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Coming to America the Promdi Way

In spite of friends' encouragements, I didn't really feel so excited of going to the US for the first time.

In August 2008, my batchmates and I boarded a JAL aircraft bound for Narita International Airport in Tokyo, Japan. The aircraft, instead of providing the usual wide plasma screen, was equipped with a 'viewing panel' where you could see the movement of the plane. It was interesting because you could imagine how the pilot works his best in order to bring a safe ride to the airline company's passengers.

We waited for four hours at Narita before checking in at the American Airlines flight bound for Chicago-O'Hare. Narita International Airport was extremely isolated that we haven't seen any of Japan's corners from its limited vantage point.

When we boarded American Airlines, an unpopular sight caught my attention. While media market airline companies through the young and flawless, all-smiling faces of flight stewardesses, AA gives you all the middle-aged and elderly (but smart!) stewardesses who might have been there since the purchase of the aircraft. LOL! And they are not the typical courteous, passenger-centered employees, huh! They are blunt and frank...and think twice if you want to approach them. LOL!

This, however, does not dismiss my respect towards the American society. This is just a clear manifestation that the government implements a policy on "equal opportunity". Visit the popular shopping centers like JC Penny or Belk and you'll see grandmas and grandpas taking orders or assisting customers.

Chicago-O'Hare is a huge airport. A friend in Chicago said that O'Hare is the busiest and most messy airport in the US. It caters to a over a thousand domestic and international flights everyday. True enough, our flight to Richmond, Virginia was delayed by at least 45 minutes!

It was almost midnight when the 54-seater plane finally touched down at Richmond, VA. We could hardly appreciate the place because it appeared to be a ghost town. Stores were closed. Even the airport was closing. LOL!

Initial impression: America is a country of huge highways that you wouldn't be able to survive without a car.