11. About long flights, duty free shops and a nail polish remover.

All about me traveling to the USA. :)

Disclaimer: I did not travel to Antarctica or to Mars. I wasn’t even the differently coloured solo female traveller in a land of chaos. The resemblance of this journey to such stories is a merely a result of my super excitement and the prowess of my brain in exaggeration.

PS: Wrote these snippets while I was traveling, hence the tense.

10:30 am, Hour 0, Guwahati.
I am done triple checking all the things in my list, except one like always. I didn’t get time to put on nail paint. Never mind, like always it goes in my handbag to put while I am at the airport or in flight. Somehow I always forget that putting nail polish is an art which cannot be accomplished when everything and everyone around you is moving.

11 am: Instagram story time. I love stories which actually have story to them!

11:30 am, Hour 1, Guwahati Airport.
So my passport is in the back pocket of the yellow sling bag which is inside the green handbag. And all the tickets in my black bag. Card and some cash in my pocket. Some more cash in the black bag. Wait, where did my student ID go?

1:00 pm, Hour Hour 3, Still at Guwahati Airport
Okay, my nails are jinxed. I guarded my nail paint well, but again, they got ruined. Now I have to find a cheap nail polish remover somewhere. I have limited number of dollars in my pocket and I will not cut down on my “I love NY” t-shirt budget.

2 pm, Hour 4-ish, Flight to New Delhi
Aah, been a long time since I paid attention to these safety instruction drill. Tonight I can.

4 30 pm.
Passport in the yellow bag inside the green. Tickets in black. Cash in pocket.

6 30 pm Checking in for flights
So much for all the customs hype? They let me take all the things I got. I didn’t get unpackaged tea leaves, you know why. Assam is famous for more than it’s tea leaves.

8 30 pm.
Passport in the yellow bag inside the green. Tickets in black. Cash in pocket.

9 30 pm. Duty Free Shops.
You can’t be serious. Chanel, Gucci, Givenchy…Do I think it’s a good idea to walk up to them and ask for a cheap nail polish remover? I do. Only I walk away when I see they are not even selling nail paints in there.

10: 30 pm, Some hour closer to an hour I usually Sleep, Near the gate
We are still not at Delhi are we? We are.

11 30 pm. Boarded the flight.
I don’t remember much of it. I was too sleepy to be excited. I also missed the safety drill. But, passport in the yellow bag inside the green. Tickets in black. Cash in pocket.

Some 10 hours later? Somewhere over Greenland.
Woah. They didn’t wake me up for dinner like they always do on a domestic flight. How do I thank them?? Also, did they save me some dinner?

3 hours to go to land
Wifi was paid. Sad story in three words.
Unlimited wine. Happy story in two words.
I wasn’t compromising on my NY t-shirt budget yet. Mom dad I am safe. I have little capability of getting lost on a direct flight.

7 am, Time here. On flight to Boston
I remember rushing to clear customs so that I don’t miss this flight. I remember the immigriation officer gushing at how good my handwriting was. Well, yeah thanks! Too bad I they don’t grant visas for that. And I remember asking them to please let me have my suitcase safe and sound when I land. I do not plan to have all my Instagram stories in the only conference tshirt they give me.

11 am, On bus to Cape Cod from Boston
I should choose the songs I listen to carefully. After all, when I imagine myself in a bus in foreign lands, I do not want “Give it to me, Baby” playing in my head.

In Cape Cod. After some 37 hours.
We were still in 2017. But then a red toy bus with park benches inside with a driver who resembled Willy Wonka sans the hat showed up. And he agreed to happily drop us to our hotel. Showed us shops that sell handmade ice cream, local beer, way to the beach, sea shell jewellery, public library…and taking a detour to our hotel. The beds were those kind. Huge pillows where you can stuff your entire head. You can guess the rest? Or I will just put it in the next blog.

While returning back
Wait. What? I am back already. I was just there.

Also that red toy bus actually existed, I wasn’t too sleepy to imagine it.

With hopes that one day the links will be sufficient to binge read on the roadway around galaxy.
Next week
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Chhavi Shrivastava

Chhavi Shrivastava


Writing relatable, non-fluffy stories on being a product designer. Senior designer @Bumble 🐝 Sharing behind-the-scenes at www.instagram.com/justchhavii/