Newly wed, I arrived in all my finery. Silk saree, new sandals, some of my jewellery on, some tucked away carefully with my green card in my purse.
Longest journey I had taken - ever! I was on my way to Atlanta but needed to change planes in New York. My husband at that time was kind enough to come to New York, so I wouldn't have to change flights on my own. I landed - a young woman with so much ahead of her - a husband she barely knew, a future totally undefined and a new world to discover!
After the long journey my beautiful saree was a little crushed - smelling faintly of the sickness from the bumpy plane ride, my sandals totally in appropriate as I walked through the sludge of mid-February snow. Ahh! the snow. Beautiful white fluffy snow - my image of what it must look like was dashed on day 1. Black grease and soot filled 4 feet high snow banks in JFK airport sidewalks. An image forever in my memory. My first introduction to snow. While we walked my feet (and my brand new sandals) drenched in "black" icky water. I was so cold in my light coat (my mother's borrowed since I didn't have any), my feet and the edges of my saree dripping wet. Not a great way to start - but this was America - how can it be bad.
"Can we have a hamburger?" - I was so not hungry - between the bumpy plane ride, the excitement that was hard to contain and the time difference food was not high on my list. But how can you be in the US and not try a hamburger? So off we went to some place at the airport to have a hamburger. Absolutely awful - it smelled of raw meat, looked like raw meat - didn't taste of anything at all - the bread was doughy and mushy and the vegetables (lettuce and tomatoe) were raw. How can a normal person eat this (and more importantly actually like it?!)? I filled up on french fries and felt a little more sicker from the salt and the grease. Don't think I touched a hamburger for years :).
Now 30 years later, as I look back at the memories of my day 1, I am astonished at the resiliency of youth. I'm sure it was not a pleasant way to start a new journey - but with the passing of time, the memories are sweet even the cold icky wet snow melt.