October 20 will be 6 years since I crossed the border into the United States. I was flying to America towards my unknown future.The unknown future did not frighten me absolutely. On the contrary, it was incredibly intriguing: how will my life turn out, where will I work, with whom will I make friends? I didn’t have questions like “Will I be able to get accustomed?”. The question was: “When?”. Like many Russian women I’m hardy, determined, purposeful.
The main thing was not to get lost on the way. The trip was long and inconvenient.I wasn’t worried about geography, I just picked the cheapest tickets. I flew from Tomsk to Moscow, then to Los Angeles and then to Boston.
I never in my life traveled abroad. I was very nervous of the long trip. I was not afraid to flight. But all these security, take your belt and shoes off, cell phone out of pockets, endless lines, navigating in big airports. Leaving Tomsk was easy from that point of view. I will not touch emotions though.
At the Moscow airport I was surprised by the number of passengers from Armenia (former Soviet Republic) with their numerous Luggage (I even doubted – will the plane take off?). I was carrying only 1 suitcase (25 kg weight). At check-in I was lucky and got a seat next to the window. I was able to see the orange landscape of the famous wonder of the World, the Grand Canyon. The flight lasted 12 hours, a glass of wine was very welcome, I even got a little nap.
Then in Los Angeles, everything worked out well again. I passed through customs, answered once again “interview”-questions of the customs officer, got the suitcase, found the local airport building, checked in for a flight and handed over the suitcase. I even talked to Daniel on the pay phone, after exchanging a paper dollar for coins at the store. I really like foreign airports. Every employee, regardless of the field of activity, tries to help you. I wonder how they understood my English. Incidentally in Los Angeles I saw palm trees at the first time
The wait for the plane to Boston seemed to take forever. Early rise, two flights ( 5 and 12 hours), 5 and 7 hours of layover, time zone difference……I started falling asleep sitting in the airport lounge. I finally got on the plane. My seat was next to the window again, but I couldn’t enjoy the view from it. I fell asleep.
The flight attendant’s announcement woke me up when we landed in Boston. I was still on an alert mode and could understand her words about where to pick up my “invaluable” 25 kg suitcase. But I wanted to be sure and asked the passenger next to me. Americans are masters of short talk ( I’ve heard such opinion somewhere). A fellow traveler, hearing my accent and learning the reason for my arrival, offered to help deal with the Boston subway. Thanks, but no. I figured out the Boston subway by myself 2 years later, though back then I did not know that.
It was October 21, the second day on the road, Daniel was waiting for me with flowers at the airport, I did not get lost. On the way to New Bedford, I looked around, trying to see something familiar in the landscape. American autumn forest from a car window looked just like Siberian. Day was surprisingly warm 75° F. I couldn’t believe I was in America, in another part of the World.
Then I met with the house. Daniel sent me photos of the house. But in real life, everything looked just different, different and unusual. I saw flower buds on a rhododendron Bush. I was shocked! iIt’s October! Winter is coming! I thought those flower buds will never bloom. At least in Russia they would just get frozen. But I was not in Russia anymore. The stove showed the temperature in fahrenheit, electric plugins were different also. I didn’t know that.
Daniel made my first breakfast, an American style sandwich:
- An Egg fried on both sides
- Two pieces of toast
- A slice of Ham
That same day, Daniel took me to the ocean. I’ve never seen the sea in my life, and here’s the ocean! I couldn’t believe it was happening to me: the sound of the waves, the dry seaweed on the beach, the smell of salted fish. I fell in love with the ocean at first sight and for life.
Thus my unknown future began. Then there was the wedding, a green card process, getting a driver’s license, adopting a dog, finding a job, making friends, falling in love with Boston and a lot of things I didn’t know about at the time.