Wednesday, February 13, 2013

AMERICA - Entering the Golden Gate

It was very interesting to experience time changes while aboard a plane crossing the Pacific Ocean. It had just turned dark outside of the window. The sun rose again after 9 PM. I didn’t sleep at all on the plane. The Yale man said that was the best way to adjust to the time change. I was very tired when we landed at San Francisco. When I looked out the window, there were no more Chinese people working on the ground. It suddenly woke me up and I became very alert. With the Yale’s help, we went through customs without any trouble. The Yale man told me about the routine procedures ahead of time. The custom officer just checked my passport and visa. Then, we waited at the airport for a few hours before boarding again. It gave me some time to look outside. Cars rushed by on the highway. I had arrived in a different world.
     Traveling West to East, I was impressed by the views below. Compared to China, the land was arranged in much larger pieces. When we reached New York City, the city lights amazed me. We said goodbye to the Yale man when a girl came to pick him up. We finally reached a hotel of the Chinese embassy in New York City about midnight, where the three of us going to Syracuse stayed overnight. I was so tired and tried to sleep, but the Atlantic Ocean was right outside of the building. The noise of waves crashing against the rocks made me unable to sleep. I was not used to that kind of noise so I got up and closed the window. I slept until my roommate woke me up and said that someone wanted to see me. It was Li (李) Zie, one of the men going to Syracuse. He told me that he got the bus tickets for us and that it was 9:30 so I’d better get up since we had to leave on the bus in an hour. I got up but was still tired. Fortunately, he found a ride to the bus station for us from his roommate. We were going to have to walk because the taxi driver refused to give us a ride and told us the bus station was only two blocks away.
     It was a beautiful bus ride and the view in the distance reminded me of some Western oil paintings that I had seen in China. I thought it was my imagination but it was so real … golden leaves against a blue sky. The trees were so big, here and there scattered in the distance. Their branches stretched out so far and free. It was quite a contrast to our bonsai trees all twisted to contain form. Everything looked clean and calm. I felt like I had arrived in a free paradise.
     On the bus, we noticed an Asian woman. Later when we changed buses, we had a chance to talk with her. She was a graduate student at college and just came back from China after her honeymoon. She had been in the US for three years. Her husband was in Japan. I instantly was eager to get to know her better. It seemed to provide me with a light to my future, that I was not alone and relationships could work long distance. After we reached the bus station, she called her friend to pick her up. At the same time, she told her friend that we needed a ride also. Lucky again, another car came and put our entire luggage in, and we got in too.