Visit in the USA is a lifetime experience for anybody. I consider myself as one of the luckiest people to get the opportunity to visit that country. Everybody have a dream in his mind to go to the USA at least for once in the lifetime. People think that all happiness are there in the USA. So, from the very beginning of my life, I had a latent wish at the deep of my mind to visit the USA. It increased to double when brother-in-law went there as an immigrant.
I got an opportunity to visit the USA in the year 1991. I was overwhelmed with joy that cannot be expressed in language. But all my happiness melted down when I came to know that my USA trip had been canceled due to the Gulf War, 1991. The visit was only for two weeks, but it was in the USA.
After more than a decade, I got the opportunity to visit the USA in the year 2004. This time it was for almost five months. So, it was really a great opportunity for me.
Journey from Dhaka to London
I completed preparations of all travel documents like Government Order (as government officer) Passport, Visa, and Tickets to travel as it was an official visit. First time going to the USA; every moment was thrill full. Waiting for the D-day to fly! Many things were coming in the mind; what to do and what not to do. Binding and opening the luggage was every day’s affairs.
At last, the day of my travel came. I reached at the Dhaka Airport along with my family members who was going to see me off. I was due for flying by British Airways from Dhaka to Heathrow. Then from Heathrow to Dallas by American Airline and a domestic flight from Dallas to Wichita Falls. We arrived at the airport on time. The take off time of the flight was at 5 am. The luggage was checked in and the boarding card was also issued to all passengers including me.
All on a sudden, the British Airways representatives announced that the flight would be delayed. There was heavy fog over the Dhaka Airport and the flight could not land there. The flight landed at Dumdum Airport, Kolkata and the crews went for rest at the hotels. They could not tell the exact timing of reaching the plane at Dhaka Airport. They offered all the passengers including me to stay at the hotel till the arrival of the plane.
It was really a frustrating moment for me. I did not feel like to go to the hotel rather came back to my home. The whole day and night passed but there was no news of the aircraft. In the next day morning, they phoned me that the flight was scheduled to leave Dhaka airport by 3 pm on that day.
I reached the airport having a fear in the mind whether the flight would go or not. However, the plane left Dhaka at 3 pm on 31 January 2004. But the flight was delayed by 34 hours. Meanwhile, I was anticipating that my journey would not be comfortable as there were problems at the beginning of the journey. It was a direct flight from Dhaka to London; so the flight time was about 11 hours. The flight landed safely at Heathrow airport at about 8 pm local time after 11 hours journey.
Journey from London to Dallas
When I reached Heathrow Airport, it was about 8 pm. I hurriedly collected my luggage and rushed to the counter of American Airlines for the connecting flight to Dallas Forth-Worth Airport. They informed me that I missed my all connecting flight as my journey was delayed by 34 hours. I was just lost and fell from the sky. They told me to wait for a while.
After few minutes, a staff of the airline came out with a solution. They arranged an accommodation for me on a Dallas-bound separate flight on the next day. They also arranged a hotel at night for me. The lady apologized for my discomfort. However, they told me to stay at a 5-star hotel for that night and avail the Dallas-bound flight at 10 am on the next day. The behavior of the lady impressed me and I forgot my ill feelings for time being. She handed over the hotel coupon, dinner coupon and the boarding card for the next day’s flight.
After reaching the hotel, I just lost my voice. The hotel was excellent and the dinner was awesome. It was a buffet dinner having more than 100 items. It was really a 5-star hotel. In the next morning the breakfast was also excellent and a buffet of more than 100 items. I have visited many countries and stayed different types of hotels, even 5-star hotels, but never stayed this type of luxurious hotel. It was a lifetime memory for me.
Next day, I reached the departure lounge of the Heathrow airport and boarded the aircraft. The flight left Heathrow on due time at 10 am. But the journey was a boring one as the flight time was about 11 hours from Heathrow to Dallas, Texas. At last, I landed safely at Dallas Fort-Worth Airport at about 5 pm local time. But I could not imagine what else was waiting for me.
Journey from Dallas to Wichita Falls
When I touched the soil of my dreamland at Dallas, the USA, it was about 5 pm. It took a long time for the customs clearance. The customs authority did not allow me to take some of my favorite condiments inside the USA. I left all those at the airport and rushed for the next flight to Wichita Falls.
When I reached the counter of the Airlines, the salesgirl told me that there was no flight to Wichita falls on that day. She told me that she could arrange my travel by plane on the next to next day. She suggested me to go to Wichita Falls by taxi. She wanted to arrange a taxi for me to travel to my destination. I want to mention here that I had no connecting flight as my whole journey was delayed by 34 hours. I just fell from the sky. After few minutes, she could arrange a seat on another flight which was going to Lawton, another airport near Wichita Falls. I agreed on it and rushed to the flight.
I boarded on that flight and landed safely at the Lawton airport at about 7 pm. My destination was Sheppard Air Force Base at Wichita Falls. I checked out and asked a man about the distance of my destination from the airport. He told me that the place was about 100 km away from the airport. It was about 8 pm and I did not know how to go to my destination. There was no transport at the airport for going to my destination. I felt very helpless at a new place.All on a sudden an army man, Mr. Richard Klusman came to me and enquired of my problem. I told him about the problems of my journey. He was so generous that he told me to wait for sometimes and committed to dropping me at my destination, Sheppard Air Force Base, Wichita Falls.
I waited there for about one hour. After completion of his work, Klusman took me and started for the airbase at about 9 pm by his car. It may be mentioned that Klusman’s home was about 50 km away from the airport on the same route. He traveled more 50 km to drop me at my destination and dropped me at the officers’ mess of the airbase, Sheppard Inn where I had to stay for next 4 months. Mr. Klusman was really a nice man. He offered his helping hand when I was really feeling very helpless as I had no way to reach to my destination. I am grateful to him. I will never forget him throughout my life.
Initially, the journey was delayed by 34 hours. I started my journey from Dhaka airport at 3 pm on January 2, 2004 and reached at Heathrow airport at 8 pm local time on the same day. So it took about 11 hours from Dhaka to London. I started from London at 10 am on January 3, 2004 and reached Dallas at 5 pm local time on the same day. Then I reached at Wichita Falls at 7 pm (BD time 5 am on January 4, 2004). So the total journey time was about 38 hours and total flight hour was 23 hours.
Journey from Wichita Falls to Orlando
My training was completed in the mid of April 2004. Then I visited my brother in law’s house in Orlando, Florida from April 14 to April 22, 2004. I started my journey from Wichita Falls Airport at 8:25 am on April 14, 2004 and reached at Orlando, Florida at 2:10 pm. Then stayed there for about 9 days. Then I started my return journey to Dhaka on April 22, 2004 at about 6:30 am. My route was Orlando-Dallas-Narita-Singapore-Bangkok-Dhaka. As the training was sponsored by the USA government, the ticket was issued by the IMSO (International Military Student Office), USA.
It was about 36 hours non-stop journey from the USA to Bangladesh. I traveled from Orlando to Dallas by a domestic flight of American Airlines. It took about 2:30 hours. Then changed the flight to an international flight of the same airline at Dallas. The flight took off from Dallas Forth-Witch at 12:00 noon. The customs formalities at the Dallas airport were not that much difficult while leaving the USA.
It was an exhaustive journey as it took more than 16 hours to reach Narita, Japan. The flight reached at Narita, Japan at 3 pm local time. I waited there for about 3 hours and boarded the flight of Japan Airlines at about 6 pm local time.
The 747 aircraft of the Japan Airlines was almost empty. There were only 39 passengers in a aircraft of 350 passengers. I was very tired because of long times travel. I feel asleep on the aircraft. I laid down on the vacant seats on the aircraft and slept for about 4 hours. The flight time from Narita Japan to Singapore was about 6 hours. Before landing, the air hostess called me to wake up as the aircraft was approaching for landing.
The aircraft landed at Singapore Changi Airport at 11:55 pm local time. It was really a terrible journey for me. Though I reached a Changi Airport at 11:55 pm, the connecting flight to Dhaka was at 8 am. So I had to pass the whole night in the airport without sleep. Next day morning I proceed for check-in. When I was going to board in a security person told me that I was not allowed to take small luggage inside the aircraft as it was an odd size handbag. I was surprised as I was carrying it with me inside the aircraft from Dallas to Singapore. I handed over the luggage to the security personnel and boarded the aircraft.
The aircraft landed at Bangkok airport at 9:40 am and again took off for Dhaka at 10:30 am. I landed at Dhaka airport at about 11:55 am on April 24, 2004 after completion of my eventful visit of about four months in the USA.
I started my journey at 6:30 am on April 22, 2004 (Bd time 4:30 pm on April 22, 2004) and reached at Dhaka at 11:55 am on April 24, 2004 (BD time). Total time took 43:30 hours to reach Dhaka from Orlando.
The USA is a dream country for me like everybody. I got the opportunity to visit there once in the year 2004. The visit was really enjoyable though the travel itinerary was a little bit painful.
While going to the USA, I started my journey from Dhaka at 3 pm on January 2, 2004 and reached Wichita Falls at 7 pm on January 3, 2004 (BD time at 6 am on January 4, 2004). So the total journey time was 38 hours.
On the other hand, while coming back, I started my journey from Orlando at 6:30 am on April 22, 2004 (Bd time 4:30 pm on April 22, 2004) and reached to Dhaka at 11:55 am on April 24, 2004 (BD time). So the total journey time was 43:30 hours.
Anybody going for such a long distance tour must be physically and mentally prepared for facing the unforeseen troubles which I faced during my journey of visiting the USA. However, my stay in the USA was awesome in all respect. I forget all the troubles when I remember all the sweet memories in the USA.