San Francisco, Singapore, Chennai, Salem, Tokyo...these are the cities I visited from December 10- January 8. I am finally in my small cozy room in Washington DC reflecting at the incredible journey I have been through the last few weeks. Each city I visited was unique and wonderful in its own way. I will try and share my incredible experience with all of you over the next few days.
December 10-14 San Francisco
My journey started at 10:30 AM on the 10th of December when I boarded an ATA flight to SFO via Chicago. I reached SFO at 5:30PM and took an immediate liking to the city. I took a cab to The Handlery where my other two lab mates were waiting for me. After 40 minutes and 40 dollars I was finally there at The Handlery at Union Square. The hotel was decent and the room was just right for three people. I had a quick shower and immediately hit the road where I set sight on a beautiful Christmas tree. It was a huge tree with spectacular lighting in the middle of Union Square right next to a beautiful pillar with a statue of Neptune on top. I sucked in the sight and got back to the hotel and slept peacefully till 4AM. I woke up with a start at 4AM and started going about my morning business till someone shouted at me “GET BACK TO BED ITS ONLY 4AM!” I lay in wait for my roommates to finally wake up which they did after an agonizingly long time at 7AM. I then got ready quickly and went to the Moscone center where the 45th annual cell biology meetings were underway. That was the end of all the sight seeing right there for I never left the Moscone center the next four days. I was dazed looking at the hundreds of posters and dozens of minisymposiums that were presented each day. I presented my poster on the 14th and got to meet a bunch of amazing researchers who had one interesting suggestion after another. I was astounded at the response to my work and felt really relieved that I didn’t bomb at the meetings. The meetings gave me a lot to ponder about and gave me a chance to meet some wonderful people from all parts of the world.
Rendezvous with Narayanan Venkat, Jagan and TJ Swami
On my way back to DC Mr. Narayan Venkat came to meet me at the SFO airport. He came to meet me despite having problems with one of his legs. I was really touched by this gesture and will never forget his magnanimity and kindness. He is a very friendly man and looks exactly like he does in his profile picture. He had trouble recognizing me at the airport because he had no idea about how I looked. There was a sign of shock in his eyes when I waved to him, he sure must have cursed his luck:P. I thoroughly enjoyed his company and he has a good sense of humor. He took met to Jagans place where I had a wonderful shower and then the two of us along with TJ Swami went to the Saravana Bhavan in SFO. We had a wonderful time there talking about our love for life and the love of our lives!Mr. Venkat wanted to take a picture of the three of us but luckily his camera ran out of batteries and saved my identity from being revealed. Mr. Venkat dropped me and TJ back to the airport where we spent an hour yapping away and finally parted to head towards different terminals to catch our respective flights.