I love the long summer days here in the UK.. Last evening was gorgeous, bright and full of sunlight at 7:30 in the evening.. and it reminded me of my introduction to the ‘long summer days’ ..
It was my very first trip abroad – to a tiny village in the US – even my HR had trouble locating it – to figure out what my allowance would be This was in those long ago days when even IT companies were not completely automated , so she had to hunt around for it :) Well, lets just say that it was literally out of nowhere and my company had just one person stationed there for one client. Now, I worked for an organisation which had people everywhere – whole flights to the US would be full of us NY airport at that point used to feel like a lost and found place where we would inevitably meet old colleagues from old base branches – out on deputation So just one person in the whole place was extremely unusual – to say the least.
I reached there via a little seven seater aircraft whose safety instructions included – ‘Mind your head as you pass by the propellors’ . Never before and never since have I have travelled in such an aircraft at such low levels – it was beautiful and terrifying at the same time.. I was actually worried that we might hit one of the trees or something.. But it was gorgeous – all lush green and hardly any civilisation visible..
We were 3 newcomers there – all of us the same age, and one project leader – who was a real sweetheart – to be able to handle the three of us.. He used to brief us all the time about life in the US, we knew practically nothing .. but that could be another post altogether. We started work the very day we arrived – and given the fact that we were also learning on the job at that point in time, it was no easy task and we used to work till 10:00 in the night, go back home for dinner and come back to work after dinner – till around 2 or 3 in the morning, including weekends. We had an account manager who used to call us at the middle of the night to check whether we were working!
This continued for about a month and then once the deadlines were through – life suddenly was much more relaxed. So the first day, that I was home early, I started reading a book, planning on starting dinner around 7-7:30.. I kept an eye out to see if it’s 7:30 – going by my ‘Indian definition’ of 7:30 and finally when dusk fell and I started cooking – I was stunned to realise that it was actually 9:30 not 7:30 That was actually shocking for me, so used to seeing pitch dark at 9:30 at night!
Its been a long time since then, have lived through several long summers - but I somehow will never forget that one time, when I was so unaware of the ‘long summer days’…