Jan 302011
 
snow covered pavement
Snow in Parking Lot
snow covered pavement
Trees Without Leaves
I arrived in US for some business trip last night. My first trip to US was in 1997. It was a different world during those days. Internet was still in its nascent stage and some of the net giants like Google, Facebook, Twitter, eBay etc. have not been formed still or were still in very early stages. The dotcom bubble was still a few years ago.
I took a KLM flight from Delhi to Amsterdam and a lot of Indians were in the plane. We had some Indian and some European stewardesses in the plane. Every thing went fine till we reached Amsterdam. First time in my life I realized what it means to visit a developed country, and this was when I was still in the airport. The airport was better looking than some of the 5 Star hotels I have seen in India. I remembered the stink that I felt at the Delhi airport.
The next flight was from Amsterdam to Detroit in US. Since this trip was for training in US our head of training Jeff was kind enough to come and pick us up personally from airport and took us to our hotel in Toledo Ohio. There was some construction going on in some of the areas due to which there was some traffic jam. Jeff apologized for the same and mentioned normally things are more organized in US, but still I was wondering why he was apologizing when he has seen firsthand the kind of traffic we had back home in Delhi.
Any ways to cut the long story short besides my training the only agenda that I had was to do shopping, shopping and more shopping. All the dollars that I have brought with me were used only for shopping and sight seeing. I bought a USD 600 Nikon SLR camera, watches for my mother, sisters and girlfriend, shoes, Jeans and also tons of chocolates. I also bought digital diary (they used to have less memory than a cell phone today). I also visited different places almost all the weekends I was in US, namely Detroit, Chicago, and Niagara falls.
In this visit when I look back a lot of things have changed first of all I have no desire to do any kind of shopping etc. for some small gifts for my kids and nephew. I do not plan to buy any electronics etc as most of the stuff is available in India at more of less similar price and you don’t have to worry about paying customs duty and if I will be able to get service for the same in India. I think this is a good sign that our craze for things foreign has gone down substantially.
No sight seeing is planned except to visit my friend in New York and meet his kids whom I have not seen since the time they were born.
I am also less in awe of the infrastructure in US, seeing some very similar things coming up in Delhi like the Metro, T3 terminal at IGI. But we are still a minimum of 20-30 years behind US in terms of infrastructure, healthcare, social equality and opportunity to people. I am attaching some photographs from my hotel. Not to showcase the snow but to highlight the point that even after so much snow things work smoothly in US and that is the beauty of the things over here.
We have hundreds of scams every day happening in India but Indians are still marching ahead in spite of our government being most useless.
But do we expect any uprising in India like Egypt or Tunisia? No I don’t think that will happen. Wait for my next blog on why I think Northern Africa kind of uprising will not happen in India.

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