Friday, July 27


At 12, it used to be the lunch break. A few of us will walk down the trail across the Ladies Hostel and downhill to the college junction. Across the bus workshop and behind the row of small shops, we would go to the shabby shop with two rows of desks put across each other. Most of the time, there is a wait time. For the maximum occupancy for Eliyas Chettan's kanhikkada was only 8. So we would wait while Eliyas Chettan serves the kanhi and keeps it ready to cool down to what he calls "room temperature" There was nothing to be separately ordered - for most days. Some days he will have special beef fry or mathi (iwashi) fry or some bigger fish.

Know what I am reading now? Vaccum cleaner reviews. I want a vaccum cleaner. Back in India, I would have called up Eureka Forbes. Or would have gone to a shop and would have looked around for options. Done. Here in this world of market economy where consumer is supposed to rule the world, I am struggling. There are so many models around. Upright, stick type, bagless, cannister and so many companies. Prices range from $40 to $500. They vary from shop to shop. Some online shops give you good discounts. Then they charge you for delivery and or installation separately. You never get a full picture. There is always a dark hole that you never know exists.

Same with car. New car? So many dealers selling the same car. Call up all dealers, ask for quote, bargain, get the best deal. Easy. Then there are certain things they did not tell you. Destination charges, taxes, dealer option prices, documentation charges. Loans, fortunately I dont have a credit history yet and I am left with one choice. The Texans CU special deal. Thats good. Going for a used car at CarMax sounds better for me. No bargains, no hidden costs. Pay what they wrote and drive away. Anyway I have not decided. As ever, I am undecided. To decide or not, when to decide or not, I dont know. I am thoroughly confused.

I still doubt if it was wise to do a relocation such late in age. Man, I am so tired. Thank God, I have no decided on a house, almost decided on internet/phone/tv package. Wonder why none has an all inclusive package that covers everything that I wanted? There are many options here but in total what you get for what you pay is the same. Contents are the same in all these different boxes.

Who says consumer rules? This is a perfect place that proves monopoly need not mean just one company. Multiple companies can run a monopoly too.

Eliyas Chettan did not have a competition serving kanhi anywhere in the vicinity. But he did not run a monopoly. None of us were dying for kanhi too. But we did not have any issue. What we want is not too many choices. But one dependable solution.

Thursday, July 12


And thus we landed at Dallas FortWorth Airport on the 4th of Jul 2007. Thank God.

Travel was .. what you expect on a 11H 50Min non stop flight. A little better than that because most part of the journey was overnight. Over the years I have developed a taste immunity that helps me finish up whatever food they give on the flight. But Ian had absolutely no food.

Immigration was smooth. As it have always been for me so far. No questions asked. Customs had only one concern - am I bringing in cumin seeds? "I do have some food items with me - but no cumin seeds" "Thats fine".
Oh God, of all things on earth he is concerned only about that. Good.

Cherian had come to the airport. Sent the luggage with him and we took a compact rental car. And nicest was the great dinner at Cherians place. That was really good to have Ian get back in shape!

Last week was setting up at the hotel room. Monday was the "new hire orientation". Today comes and the first day at work. What happened to yesterday? Read Irene's blog. Thank God, it was hurting her too bad and she was all tears from Sunday night until finally they took two of them off yesterday. People say I have been lucky to get emergency appointment and get this done within a day. Dr. Vik Rao has to be thanked for that. The first two cheque leaves from my new cheque book goes to doctors!

A whole new set of things to do. Insurance; Dental; Vision. 401K. Deskphone. Mobile Phone. Housing. Utilities. Cable. Internet. Car(s). School.

First responses from kids, not kid so far -
"Are these roads not paved? They are so bumpy"
"Why are these elevators so noisy?"
"Again WalMart?"

Thanks for prayers

Tuesday, July 3


When I walked out of the 10E door today, everything seemed to be so normal. Actually it was not. I knew that I was not in a position to step in back through the same door.

People were still bent over their desks as 6PM is still too early for Japan employees. But I was not telling them お先に as I walked out.

I do not have that "open sesame" card attached to my ID card that would open that door. After possessing that card for 2.5 years I am leaving this location. Today is my last working day in Japan. Long planning followed by months long uncertainties finally look like giving way to executions. Thank God. These days have been of great learning. Learning patience and the true meaning of trust in God. Also could cover a good number of books too. Muhammad - The Prophet of our times by Karen Armstrong; The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo; The Last Mughal by William Dalrymple - Good reads all of them. Now I am on a book by the Grameen fame Muhammad Yunus. Though I dont know with the move I will be able to keep up with the reading.

Tomorrow, God Willing, we will be flying to Dallas. My new location. Where I need to start everything from start. When the crowd was moving west, I remained. Now, God willing its my time. Its a whole new learning. Starting from the American accent and the American terminology to the American way. Not the American thinking:)

Ian says he is happy because everyday will be a free-dress-day in school there. Irene is looking forward to the land that her friends have been talking about. For us, it is a new place, need to get a home to stay and car to move...

Prayers pls..

Pradeep, yes, need to be steadfast to look for all doors to find which is meant for you. You never know when that one will open for you. Niki-chan, I promise Japanese goddess that I will visit her again.. hopefully she will let me go!