Sunday, March 18, 2012

My First Time


The first time you do something, it is always exciting. You become an excited kid (irrespective of your age). You get excited, go to the edge of your seat and stop thinking rationally (really).

Think of the small and big incidents of your life when you did something for the first time. Remember the excitement.

BUT, as time passes and the thing repeats, the excitement diminishes. The joy and pleasure of the 'first time' can never be replicated. It is only there in your memories.

In this post, I am going to focus on visiting a place for the first time; A new city; A new Country.

I still remember my first visit to Switzerland.

It was a one week trip and the whole week was filled with new experiences wrapped in every moment. In fact the experiences began even before the trip. There was an indescribable excitement of losing my passport virginity and packing for my first business trip abroad. And that too for a destination like Switzerland. The first international airport experience, the first time at the immigration counters and security checks of the bags. The first international flight, flying above the clouds with clouds above and below the aircraft (and my own face glued to the aircraft window for most part of the journey) and then flying above all the clouds with darkness above (in day time).

I remember my first day in Geneva where I felt I was in a different world completely. First time seeing a world outside India; it was an eye opener. It was an entirely new way of living. The queues don't extend upto the counter. They stop short at least 3-4 feet before the counter and only one person from the queue goes to the counter at a time. People obey queue systems and most surprisingly public transport buses arrive almost exactly on time (something that I thought was not even possible).

I remember my first day in Kuala Lumpur where I was amazed by the series of Tall buildings in the city … this time my face glued to the window of the taxi while going from airport to hotel. The Petronas Twin towers were a delight to watch. 

I remember my first day in Dubai looking at a flat city with a single road with almost all of its tall structures including the under-construction Burj Dubai (now called Burj Khalifa – the tallest building of the world). I saw the rest of the 'new Dubai' later and realized that there were tall building everywhere in those parts but the first impression of Dubai was a flat old city with a modern skyscrapers road of a kilometer length – The Shaikh Zayed Road.

Why am I writing this post …

One - To remind you about the 'first time experience'

Two – I had a new place experience and went through the feelings all over again J


UAE was the last 'new country' I had visited and it was in 2008 that I first visited it. Since then (Oct 2008 to Mar 2012) I have spent time between Dubai, Sharjah and Mumbai. Coming to Sharjah in Feb 2011 was also a new experience since it has a different feel as compared to Dubai. In the past 4 years, the Dubai Airport terminal has become so familiar that I don't even notice things in the airport anymore. I just walk thro it often walking in auto-pilot mode engrossed in a novel.

Yesterday, I flew to Doha, Qatar and it was the same child-like excitement all over again. New airport to land, new airport terminal, new view outside the airport, new currency notes (and the confusion associated with them), new taxi colors (they have Aqua colors for their cabs) and a new skyline to look at. My face was once again glued to the aircraft window for the last 20 minutes of the journey; looking at this new destination from air. The city looks sand color from the top.

I realized that it had been a long time since I had this child like feeling and decided to write about it. I realized that one should travel to a new destination every year (or more frequently if possible) and the new destination need not be international. India itself has plenty of places which will keep you spell bound and open your eyes in wonder.

Take a trip. See a new place. Enjoy ! 

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