Thursday, January 26, 2012

8. Winter in America Part 2.

Normally when you look up at a fan towards the ceiling, the fan blades rotate in an anticlockwise  dirction. It pushes the air downwards and cools us down. How? When the air blows on our skin, it takes away the heat on evaporation of the perspiration.

But the fans in US have switch on the sides of the head. If it is switched on, the blades rotate in a clocwise (reverse) direction. It’s used during winter. Why?

Cold air is denser. Therefore it stays near the floor. Hot air rises up. It stays up near the ceiling. Heaters are normally placed at the bottom. Since hot air takes a long time to come down, it takes a long time for the thermostat to stop the heater from working. The electricity bill will also go up.

When the fan blades rotate in reverse, the air does not touch our skin and therefore does not cool us down. But mixes the hot air and the cold air uniformly. The air touches the sides of the wall and comes down. Then comes  to the centre of the room and rises up. Convection currents are caused.

Works well for rooms with a height of 9 feet. If the ceiling is higher than this, or when the space between ceiling and the fan is more than 1.5 feet or when the room is large (> 11*11*11)  or there are openings such as the staircase, use the fan as you normally would.

A blanket called ‘comfort’ (with a thin layer of foam inside) or woollen blankets  are used to cover oneself while sleeping.

 If one’s nose starts to bleed, use saline spray (< $2) and increase humidity inside the house. Make sure nose and throat are never dry. Said, not to scare you off, but just to make sure you are healthy‼  And this does not happen to everyone. You can place tubs with water in the corners of the room. Hygrometer ( $7) should show a humidity of 30%-50% 

During the fall season, pollen grains may increase in the air and chance  of getting viral flu fever is very high. You can take preventive flu shots for $20 in pharmacy.

Practising yoga in the morning and in the evening, especially ‘kapalapathy’ will keep the body warm.

You can check at  when the 'cold front' will reach your town. Stay indoors for days during that time.

It is pleasant to go out between 12 noon and 4pm. Do not be lazy to follow the dress code, inners, hoodies, gloves etc.

If there’s snow in front of the house, better clean it. For if the post man skids and falls in front of your steps, medical expenses are to be borne by the resident.

Monday, January 23, 2012

7. Winter in America

7. Winter in America I

Almost like in North India.

Summer - June21-Sept20 
Fall    - Sep21-Dec20  
Winter  - Dec21-Mar20 
Spring  - Mar21-June20

Fall itself is like winter. Temperatures in the first week of November itself is about 74º F during the day and 40º F at night, 23.3º C,  4.4º C.

Chillness starts in northern regions like Niagara, New York, Seattle, New Jersey during October end. By November end it’s almost frozen. Then cold weather comes to southern regions like Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta in December. In Florida it’s normal coldness.

You can view the weather conditions in the following websites

It’s better to use woollen sweaters rather than increasing the temperature of the room heaters. Increasing the temperature will dry up the skin. Skin will turn a sort of greyish white in colour. It will start itching. Of course scratching is a pleasure at the start. Dryness in the throat may lead to bleeding easily in the nostrils. Lips may crack. Nose may become dry and itch. A drop of blood may ooze into the mouth or through nose. A drop of saline water into the nose may keep it wet. Chances of this occurring for people above 55 are high. Prevention is better than cure. You went there to take care of the baby, therefore, make sure it’s not the reverse! Dotor’s office ….. very expensive yaar

During winter the air is less humid. It is healthier to maintain the temperatures 25-75 degree Fahrenheit and the humidity costant. You may install a humidifier. It’s about $40-$140. A simple humidifier is made by pouring water in a tray and spreading a tissue paper at the side (partly inside), to make evaporation faster. Dry your clothes inside the house. Use vaseline on your hands and legs. Lip Balm must be used. Suppose humidity is higher, then you get the smell of stale air. Leave the windows open for a while or leave the ventilator fan on for some time.

Houses are made of wood. Since wood is bad conductor of heat, it keeps the warmth of the house.

You better take some good gloves, socks and monkey cap (the woollen one with openings for the eyes only!) from India. You can buy fleece hoodies and fleece pants there to wear inside the house. That’s enough to keep you warm inside the house.

But before you go out in winter wear all these. The above plus Inner thermal-wear shirts and pant, shirts and pants, jerkins ($50) etc.,  At last you would have gained about 7 kilos. Do not under estimate any of the advice I have given above. “I am a cricketer from those days yaar!” wouldn’t save you! Thermal wears and fleece items cost about $10 each at Walmart, one of the companies that determines the economics of of USA.

To be continued:-

Saturday, December 31, 2011

6. Delivered in US

When labour pain starts or amniotic sac breaks, you, must contact your obstetrician by phone. If she is of the opinion that you must be admitted to hospital, then you should do so.

At first only the nurses in that hopital attend to you, the expecting mother. They create a name tag with photo of the expecting  mother. Then they will call your midwife.  Only if necessary, they’ll call your doctor.

The hospital is like an hotel. No smell of phenol!

In the labour room, video camera, laptop, husband, mother all are allowed. You can play a music of your choice to your wife! As soon as the baby is born, the baby is placed on the mother for a while and the husband is required to cut the umbilical chord. You can photograph the ceremony!

The pride of a maternal grandpa, be seen here, at least for the days the baby is in hospital?  Around the wrists of grandpa, grandma, mother, husband and the baby a wrist band with a barcode and with the name of the grandpa (surname‼) and initial of the mother and should be worn. You c. Surname in your daughter’s passport carries a lot of pride! Not only that, you can wear a badge ‘ Iam a grandpa’ , given free.

Whenever the baby is taken away for bathing or medicala tests etc. one of us can accompany the nurse. They verify the tags on the baby.s wrist and us and tell us to make a note of their photo id.

You can request the hospital to keep your umbilical cord for your family or donate for research such as transplantation, stem cell etc. You have to pay about $2000 to preserve it in the Banking facility for years. Research has proven that these stem cells of your own can cure a lot of diseases.

There are small tables attached to the walls in the rest rooms (toilets!) called ‘Diaper Changing Stations’ Daddies are good at changing the diaper for their babies.

Even new born babies have to wear a form of ‘seat belt’ while travelling in a car. Not exactly seat belt, but a chair known as ‘infant restraint’. If you think the mother’s lap is the best for the baby’ then you are in trouble. For the traffic Officer will charge you with a ‘ticket’. May be a $150. Not only that, your next insurance premium will be with a premium

If you think this will be useful to either your family or friends please tell others about this blog and also, leave a comment. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

5. Delivered in US!

Are you going to US for your daughter’s delivery?

You have to know these. However, know this first. US Embassy doesn’t encourage people going there for taking care of someone’s delivery. They have experts there! But expensive!
First, make sure  if the surname field in your passport is filled!

If you do not hhave an insurance, you can never enter the doctor’s “office”, ya office as it is known in US, not clinic. If you miss an appointment, you’ll have to pay a penalty of $25. But, if it’s an emergency, they have to attend to the patient even without insurance. Govt. agencies like medicaid, medicare etc will pay up for the poor.

Ok, now, let’s say,  your daughter is expecting a baby. First few months she will be seeing a gynaecologist and later an obstetrician and a midwife associated with her. She’ll have to choose a good paediatrician and a good hospital. All these people must have been chosen in early pregnancy itself.

In the seventh month,  the expecting mother will be called to the hospital of her choice for a tour around the hospital with her husband. They will explain the procedures adopted in the hospital at the time of admission and during delivery. A lot of phamphlets on health, exercises, and legal aspects will be given.  During the eighth  month, the importance of mother’s milk will be explained and will be introduced to “Breast feeding  mothers’ association “ and an expert trained nurse on that. In the 9th month normal and caesarian delivery aspects will be explained by the hospital people.

To be continued

Saturday, February 12, 2011

4. Back to India

I am back in India and will come back in a few days.

Bleeding through nose can be stopped if you smell the squeezed onion. If one continues to eat onion mixed with curd/plain youghurt, this problem can be cured completely

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

3. American Homes

3. American Homes

Basically there are 5 types of homes.,'studio apartments', 'apartments', 'town house', 'condos' and 'independent houses'.

In studio apartments there is a large hall, a kitchen and a bathroom.

In ordinary apartments one or two bedrooms may be found. Normally there are about six houses in a floor with a common path.

Town houses have separate entrance for each house and a garage. There may be two floors

All the three types of houses are built by a company and let out for rent, about 500 over houses within a protected area. Rentals are from about $650 to $1250.

Those, who want to buy own homes must buy in 'condos' (condominiums, flat  houses)' like the advt."Arun Excello" in "Super Singer". a "$300.000 dream". But you own undivided land.

Bigger dreams are independent houses. The land belongs to you but you can't build compound walls!

In Florida, there are small ponds around independent houses. You also have a few crocodiles, snakes and tortoises in them. You don't disturb them and its mutual, they don't disturb you. Avoid going for a walk at night. Suppose they come out of the pond, accidentally?! There are "trainers" to put them back. What they is "They have been here for a long time" American equal rights?!!

You have to believe that all these houses are made of wood. Frame work for tall buildings are steel structures. Wood is abundant. Cheaper.. Damages are minimum during hurricanes and earthquakes for wooden houses. Carpenter is enough to build a house. Now you know why all the masons 'kothanaars' go to Singapore to work and not US! In fact in a super market called 'Home Depot" you can get all that is needed to build a house. They conduct classes for small children teaching them to make chairs etc.

Frying pappad…be careful. Smoke alarm will do its job and may invite others. There are water sprinklers all around inside the house and fire extinguishers too.

You are provided with fridge, aircon, heaters, dish washer and stoves, either gas or electrical. You have a free service if anything goes wrong. They attend within 24 hours of complaining through the apartment website. Switches, on if you off it!

Bathrooms… not a drop of water on the floor. No Indian closets. All are European WCs. Everything… inside the bathtub! Remember… it's all wood.  A lot of tissue paper is spent. Washing either in your own machines or in a common place inside the apartments compound.

Community amenities available are

Immediate repair services free of cost
Controlled Access Entry Gate
Laundry facilities 
Grilling Area(s)
Picnic Area(s)
Fully Equipped Fitness Center
Two Lighted Tennis Courts
Car Care Center
Recycling Area
Pet Friendly (rules apply)
Swimming Pool
Post boxes

Controlled Access Entry Gate: When you  go out from the compound, you would use a remote controlled gate and another one similar to that for entering back. For people on foot to go out there is a small gate. To come back you have to use an electronic 'access' key. When your friends come by car, they have to key in, in a small tower near the gate, a specific number allotted to you. Your phone will ring. When you press a number in your phone, the gate opens. Sesame!

Your neighbors, passers by, whatever complexion they are, or, you are, smile at you and say 'Hi' and  a few more words. It may take some time to understand the accent. By that time, your visa expires and you may be flying back!

Pls view my blog on examtechniques and post your requirements, comments

Thursday, December 16, 2010

2. HALLOW E'EN! (the evening before All Hallows Day)

HALLOW E'EN! (the evening before All Hallows Day)

Independence day, Veterans day, Christmas, New Years day, and Halloween fall on definite dates every year. All other holidays are combined with weekends. If holiday falls on Saturday, then Friday would be a holiday. If a holiday falls on Sunday then Monday would be a holiday.

Halloween falls on October 31st every year. Though it originates from Europe,it is believed to be celebrated for warding off evils and inviting good souls, and also to be welcoming the 'Fall' and the winter.

Scarecrows, paper skeletons, black cats, spider web made of threads, ghost images, bats, brooms and witches, pumpkins, and jack-o-lanterns are displayed in front of the houses.

The pulp inside the pumpkin is carved out. On the outer side two eyes a nose and few scary teeth are carved out with a knife. A candle is placed inside. This is known as jack-o-lantern.

Rolls, cakes and soups are made using pumpkin.

' Trick or Treat ' In the evening,The children aged 3 to12 dress up in different forms, mostly face painted like ghosts, wearing masks like presidents, dressed like pirates, avatars, skeletons. They start from their houses with one elderly person from each family, in the October 31st evening as a group and go around from house to house in the neighborhood, with open pumpkin plastic baskets collecting candies and chocolates.

In the shop houses in malls, an employee sits outside the the shop dressed in a scary manner or like one of the latest characters in cartoons and distribute candies. The whole children crowd will be there.

Look for a party organized by the leasing office of your apartment in the afternoon of Oct 31st at the clubhouse nearer to it.

A few people join together and create Halloween haunted houses artificially with a lot of automated electronic devices to scare off people. These houses are open normally from october 1st. They advertise the venue in newspapers. They normally charge like $10. Most of the time they are free. You can view an example at the following website.

In fact around the apartments we lived in there were so much of Indian children, still with some remnants of India, that the place seemed to be Little India! On Deepavali day the whole place was empty?! May be went to temple!