The past 72 hours have definitely been a whirlwind! Tuesday night (10:45pm DC time) I started this amazing journey of moving to India. The week leading up to my departure was packed with, well, packing and saying goodbyes. By the time I got on the plane, I was exhausted. My first leg was from Dulles to Doha – a 12 hour flight. I think I was awake for a total of 1 hour. I’ve always been able to sleep on flights and this was no exception. By the time we arrived in Doha I felt somewhat caught up on sleep. The flight from Doha to Hyderabad was only 4 hours and I tried my best to stay awake because my arrival in Hyderabad was at 3:00am, so I didn’t want to have slept the whole way and then been forced to be awake at the all the wrong times.
I was slightly concerned about my arrival. There were many variables at play. First and foremost was my boy, Mac. I hadn’t seen him since we left Dulles. I was concerned about how he handled the flight and also getting him through customs. One of the pet relocation services I spoke with told me that Hyderabad pet customs was awful (and wanted to fly him into Bengaluru and then drive him (10 hours) from Bengaluru to Hyderabad – obviously, I didn’t engage their services!).
I had all the necessary documents for his arrival, but needed to meet an agent at the airport with the original certificate. I was also meeting a driver that would take me to my new home. Plus I had 6 suitcases and a big box. On the DC end, I had Marna and Dominic to help me, but in Hyderabad I was on my own.
As all of my bags unloaded, I got to see my boy for the first time. He looked nervous but he seemed to be okay. I had 2 porters and myself to go through customs – and it was a BREEZE! The customs officials were so nice and they all seemed excited to see a cat. We basically walked right through customs.
Immediately upon exit, the agent was waiting with Mac’s NOC certificate (I thought I needed the original for customs, but I didn’t). I thanked the agent for his assistance. Then, I saw a man holding a sign “Gregory Reisher – QuisLex” – my driver. We packed the car and off we went.
Arriving at my new home, I was met by a member of QuisLex’s admin team to make sure I got into my apartment and all was well – which it absolutely was. By this time, it was about 5am local time. I got Mac out of his carrier for the first time. He definitely seemed a little disoriented. I couldn’t tell if he had eaten anything or if he had needed to pee/poop. His little heart was racing a bit.
I spent the next couple of hours unpacking some of my clothes and trying to settle in. At about 7am, I decided to lay down to see if I could sleep a little. I woke up at about 11am. I was scheduled to go into the office that afternoon at 2pm to begin paperwork and hopefully meet some of my new colleagues.
At the office I was greeted by HR and we began with some simple paperwork and I participated in 2 workplace trainings – workplace etiquette and sexual harassment training. I also ran into two of the expats I had met through the interview process and who I was emailing with before I left the US. Vivek, an American of Indian decent, invited me to dinner after he got off work later that day.
We ended up going to the Raddison Hotel with his fiancée and had a really nice time. We chatted a lot about work transition and what it’s like here in Hyderabad. V (as he goes by) and Aasha were extremely warm and comforting – and the best part is that we were out till midnight, so I was hoping that would help get my body clock on HYD time.
Friday, I was asked to report to the office at 10:00am to continue training. Friday was filled with meeting all the different department heads to understand who was who, and who did what! I had my first authentic Indian lunch with my HR companion who shepherded me through the day. Then at 5:30pm the company held their monthly Rewards and Recognition celebration which I was invited to. I was introduced to some of my new colleagues and got to meet some of the stars of the company (at least for the month of March)!
It was a jam packed day – I got home close to 8pm – and CRASHED! I think I fell asleep about 9pm and, although I woke up a few times throughout the night, I was able to sleep until 6am!
Today (Saturday) I’m headed to the mall to do some shopping – I need essentials for the house and Mac would appreciate some fresh litter and food! Later today, one of the expats is having a party as he is about to end his 2+ years here in HYD. I’m looking forward to that opportunity to meet all the other expats!
More to come!
Sent from my iPad