Visiting Uncle Sam – 2

Ok, continuing where I left off..
If you dont drive or you dont have friends or friends of friends or any acquaintance, whom you wouldnt bother asking for a ride or a favor, or you do mind spending the money for cab and reimburse it from the office.. dont come here for longer period of time.. you might be intimidated. And even if you know how to drive, you might have to unlearn and learn it again a few times out here.. yes! Left hand driving..

The day after I arrived and crashed in my suite, I got up around 7 or 8 am and since it was a Sunday, thought of getting some groceries. Checked out with the Receptionist on the nearby place called Safeway and RadioShack for my adapters (Indian to US) to my laptop. Ok, now I need a taxi or a cab to go to that place right? So I walk to the main road (the hotel is little inside from the main road) and to my horror I dont see anything like a taxi anywhere..and it was hot and sunny..(and I was wearing my jacket!! assuming it would become colder) Gosh.. I was like “Where Am I ?” Luckily on my way back to the hotel, I saw two of my colleagues who drove me to Safeway and helped me buy a phone connection (along with a phone… you see those snazzy flip ones they show in the movie 😉 ..adhedhaan) and then booked a taxi for me who arrived exactly the time I got my phone connection activated and was put on waiting charge till I got my stuff from Safeway and Radioshack.. My colleagues left by then and by the time I did my shopping and got back to the cab, it showed me 40$ .. OMG… I literally had an heart attack.. I was thinking “ayyo!! approx 40*50=2000 Rs.. enna kodumai sir idhu..” and by the time I got back to my suite, it was like 55$.. I was drowning in guilt by then.. what is this …I am spending on cab so much..!!! and after that I practically did nothing… Called up my manager and informed that I had arrived and checked out the adaptors, got my laptop to life again and talked to my folks @ night thru GTalk, had taken some snaps , which I uploaded..and guess what , by the time I did that, my SD Card’s lock broke and I was unable to take any more snaps.. I was like “Super!!! nalla time work out aagudhu”. Then asked my bro to book one online and next day was Labor day and was my relaxing day.. I watched a couple of movies, ordered pizza and relaxed..

Hillsdale Shopping Center

The next day was my first day in my Company HQ. It was a 6-7 min walk from my suite. I am ready to live here for this lovely walk to the office :). There is a pool in the entrance of the Hotel and  then on the way to the office there is a small stream like thing.. I dont know what its called.. We need to cross the bridge to go to the office.. Its really a very scenic view and a breezy early walk. I started walking to and fro from office. I really enjoy those moments. ‘This’ we dont get it in Blr. 🙂 I have to admit it. God! I love being in nature. And in office, its the usual. You get introduced to those people whom you have known by name. And then your usual work starts. For vegetarians, food is a little bit of an issue unless you cook for yourself or you are ok with trying out what is available for vegetarians (like mexican, chinese…etc) You cannot get indian food everywhere..But you have stores around which sells those readymade stuff. So you can survive…just that you cannot have it always your way 🙂

Hillsdale Caltrain Station

After 3-4 days of usual work, today my ex-manager cum friend offered me to drive me to Hillsdale Boulevard on her way home ( I wanted to buy a few stuff in a clothing store.. so she said, this was the place to explore..) So there was my first solo exploration :). I was little apprehensive..but thought of trying it out .. just to see how it was.. I had the cab number anyways.. just in case I wanted a ride back home. I spent around a hour and a half in the mall (got a few clothes, had a salad) just window shopping, saw some of those ‘yo yo man!’ kinda guys around and then came to Hillsdale Caltrain station to take a train back to Belmont :). I had googled it a bit (she had told me about it already) and so walked back to the station, bought the tickets and waited for the train.. Its like the metro kind of train you see in Chennai, except that its high class here 🙂 You have a single seater at the first floor and then comfortable A/c seats. I got in and in a few mins I was back @ Belmont Caltrain Station. Well that wasnt bad, I thought…. Got some ready to make dinner items and since it was hot today, booked a cab back to hotel and walked around for almost an hour taking snaps of the picturesque locale.

A few things which I encountered today while doing my shopping my Ralston Plaza’s Namaste Plaza…
a. Saw lot of Indians around that place (ok.. I know that this place Namaste Plaza is a India Supermarket.. but thats not what I am telling you about) but anni telugu vade. ekkaDikakkaDa chooste telugu ne. Otherwise Punjabi’s. These were the commonly seen people around here.
b. The cab person was a Punjabi. As soon as the cab arrived, I was entering and he casually started talking in Hindi…And then he was asking me how long have I been here etc etc and started complaining.. “bees saal pehle aayethe yahaan pe.. tab sab kuch acha lag raha tha.. abhi tho mehengaayi itni badgayi hai.. rehene paarahein hain… kya karen..”. I was like..” Boss.. everywhere its the same.. If it works to our benefit sab kuch acha lage gaa..”

And tomorrow being Vinayaka Chathurthi, she has invited me home for lunch 🙂 Wow ! the place is slowly growing on me. Tomorrow its going to be a new place that I am going to go.. The Belmont Village Center is the place where these RadioShack, Namaste Plaza, Walgreens, Safeway are all located. And then El Camino Real (what is Unreal then? I wonder!) route where Hillsdale Shopping Center is there. Tomorrow its going to be Sunnywale 🙂

Hope you enjoy reading my journey 🙂

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