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Payanangal Thodargirathu - Thikku theriyaatha Naattil

Than muyarchiyil satrum manam thalaraatha Gils..carrying the burden of the Vethaalam of 'Travel', boarded the flight from London. (Spoiler alert for thalai Ramesh - Intha flightlayum air hostess semma sumaar ;( )
My seat was almost at the tail end of the bay and the moment i belted myself to the seat..i slipped into my mini coma state, only to be woken up by my seat mate(?? for want of better term). She was carrying a huge paperback version of 'Shantaram' and got engrossed into that book. I was about to re-enter dream land when the crew woke me up to serve breakfast. I politely refused. The same sequence was repeated for lunch also.
"You dont like airlines food is it??"
I gave her a surprised look and said with a tired smile "yes"
"You better have some drinks atleast..its going to be another ten hours before we land..." and then the conversation went on......till we landed :) We spoke about everything under the sun, which by the way was bit closer, right from the Indian lifestyle to her career in real estate and American economy and Obama's policies. By default, any foreigner will ask about Taj Mahal. And she was no vithi velakku. When i described my trip to that place and the Taj and the little stories about that building, she got thrilled and told me she would definitely include Taj on her Honeymoon trip as a must visit spot. Incredible India karanga kitta commissionuku solli vaikanum.
She then told me about her long distance relationship fiance who was in London and about their plans to move to Costa Rica post marriage. Epdiyum Father of Foreign country aagara idealaam antha akkaakku wished happily. When the flight landed i asked her to help me locate a payphone. She graciously offered her cell. Since she was already a citizen, her immigration went like a breeze and we waved each other goodbyes. Ennada..kodumaiye nadakalaiye paakareengala...meejic starts.

I was counting a lot on the Interview at the Port of Entry. Hoping against hope that my "good luck" will come to  my aid and would somehow screw it up. But shockingly for me, that aapeecer hardly asked anything and simply sealed my entry IN and there by stonewalling all my escape plans:(  Vidhiya nonthukittay was walking towards the rest room only to realise that it was under maintenance. I approached the nearest security aapeecer.
"Polisskaar polisskaar..where is the rest room"
"Go North and take the 2nd exit on the west and proceed in the south westerly direction for sometime you will see the notice board to your east...."
"isssstoooop...dei...irukara ella directionaiyum sollita..unaku route therilaina utru" nu mindvoicela thittikittay avan sonnathukelaam mandaiya aatitu..finala asked "so..i go straight and take right is it?"
That guy gave me one "not again" look and waved me off. Appolenthu start aachunga. Intha veena pona oorla evanum left right use panni direction sollarathay illa. Aaathiram avasarathukku kooda vazhi solla GPS paathu thaan solluvaanunga pola!!!

One word for those landing at O' Hare aiport.
Airportku badhila oru ooraiye valaichi poatrukaanunga!!! Again took a train ride inside and this time again got lost. No wonder you see. Went and asked one security lady the route to my gate. Athukku naan pesinathay puriala nenakren. Nera security check areakku kootikitu poiruchi. Naanum appavia antha metal detector gatea, namma oor kovil thiruvizha timela entrancela vaipaangalay, antha mathiri nenachukittu crossed. Avlo thaanga. Ennamo action moviela climaxla vara mathiri ella sidelenthum securities odivantaanga. Oruthan laptop checking oruthan aerobics panra mathiri inga nillu anga nillu nu ordered. Finala ithu oru dummy peicenu decide panni poitu vaa raasanu vazhi anupi vachaanga. Appovum paarunga..gate enga iruku sollala :( marupadiyum kaettu engayachum thirumba parade uda poraangalaynu naan vaaye thorakala.

Kadavul punniyathula met another person who looked less beku than me. He guided me to the correct gate. A point to mention here. Again i went in early and ennoda gate counter kooda open agala. Ennoda punctuality pathi pesara makkalay note this point your aanars. I showed my ticket to the lady at the next counter and asked "echuseme."
That serious looking lady, simply raised an eyebrow in reply
"err..ithu American airlines counter thaanay??"
Her looks told "paatha Amenjikarai airlines counteraatama iruku...athaan ivlo peria board vachirukomla" still she replied "Yes"
"My flight number is this..eppo varum??"
"Innum 2 hours aagum"
She was like "what for?!!" and replied "welcome"
Was watching tv and some mokka advertisement channel was running with news bits every 15 minutes. Yaaro oru karuppana vellakaaran sututaannu case oduthaam. Atha pathi reporters were asking opinion from every kudimagan of that theru where that sambavam happened. Typicalla Sun TVla Amma aatchi pathi karuthu solla kozha adi pakkama gumbal sepaangalay athey pola thaan irunthicih. Got bored and after few minutes went again to the counter lady.
"Echuseme..Prabha wineshopungala?"
"err.." showed her the ticket again and asked "i one doubt have..intha left hand cornerla irukkay..athaana flight number??"
"adapaavi..athu teriaama thaan ithana flightla vanthiaa"nu she rolled her eyes and said "absolutely"
"ila...oru vela neenga thappa paathutu vera flight nenachukittu soliteengalonu thaan..just wanted to double confirm"
"your flight will come here only..please wait"
she said "ok" as if udipi hotella order edutha server mathiri and went back to typing something. Kandippa internal mailboxla enna kanna pinnaanu thitti mail adichitruponu thonithu. So stayed away from that place. After sometime again got bugged and since no one else was sitting on that area i was bit afraid.."oru vela namma ticketay thappo..illa vera day book pannirupaangalo..naama thaan romba earlya vantomo"nu egapatta kostins. Antha pombala kaari thupinaalum paravaalla will ask againnu went back to her.
"Your flight will come here only. In another 45 minutes. I will ensure that you are boarded into it. Please be seated"
"hello..i wanted to know where is they payphone.."
It was her turn to feel flustered. Naamalum bittu poduvomla.
"you've to go down in the aisle take north and the near the second exit to the east you will find the payphone"
Adipaavingala..unga oorla right leftna ennanay teriatha??? Handsa kooda north to south runningnu solluvanga pola nu nenachukitty roamed around for a while and came back to the same place. By that time, micha gumbal of my fellow passengers had also arrived. Amongst me and that counter lady, i wasnt sure who was more happy when i boarded the flight.

Eppadio..oru vazhia ooru vanthu senthaachu. It was relatively a smaller airport at Charlotte, though it also had a shuttle running inside. Ithu varaikkum nadantha damagekellam sigaram vacha maathiri uchha katta damage was awaiting in baggage claims. As usual, en flight baggage counter wasnt displayed. Everyone of my saga prayaanis were tensed. Namakku thaan ithu pazhagi poachay. I went and stood near one conveyor where no was standing and was about to sit on the edge of it when it started ON and surprisingly that was the baggage counter for my flight. My mom had tied a saffron ribbon to my suitcase to mark it amidst the crowd and off it came proudly in the conveyor as the first luggage peice. I rushed to take it down and was surprised to find it heavier than what it was when i boarded.
Usualla check in la saamaan thooki potruvanunga..apdi thaan kelvi. Nyayapadi weight kammiaa thaana varanum appovum!! Epdi jaasthi aachunu yosichikitay lost the grip on it and fell right on my leg. Mangalagaraamana aarambam. Vadakkupatti raamasaamya paaka pona koundamani maathiri mandaikkulaara "Ooooohh"nu nari oolai ituchi.
Oru thaatha was calling me.
"that is my see the corner sticker...that is my name"
"Adapaavi..itha edukarathuku munnaye sollamaatia...hmm..ipdi ponam ganama irukkay thookatumnu venumntay vitrupa" nu manasukkullaye polambikittay "sorry sir" i said.
"Its ok.." Avar enna mannichitaaram. avvvvvvvvvvvvv
Oru vazhia my suitcase came as the last peice. Atha thookitu came out of the airport.

Charlotte welcomed me with its coldest summer night of the year.

~Kodumais Kontinued


Ramesh said…
Kodumais are getting more and more interesting. Biggest kodumai - of all the places in the world do you have to go to Charlotte ??? You have landed at the Adhiramapattinam of the US !!
G3 said…
Oru vela OK OK padathula hansika soldra maadiri ungala paathalae ellarukkum comedy piece-a theriyudho :P

BTW.. Adhu enna tag?? American diaries???? U ambarika citijan??? :P
gils said…


ada..americala irukarathaala apdi poatten..ungala kooda pallavari...illa besant nagari solitaa poachu :)
RS said…
Epudi Gils, neenga mattum ipdi o.r.i.g.i.n.a.l piece-a irukreenga?? Ithula kodumais kontinued vera???!!!! Mudiyala....
Ramesh said…
Oh No Gilsu. Chumma kindal panninen. Avalavuthan.

Place actually quite nice. Not crowded. Sundaris quite good. Not too much kuluru - thankfully you didn't go to Chicago. You can see the Bobcats play next season (will look out for you on the TV).

Enjoy your time there Gilsu.
Aarti said…
Ejcuse me, how it ees that u being the so unique saar??? is there any majic to that?? do the tell please!! ;)

Aiyo pavam anth oor karanga, north south theriyatha aasamiya vechindu ennalam kashtapada porangalo... kadavule... ithu nyayayama... [ennathu, athu sari, He the saying we the escaping, umerica the ensoing..]
Aarti said…
btw, list anupichene, vangiyacha ellam? coujin angerundu inga varan, address kudukarein, courier panidunga righta? ;) varein!!
R-ambam said…
interesting kodumais thaan poanga !

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