he kept repeating - Hari Om Hari Om Hari Om. When the ambulance pulled into his home, his wife came out and screamed at the paramedics: 'Why didn't you take him straight to the hospital?' They replied 'Because he kept saying "Hurry home Hurry home Hurry home!'"
During the course of morning walks I made friends with seniors of Indian origin. During the course of our general chit n talk and according to one Mr Hyakubune "it's high time Indians got over the hang-up of the concept of retirement homes, which for many in the Indian community is tantamount to abandoning one's parents in their old age and carries a stigma. According to him, anyone who thinks they are going to be living with their American-born children in their old age is living in a fool's paradise. The general perception seemed to be that nobody had any desire to live in an old person's home,and as Mr Hyakubune put it correctly - "As we grow older, we need them more than they need us." One gentleman Sardarji went to the extent of saying whether opting for US citizenship was in the right direction.The talks with the GC and American Citizens revealed certain interesting things which could be concluded in the following words:
The dilemma is while aiming for the material benefits of the west and belonging and be accepted by the west, unwillingness to go to the full extent was observed. There are many people who do not get assimilated with their new environment at the same time the economic compulsions prevent them a return to roots. The next and future generations have no such dilemma. Same the case with the previous generation also.
According to the American Community Survey of the U.S. Census Bureau, the Asian Indian population in the United States grew from almost 1,679,000 in 2000 to 2,570,000 in 2007: a growth rate of 53%, the highest for any Asian American community, and among the fastest growing ethnic groups in the United States. Indian Americans are the third largest Asian American ethnic group, after Chinese Americans and Filipino Americans. "Many of these older new arrivals don't drive and have to spend long hours within the confines of the four walls while their children go to work."
I traveled a lot by local buses, but unlike Mumbai, where there are buses every 20 minutes, here the buses come once in half an hour. They are seldom crowded, and a $1 ticket is valid for four hours. But I miserably miss the hustle, bustle and frequency of my own BEST in Mumbai. As for shopping, every supermarket and department stores is as large as a football stadium and every item is priced some dollars and 99 cents. I feel the American shops follow the pricing strategy of our Bata Ltd., where the shoes are always priced in some 799 or 899 rupees. Yet, unlike Mumbai, the human touch is lacking at every place we visited. Everything is automated right from the local railway stations and with no booking windows or clerks, it is difficult to get proper guidelines. Human beings appear to be scarce and as for noise, it does not exist.
On Saturday I was fortunate to have Sai Baba's "Darshan" at the Temple in Milptas along with members of my family including our sweet Gattu. It is a recently consecrated temple here in Milpitas, CA. If you are in the Milpitas vicinity, I implore you to visit this place. . We also visited the Swami Narayan Temple at Milpitas near Sai Temple.
Winter is setting in, America is preparing itself for the festival season of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Shops are bursting with goods. Slowly we are counting the simple blessings of life. After years of boiling and filtering drinking water, it is a pleasure to drink water straight from the tap. In all apartments, houses, condos and townhouses there are two taps – one steaming hot tap and other one cold. The shoes never seem to get dirty and the air we breathe is so different from Mumbai."
We recently went out to a restaurant with some friends for Sunday breakfast, and while we sat in the patio, we happened to notice ZIPLOC baggies attached to the restaurant's patio wall. The bags were half-filled with water, each bag contained four pennies, and were all zipped shut. Out of curiosity, we asked the waiter about the baggies. We were told that they kept the flies away. Naturally, we became even more curious. So we actually watched. Sure enough, some flies came in the open window, and then flew out again, and there were absolutely no flies in the open patio eating area the entire time we were in the restaurant!
Upon getting home, I checked it out on Google and saw several comments from various people who swore that ZIPLOC baggies half-filled with water and a few pennies when attached over entryways will repel flies. Some commented that it also works for wasps. One particular comment on Google shed light on how and why it works. The comment posted on 5/26/2009 said:
My research found that each of the millions of molecules of water presents its own prism effect and given that flies have a lot of eyes, to them it's like a zillion disco balls reflecting light, colors and movement in a dizzying manner. When you figure that flies are basically prey for many other bugs, animals, birds, etc., they simply won't take the risk of being around that much perceived action. I moved to a rural area and I thought these "hillbillies" were just yanking my city boy chain but I tried it, and it worked immediately. We went from hundreds of flies to seeing an occasional one, but it didn't hang around long.
This is surely a new twist to fly control. It's hard to believe but it works. If you have problem with flies, it would be worth a try. We don't have many flies, but one is one too many.