Monday, July 1, 2013

Airport Tales: #Travel to #USA by flight

(I wrote this in 2006. Since people may find it interesting, I am posting again. Please read at your own risk for grammatical erros. I just made one there for ya!)

Reach airport at least 3 hrs before the flight, it is important (if this is your first flight).
Friends shall be waiting in-front of the Gate of the Airport.
Be there a little early so that you can say bye to all properly, not in hurry.
Hug everyone. You are gonna miss them for some good time.
These are your friends who helped you to laugh and gave courage in bad times. These are friends who cared far far away from your native place. Supported you morally , kept you high. Just mind it : if you have no friends saying you bye, you had been like evil in Nepal..........OR you had had real
bad time there.
When You reach the INTL' airport of Nepal, go to the tax counter and pay Airport tax (it was ~1500 may have changed).
Go to baggage scanner. (in front of the tax counter)
They will scan it and tag it.
Submit the baggage to airways counter. For my case, Supriyo was there. She helped me a lot.
Ask if you have to claim the baggage some-where in the middle of flight transits (most probably not, ask if you are getting them direcly to the last port).
My baggage was overloaded it was above 71 kg. They would allow only 32 kgx2. I had to return many good books. Think of books which might be useful...
 After submitting the baggage, they will give you the Boarding pass and Baggag claim tag (sticked to the ticket). Do not ever think of loosing it. Keep it in safe place. With your passport (and Visa )and I-20. You will need to show/submit the Boarding pass while entering the plane. Check whether they have given the Boarding pass of all the flights or you have to pick it on some transits (ASK).
 This is the time of Departure.

Families peeping through the black glasses are terrible scene of departure. They will be saying ..................Anon (oh not to you, its for me)
................take care..........................khana time ma khanu................... swasthya ko ramro khayal garnu........................ puge pachi phone
garnu.................... and what not....................
(My father told me to remember all the gods and ask to forgive all sins, if any........... He knows I am little bit nastik and more astik than I am nastik)

Climb up the elevator to arrive at departure.
They will give you a form to fill up before immigration , fill it up (or ask before /after climbing the electric ladder)
ASK ASK AND ASK no hesitation MIS-INFORMATION IS LIKE A POISON. SO ASK if there is any confusion.
Use your I-20 and or any documents if needed. No confusions should be left out. Wipe it out.

When you put your feet on the electric ladder this is the last time to see back and say bye to all the loved ones.
(For many, this may HAPPEN at the gate of the airport.)

Now you are in the Internationl area! Even a small coffee will cost you 500 NRs there!!
(not quite right, wanted to excite you a little bit)
Carry your back pack (school bag in my case) to up stairs. towards the waiting room. Far-in the room is the immigration desk (?)
You will learn to stand in line from here......... Little boring right?
An officer will verify your photo and i-20 and visa. He may ask you some foolish questions (do not worry the questions are not so foolish, but looks so
for us) The question might be : where are you going ? Why are you going ? For how long? etc etc. Expect these, at-least.
Give straight -forward answers. Then you will be cleared to waiting room.
You should be able to see more than hundreds of Nepalis going aboard there.
I wish I could have talked with some of them. They were happy among themselves. I felt like I was in Kalanki or gokarna without the brokers.
You might be able to see some big screens displaying flight schedules; get some familiarity with it. The video will be telling about the local time, flight time, delay/on time etc etc.
When the flight is ready, you will be again aligned to line and get checked. be careful about your cash-

Then you will enter another waiting room (for ~30 minutes more if the flight is not delayed)
Board the flight.
You may see the beauty of Valley for the last time if you are lucky and are seated near to the window.
I can never forget the lights of the valley and the effect of jet pulling my whole body into air.
Its little strange for a while, but will be a boring flight. after getting into the height of 33000ft, it will no longer shake == no excitements. You may be looking at the boring wing and flaps of the plain and pulses of red flashes of Plane. Some-times the plane shakes, making it little nicer! Remember You are at height of  about 33000 ft. (Oh do not if you are easily scared.)
Up to quatar, I felt like going to Birgunj (really)
Talk with your partner, talk and chat.
Be comfortable, relax.

In the Transit.
Walk up/down to the counter of the respective airlines (my case: Quatar) if they have not given you the boarding pass at the Kathmandu airport, ask for it. Ask for any question in mind. After being issued the boarding pass, you need to wait in the respective route. Ask to some officier, if you can not find the location to sit (but it should be relatively easy). You can ask people on the desk or might wanna find yourself on the electronic information board on the wall. Do listen the messages being announced. Important::: Adjust your clock at each airport for the local time.
Take care of the flight time.

Transit will be quite boring if you find yourself alone. Some good novel or some game like SUDOKU will be good idea to spent time. If you sleep (do not!!!// sleep in flight), make sure that your items are not going to slip away!

Port of entry:
When you reach the (first ) port of entry of America, be careful to receive the baggage from the right place. You might have to pay some dollars to get the cart (do not convert by multiplication).
You should be able to show your I-20, VISA and other documents (if necessary).
They will stamp your visa and will attach the I-94. It is very important. Mind the status is F1 and the duration is D/S: means DASA START (HAHAHA)
You might be needed to fill up some forms, which they provided in flight, to be submitted to get the I-94.
The process is same as is done in KTM.
You are now formally in United States of America!!! (USA)
USA means:
U Start Again............
No matter what you are, who you are ..........
You have to start if again.
This is USA!!!

After getting I94, go get the baggage, and fetch up the baggage to the proper place. (ASK!!!)
After Submitting it there, you will be receiving it at the Final destination. I think you have to submit the customs form too. Do not bring any chicken noodles. They will be thrown and you might be fined. Anywhoo!

In the baggage, do not forget to write your address clearly using BOLD FACE and permanent marker. Because, sometimes the baggage might get lost, they will send it to that address after some days. Hence, as a precaution, it will be a wise idea if a set of clothes are carried in the back pack.
Write the Full address of You (or with c/o of some friend in US:>>> ASK!!!)
Ask for help: Do not Hesitate.
If any problem arises, on the way, you can call your friend in US. Just ask some american around saying that it is urgent (or may be, use the pay phone in the corner).
  You will find that Americans are very nice and helpful in such situations.
If everything goes well (will  for sure),



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