Thursday, January 18, 2007
We had long days of chilly weather and there were ice and snow showers on two days again. On both these days, we were asked not to venture out to office and hence I worked from home.
Friday, January 12, 2007
When we were totally tired of walking and chilling weather, we went to the Grand Station and caught a train to Tarry town. It took around 45 minutes to reach their place and I stayed with them enjoying the dinner Guru prepared and listening to his recent Grand Canyon adventures.
Next day early morning, I started from Tarrytown and reached JFK by 07:30 AM. My wife's flight (Emirates from Dubai) was delayed for 2 hours and hence had to re-schedule our onward journey to Dallas. Though both of us were tensed about the travel formalities, everything went fine. The prepaid international roaming from Airtel helped her in reaching me as soon as she landed. And I was using the 20$ TracPhone for roaming!. We were so happy and relaxed to meet, as all the tensions over her maiden voyage is now over, and we can start the family life again :). The flight to Dallas was from La Guardia Airport and we reached there just in time, by catching a bus from JFK airport. My friends were waiting at Dallas Airport to take us home, after this long and tiring trip.
The sad part of this story: My camera storage card got corrupted and I lost all those New York photos! Demands another trip to New York with backup storage cards!
Saturday, January 06, 2007
The first step was to download the 104 pages Texas Drivers Handbook and study it properly to clear the written test. One of my friends here already had an experience of appearing for the test thinking that all you need is common sense to clear an exam. He failed miserably. I started going through the Handbook page by page and was comfortable to appear for the test until I saw some of the sample questions like "What is the maximum number of inches that you may lawfully allow an object to extend beyond the left fender of your car?", "If a child runs into the road 45 to 50 feet ahead of your car, what is the highest speed from which you can stop with good breaks without hitting him?"?", "What’s the maximum fine for driving without license?". It was not about just common sense or understanding the sign boards. I had to learn all these numbers and figures and calculations.
Finally, on 2006 November 29th I went to the DMV office, applied for Driving License and Identity Card (This Photo Card, will be issued immediately, and can be used for identification purposes till I get license.). Cleared the vision test by identifying the traffic signal colors and reading those small letters. The examination was computerized and I passed it with 80% marks.
I was already comfortable in appearing for the driving test, but I had to wait until one my friends was available to come along with me on a working day to DMV office, as they required that another person with valid license should accompany. On 2007 January 5, I went for the driving test and had to wait for more than an hour for my turn. A trooper first verified the car to make sure all indicators and break lights are working properly. Then she accompanied me asking me giving the driving directions. It took around 10 minutes and we went through main roads, and small testing my skills on driving, observing signals and other vehicles, changing lanes, etc. Finally there was parallel parking, and I did it well, though it was my first attempt at it. I passed the test, though I got a bad score in observing.
I got my temporary driving license issued immediately and my Photo Card will come by post within few weeks.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Sometimes we cook from my apartment or we go out for a lunch buffet. Weekend buffet means unlimited food for 8 or 9 dollars. We always make sure we eat as much as we can, and force to sleep ourselves the whole after noon.
There is one Kerala restaurant here in Dallas. The one and only Tharas! They have weekend buffet with such wonderful and nostalgic items like 'Kappa & Meen Curry', Beef Fry, Kerala Meals, etc. Then there is Mayuri where even masala dosas are served without any limits during buffet.
The Fun Asia movie theatre here shows latest movies in Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. Though its 10 dollars, its always fun to watch movies from theatres. If there are no good movies, we take a DVD and watch it together from my room in laptop.