So, things happen in a good way or in a bad way. For 2017, I would say I am grateful enough to have quite a number of lucky gifts sent down to me. Thanks, Santa or whatever name you want to call that.
Since I knowing myself to receive the Global Fellowship in Marine Conservation 2017, today is the day that I've been waiting for. I'm gonna fly myself to the United States of America for the first time in my life and entering Duke University for a month for lectures and field works (hopefully?). No matter how I'm sure it's gonna be a fun and fascinating trip!
Before today, it's another worth sharing story about the process of applying for U.S. visa from the U.S. Embassy of Malaysia, of which it's literally a tedious and cautious process to complete all the procedures in order to get the pass to cross the border for today. So, I might write up another post just to share the experience. Meanwhile, this post is more to tell about my journey from Malaysia to this country.
First day | 07-07-17
|A long wing spread across the sky|
My first flight was departed on 0950 from KLIA and reached Amsterdam, Netherland at 2150 (M'sia time). Basically, throughout the time, I was sitting near the window, watching movies and listening to music from the backseat monitor, eating and settling my businesses. After 12 hours of journey, "Dr Strange", "Logan", "Hidden Figures" and "X-Men: Age of Ultron" were all now in my watched list (Yesss! Finally! In fact, it's quite an enjoyment to watch movies in the flight because you are bound in your own dimension at that time). Quite fruitful, isn't it? This was the longest flight I ever took, so I was rather excited and kinda stay awake whole time without really forcing myself.
|Day or night? Confusion between eyes and body clock memory.|
|Atlanta view. See how simple is their highway structure.|
Then, due to the flight was slightly late to arrive in Amsterdam, I need to walk quickly all the way to the departure gate of my next flight, which was to Atlanta, Georgia. Luckily I was not required to claim my baggage and re-check in again because both flights were from the same KLM company. Supposedly the next flight is on 1700 and arrive in Atlanta by 2015. So I think okay lar, 3 hours only, just one movie is enough to kill the time already. Who knows how the hell my brain is thinking, it was actually another 8 hours journey due to the different longitude between Netherland and U.S. which separated by the large Atlantic Ocean. But then, even though it's only 1700 local time, but it was already ~2330 in Malaysia time, which is time for my body and mind to get into the dream. Therefore, I can't afford to watch so many movies as before this time, only finished "X-Men: First Class", "My Annoying Brother (Korean)" and "Fantastic Beast (half-way only)".
By the time reaching Atlanta, it was already 2100 local time, which is not too much delayed for me as I'm going to lay overnight here and connect my flight the next day. Yet, I forgot that I need to clear the custom in this stage because this is the port of entry (POE) the United States. So, I took around one and a half hour to reach my turn and pass the border. Phewww.. By that time, all the U.S. residents who return to their country have been completely cleared, only left a few number of us who were still queuing patiently.
|Skytrain waiting hallway. Take the elevator from outside of domestic terminal following the sign of "GICC".|
I'm staying at the Marriott Hotel which is just nearby to the airport. It's a lovely hotel indeed after one night of staying so I would recommend this if you wanna to get a hotel for a layover. To get yourself there, first you have to get to the domestic terminal by a shared shuttle (free) from the international terminal, then take the Skytrain for a two-minute ride to Georgia International Convention Center (GICC)-Gateway Center Hotels to reach Marriott.
|Marriott Hotel viewed from the Skytrain hallway.|
|Atlanta airport. One of the busiest airport in America. The photo was taken the next day before my flight to New Bern.|
Alright, that's all for the first day.
To be continued...