Saturday, March 24, 2012

The lady in the orange vest

Back again..with much more to share. Please tread along only if you have the time.

As an introduction, the first thing I did when I logged into my blogger link was to update my profile and change the location from Bangalore,India to Dublin, Ireland. I will be shameless and admit it in an open forum that I have always dreamed/wished of doing such a change and this post is all about it.

'You see that lady in the orange vest there? You can collect it from her'. I turn in the direction of the pointed finger and true, I do see the lady in the orange vest. Propped with my laptop bag on my shoulder, I scurry towards here and request her for the immigration form for flight EY-67 from Bangalore to Abudhabi. Armed with the form in one hand, I turn around frantically every 2 steps, to wave to my family standing outside the departure gate. My parents,my aunty..I was leaving behind everything I loved and owned and moving to something I dint know yet.

Once done with all the formalities, I am at gate 13 and find a seat for myself. I still have a good 1 and half hour to kill before my flight boards. I look around the airport. It's jam packed and overhead I see huge banners on SAP. My heart swells with pride. I am a part of that wonderful family. And almost immediately, my joy deflates. I am leaving behind something far more precious.

On a normal flight, I enjoy the take off. I love to feel the sudden speed and the lightness when it actually takes off. But this time I was too engulfed in my own thoughts to even realize the take off or the landing.

'Farewell to deepthi...lets assemble now'. A few days ago, when this mail came to my inbox, I felt a sudden lump. We all assembled in a small conf room and while stories were shared and laughter broke out, I tried my best to keep a straight face. This was my home away from home. I stayed in bangalore for over 4 years and this had been my home. Most of the people in the room werent just my colleagues, they were family. And I was leaving all this behind.

And that is how I got on the flight to Abudhabi, which is a transit to my final destination Dublin, Ireland. As the distance between the travel date and the offer date grew less, my emotions went from being that of excitement to worry. So much so that, by the time I was on the connecting flight from Abudhabi to Dublin, I was a total nervous wreck and in tears. To make up for this sick behavior, I pretended to read from the 'P.S. I love you' book. It was a 8.30 hour flight of which I refused every meal which was offered. Ultimately, my fellow traveller, a local Irish guy was sympathetic and offered me the following comment 'You know maybe you shouldn't try to read the book after all.. it is a very sad story. Try the movie, atleast you can make it through'.

Anyways, all the hurdles later, I arrived at Dublin. I had been thorough numerous updates on FB where most of my friends had been away on onsite travel for longer duration. Were they all cranky as I was? No,certainly dint look so. They had happy updates to put on FB. They had lovely photos to share on FB. Here I am sulking and cribbing. The last straw in my journey was when I was waiting in Queue for the immigration clearance at Dublin and I noticed an indian girl standing a lil ahead of me.She came back and joined me in the queue. Turns out she was here for a week and was all excited and bubbly. She asks me 'So when is your return flight back? Mine's for next saturday'. I tell her I have no return ticket. The look of bewilderment on her face was totally worth it :)!

Anyways, to cut a long story short, I was a sad picture of total dejection by the time I walked in to the service apartment which was set for me. I walked out in the chilly evening in a unknown place with no directions, no contacts whatsoever looking for a local sim connection as my international roaming dint work and my laptop refused to turn on !. Finally after walking for hours and getting lost among drunken youngsters (yeah..I reached here on the St.Patrick day parade and the entire city was flowing with alcohol), I somehow got back in one piece pretty late at night all by myself! That part I am definitely proud of.. I handled myself well there ;)!

But the next bit, I am not so proud of... I called my parents and howled my heart out, my dad hasnt slept the entire week since. He wakes up at 1:30 AM post midnight to call me up and make sure I got home safe from work. My mom waits for me to call in the morning.

I freaked out my poor brother who was in turn freaked out by my dad for my howling! Basically, by the end of the night, I had every member in my family up and about worrying about me.

I moped around in the house for the entire day and night. The only one person I knew in this town was another colleague of mine who had travelled here earlier and he was in China and I had no idea. His number was not reachable either. Had I not met the one Indian couple who lived in the same building the next morning, I probably would have been back home in the next flight ! But destiny had different plans..and here I week later, still in the same city.

It's beautiful. Every evening, I walk by the liffey river and take in its wonderful beauty. The weather is amazing. A casual stroll does wonders. I shop for the craziest things. And now I am busy looking for a house to move into. A house where I hope to have new memories to share, a new life to remember. I still miss my family like crazy, my parents, my friends and pretty much everyone else...and everything back home..but I am also learning to fall in love with a new place..

But I have a new found respect to all you onsiters out there..who made such a transition look so easy in FB. I literally went through a spectrum of every possible human emotion in just 4 days and I am still not stable, but atleast I know I can survive. Added below is  picture of the lovely river I stroll by most evenings.