Necessity has always been the mother of invention and right now my friend Nipon’s invigoration has reportedly been the father of adrenaline rush in me & is currently making me continue with what I started weeks ago. Mind you it’s not a travelogue in anyways, but if someone needs any information regarding USA where their inquisitiveness falls under my know-how, I would surely guide him/her.
Well to continue from Part 1 you must have noticed that I ended with a ” flat…to bed”… well I intentionally did so as there’s something called JET LAG after a big flight journey across changing time zones which is definitely not easy to overcome and believe me if you give in to this shit, you are messed up! Rather I would ask my doctor friends Nipon/ Saurav/ Chandradeep to throw some light on this topic later.
Anyways as per my experienced senior’s order I slept tight that night and tried to avoid a tremendous dizziness in the evening time for the next couple of days which is a sheer aftereffect of jet lag.
The first day morning I joined my office MDE International Inc. which is a fleet management service provider and of which my company Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. is a client for road running and performance observation of their R&D vehicles in America. In this respect I would like to add that Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, the no.1 tractor/jeep/uv makers of India is going to be the 1st Indian OEM to launch a pick-up truck in the US market. It’s the single/double cab version of there well known brand Scorpio to be known as Mahindra TR20/TR40 over here. I being a part of the R&D Engines team have been sent here to search and re-search and research and develop.
Bemidji, is a more or less big city in Minnesota, as asking someone in Texas or California about Minnesota what they would mean is the country side, what in India we call village, mainly full of hunters, fishermen, farmers, plumbers, country music, Bob Dylan, wild rice and so on. And guess what, there are only two taxis in Bemidji, so …!! But one can find here regional airport, few big hotels, Wallmart center, Target mall, ..so it’s big. The days were going good and different too. We had lots and lots of work to do and we enjoyed doing. Vehicles used to come at midnight with issues and we used to work them out. It was around 5 degree Celsius over there and so Jacket, gloves, cap were must and yes glass of hearth room coffee was also sort of must. We used to go down to the gas stations(petrol pumps) to have some pizzas/burgers/hot dogs/cheddar dogs and a drink like coke/Pepsi etc.
West is west as they say and many things are different over here which one cannot say good or bad and I would write about those time to time. Here you have to get the food from counter and they will give you an empty glass where you have to get your drink. Food price is rather cheap considering people’s income. One can have good lunch at KFC/ DQ/ Taco Bell/ Jack in the Box within $4 which a bit surprisingly is not possible in McDonalds or Subway. As a coffee shop Starbucks is most famous here like we have CCDs and Baristas. Well It’s almost 2 months here in US and I can assure you these people are not playing a fair game in our country. Or in other words one may say going CCDs/Baristas/McDonalds are meant for an upper class people in India.
Well, be that as it might, we used to mix with the people over there and I personally tried to know about their beliefs, ways, thoughts etc. The drivers here are paid the minimum wage of a labor that’s $7.5/hr which makes $75 for 10 hours and around $1000/month which is in a way below poverty line and that reflects in their way of leading life. For example in this class of people most of them are having a huge body structure which is an undoubted result of uncontrolled and unhealthy food habit, based on breads/pizzas/burgers etc which are actually cheap. But mind you, in America, every person has one or more cars as without car you are almost handicapped & then a house, and loads of techie gadgets which make them burdened and overburdened and the most common thing in America the credit card which was boon for them in one time becomes a bane and thus they hardly save anything in their lifetime. Moreover there is nothing like provident fund/gratuity over here provided. It’s just the payment they get for their work. Whatsoever, we thus had good time along with work. Morning breakfast in hotel then Lunch mostly in Tomstop(a gas-station near MDE International) and dinner was home made…yeh!! that part was fun…whatever and however cooking was done.
Two days we got time to go out and that was to one of our fleet driver Mr.Ken’s house in the countryside, Beltrami district and we were totally awestruck. It was an wooden house in the middle of a wood which was Ken’s own where he hunted deer, bear, birds. He had two multi-vans, one tractor, two lawn mowers, two ice cutters, big lawn, big garden, one caravan and two 4×4 off roaders.
He treated us immensely well and I enjoyed thoroughly the beef stake, sweet corn at his place. Also we enjoyed the royal off roading through the woods. Another day we went to lake Itasca which is the source of the great river Mississippi and had a great time there too. Finally one fine morning I was told to move to San Antonio which is in Texas because of some urgency and thus the next morning I bade adios to Minnesota and all of a sudden reached just a busy city as maybe Nashik or kanpur or Jamshedpur in India. Yes if someone asks definitely I would say the quietness and simplicity of Bemidji was the most attractive part of it.