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04 April 2012

I am in USA

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was supposed to visit US.

I have done that. I am now in US.

I am here for some business meetings and discussions with an existing customer. The company is Alpina, for whom I did multiple projects from 2008 to 2010. Alpina is setting up a manufacturing base in US and I am here for discussions on implementing OPM in their upcoming plant.

I am currently based out a place named Batavia in the state of New York.

From Bangalore, I traveled on Sunday by Air France to Paris and entered US thru Atlanta, Georgia. From Atlanta, I took Delta Airlines to Buffalo. Due to the time gain, I reached Buffalo on Sunday evening.  I stayed overnight at Bufalo Airport and left for Batavia on Monday.

Eventhough my luggage was checked in  all the way from Bangalore to Buffalo, as per the US rules, I had to pickup my baggage at Atlanta, run it thru US customs and check in again to the Buffalo flight. So I took my luggage and reached the US Custom area.

In the custom form, I had checked that I was carrying food into US for personal use. So at the Atlanta Custom, the lady asked me if I was carrying items like 'Jeera'. Since I was carrying Jeera Powder, I told them that I was carrying it. She also asked me if I was carrying Dal and Rice. I was carrying Dal, but no Rice.

She now moved me to another black officer. While asking me to open the box, he asked me if I was carrying 'Jaljeera', 'Chawal', and 'Dal'. I was surprised that this black guy in Atlanta Airport knew typical hindi terms like Jaljeera, Chawal and Dal.

That is the potential of Indian immigrants...

He opened my luggage, opened the Dal and poured the contents of Dal into a Sieve and Sieved the Dal. 'It was to ensure that there are no insects in Dal', he later told me. Having satisfied that there were no insects in the Dal, he repackaged the Dal neatly in another packet and handed it back to me.

Next he asked me if I had Jeera. I told him I had jeera powder. 'Always bring Jeera Powder', the guy advised me.

Lessons learned. One, When bringing Dal into US, ensure that it doesn't have insects. Two, always bring Spices in powder form.

Other lesson. Indians are awesome, they can teach 'Jaljeera' to the Blacks in US.

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