My first day in America was different exciting, and extremely tiring. I was only nine years old at the time and didn’t completely understand why we were leaving India. My older brother had moved to America with his wife four years ago, in 1969. I remember arriving at John F. Kennedy airport and the car ride to Passaic, New Jersey with my older brother who came to pick us up. The wide roads fascinated me, as well as the calamity of the drivers on the road. The entire car drive I was anxious to get out of the car and explore the different world surrounding me. Later that day I took an elevator up for the first time in a new, tall apartment building, tired from all the travel of the day.
After I situated myself, I sat for hours looking out the window out of my higher vantage point gazing at the street below. I remember how different it was seeing wide roads full of busses and cars and people walking around. Later that day, my brother took me to a big department store. I flooded him with constant questions about all the discrepancies from India. I walked through the entire store amazed by the variety displayed in just one place. My first purchase came at a drug store down the street, where my brother let me pick out a toothbrush and other small things I needed.
Once we returned home, I had my first taste of American food; fries from Burger King and orange juice. That was the first time I had ever had orange juice, and it was all I drank for the rest of the day. The concept of “fast-food” was something I’d never experienced before; I wondered how they could produce so much food so quickly.