I visited the US for the first time. I was there for 11 days and it left me tired.
True, partly because there was so much of work to get done. But, also because, the country is so bloody vast and …… exhausting.
Random observations follow:
- The winters in the northern parts of the US are downright depressing. I’ve never seen the sun set at 3 in the afternoon and after 3 days of this, I was completely bummed out.
- This probably also is the reason for the general grouchiness of the people? I was racially abused, provoked into fights and met many unhelpful (busy?) people.
- But all of the three cities I visited here – Boston, Buffalo and NYC – are beautiful. Boston with its historical buildings, pathways and the awesome MIT campus. Buffalo is the kind of American city that I had envisaged and it was true to type. Delis, 7-11s and small pizzerias.
- NYC though deserves a section of its town. From being conned to getting overawed by its skyscrapers, NYC blew me away. I’m glad I spent a non-working weekend here; I walked its streets and avenues. Negotiated the swathes of holiday crowd adroitly ( thanks to training received traversing by-lanes of Avenue Road). Stayed at an expensive hotel yet managed to feel very poor. Went to the top of the Rockefeller, bought expensive souvenirs and consumed the best pizzas I’ve ever had.
- The icing on the experience that was NYC deserves yet another section of its own. MoMA was recommended by many and rightly so. I’ve never been a sucker for art but the paintings, sculptures, photographs and the striking, unpredictable pieces of art in everyday things – motel signs, barricades, a telephone directory even. A talking counter. A jarring screen of white. What left me the most stunned were the large paintings by Henry Rousseau, a 19th century French painter who was a life-long city-dweller yet drew a series of striking, richly coloured images of the forest and wild. Purely from what he’d read and what he’d heard others describe. Yet, it was the stand-out work for me in this vast gallery.
- Down below the country, I next visited the proud (a bit too proud probably?) state of Texas. Both of them were filled with beautiful sunshine and equally warm people. I met at least three Uber drivers who’d moved there from California because it was more affordable. Plus, there’s so much space – parking lots that never end, roads that have so much width, it’ll make you jealous if you live in Bangalore. I also enjoyed it because I was among friends again. Work kept me busy but from the little that I went out, I’m piqued sufficiently to explore further. It means that I’ll have to learn to drive though.