As you may be aware, I was supposed to leave Dallas for New York! So Sunday morning I wake up a friend for a drop to the Airport. Among the murmurs of lack of sleep, we reached airport and I bid him goodbye. He wished me luck for a safe, comfortable flight and a good interview! But it turned out to be a really uncomfortable flight experience! Having forgotten that I am traveling Domestic, had packed my bags in the night the way I used to do while I travel international. On the airport, both my bags were 58 pounds (intl flights allow 60 and domestic allow only 50). Luckily my friend was there and I gave something to him to return/bring along with him. Now: Both bags at 55. The guys ask for overweight penalty! Ouch! The cost of the things that were increasing the weight was less than the money being asked! But then I had to buy these things again in India (tennis balls, novels, chocolate etc). So I start the tussle of repacking a few things. The airline people were so rigid to allow me only 50 pounds and not even 51. It took me 20 minutes and 2 measurements on the weighing scale to get things in order. And a lots of sweat!
Ok, so reach NY, enjoy the evening and head to the hotel. I was feeling that things were turning for better! But wait! There was a party going on and because of the noise I couldn’t sleep until 3 AM. hmm, again a bad night!
Now the worst part, I took the bus to Philly an hour before my scheduled bus time. Near the NJ-Penn border, I was thinking how things went so smoothly, when the bus broke down! A new bus gets called and we are transported in another bus to Philly. Reach there at 8:45 (the same time as my original schedule). But, I reach there WITHOUT MY LUGGAGE. As the bus’ vacuum system also broke, the luggage compartment couldn’t be opened and as a result, we were asked to collect the luggage at 10:30. So off I go to B’s place to use this time so that I can reach at R’s later, with luggage. Not to be. At 10:30, I am told that luggage will take another hour. So I take my dinner at R's and go to Greyhound station after two hours, at 12:30, assuming that 4 hours are more than enough to get the luggage in place. But, I was surprised, baffled, frustrated… Now I have to delete the expletives here, but the greyhound people were least responsible and least courteous of all I met in last couple of months! Everyone acted as if the passengers are disturbing them! Finally, after a 20 minutes argument with an employee, I hear her telling me their dept’s helplessness in securing the luggage and also that it is a routine with Greyhound!! The company needs some serious change! She was kind enough to let me talk to the garage people and after fighting with the garage guy for 10 minutes, I was able to get a commitment that the luggage will reach in next half an hour. By now it was 1 AM. Finally, after filing another complaint and waiting for 30 minutes, I got the luggage at 1:30 AM. Nice way to start the interview prep, I thought! There was another person like me who had an interview today with Montgomery hospital and I pity his situation as I still had friends to go to, he had none. I hope he had a good interview, understanding that he would have reached his place at about 2AM.
Ok, from now things change really for better! R and the other Wharton friends who I disturbed in late night were really great to make me comfortable. But, we missed the 9 AM class. Yes, all of us! "Welcome to BSchool!" So I attend the 10:30 class hurriedly with R et al. It was a class of Competitive Strategy, taught by Prof Sarah Kaplan. Wonderful! The participation and the smartness level of the class was really high and it turned out to be a great class! Then it was time for lunch with students! Again, wonderful! Though the Au Bon Pain, as expected, is overpriced, it provides a good ambience, esp. to prospective students. And then it was time for interview, about which I will write a separate entry. Overall, it all ended well, and now I am waiting in the Lufthansa lounge now! I will pen my thoughts on interview while in flight! So hang in there!
PS: BTW, I slept for more than 12 hours in flight!! Feeling much better after that. And my colleagues in India are saying that I have lost a lot of weight... so next 20 days I will hit the stadium and gym every morning and get it back to normal! And I will sleep a lot too :-)