From 19th December 2007 to 8th January 2008, I flew about 115 hours,covering over 100,000 kms, criss-crossing almost entire USA. Eventhough highways in America are very good; everyone flies, it being a huge country. The only part that I travelled by road was Tucson to Hermosillo in Mexico and thence to Kino Bay, and back to Sedona and Phoenix and locally at every place that I visited - about 6000 kms.
Mexican consulate created hassle over granting of visa inspite of me having 10-year validity, multiple entry B2 US visa and other visas on my passport, showing my status of frequent traveller. Finally they gave me a one month multiple entry visa, which was not even checked on the Mexican border, when Jim Humble, an American drove me through the border check post. Mexican police casually asked, "Any Guns?" "I would like to buy one" I joked. It occurred to me that the Mexican police were only looking for making quick bucks, because they know Americans carry guns, which are sold to Mexican drug mafia. "On a holiday here"? Yes, I replied. "Enjoy" was the response.
While going from US to Mexico by road, no body checks visas; while returning from Mexico to US there is heavy checking on American side and the border is closed between 10 pm and 6 am. With security cameras, high fences, heavy gates, automatic rifle wielding sentries, ferocious looking sniffer dogs, it creates a formidable picture of control. Yet thousands of Mexicans cross over to US in search of jobs. Once the Union of US, Mexico and Canada comes about with 'Amero' as the common currency, hopefully, these border controls will disappear.
Americans in general are outgoing, friendly and trusting like us, though the US Govt. is trying to create fear psychosis in them and they are not very intelligent to know or protest against the oppressive controls unleashed under the Patriot Act. At every American airport, there is mindless heavy security. If really there was terrorism in the world, as is made out, American airports are easy targets for various reasons. For this idiotic security every flying passenger is burdened with US$5 fee (I call it security madness tax) and they have created a separate authority for the same, called the Transportation Security Administraton (TSA). If you do not have TSA locks, which can be opened with a master key, then even checked baggage should be kept open, says one of the rules. Who has made such a rule and why the Americans blindly adhere to that stupid rule is beyond semblance. The important question that comes to mind is: if the authorities do not trust the law-abiding passengers, how can we trust them with our open bags, especially when we know that the USA is the no. 1 terrorist in the world? 98% Americans keep their bags open to avoid hassle. Imagine, in India, if we kept the checked-in bags open what would happen. 70% Americans travel light eventhough they are obese, because for airport trolleys you have to pay 3 dollars and there are no porters to help, except for old and infirm, for whom very good arrangements exist.
Hermosillo, a sleepy little town of some half a million inhabitants, about 200 kms from US border, being desert land was not so cold. Mexicans are warm, friendly and caring. Their food too is good and cheap as compared to insipid and costly American food, which I would describe as GIGO - 'garbage-in, garbage-out'. That explains why most Americans are sick to the bone. Their health care system too is on oxygen !!!
In USA, I visited Nogales (Spanish speaking, small town dotted with small bungalows, bordering Mexico), Tucson (beautiful airport and town), Phoenix (the airport here is user-friendly and the town has an old world charm), Sedona (spiritual mountains) in Arizona; Spokane in Washington State; Coeur d'Alene in Idaho; Denver, Lakewood and imposing Mount Vernon (known as Red mountains where Dinosaurs moved freely millions of years ago) in Colorado; Huntsville in Alabama, Tampa in Florida and California in Los Angeles. I also flew over Grand Canyon twice (vast stretches of table land on Grand Canyon are good for playing boring games of Golf or five-day Cricket matches), saw strange formations in the Black forest and marshes below, and the white cover of ice everywhere, very gloomy. I touched Seattle and Charlotte airports twice for change of planes. I could have gone out for brief sightseeing while waiting for planes, but all American towns look alike. Nothing exciting like in Beijing, Moscow, Singapore, London, Paris or Rome.
I stayed in the beautiful bungalow of Prof. Noor Gilani in Huntsville, Alabama. Noor, originally from Gujarat India, was born in Africa and now a US Citizen, works for NASA, like 70% population there works for NASA. Dr. Charles Mercieca, retired Professor from Alabama University, organised a VIP visit for me to the Space Research and Rocket Centre.
Charles 75 plays piano like a maestro, writes bold articles, drives his car as if driving a sports car, talks with the enthusiasm of a collegian, exercises regularly at the swanky Riveira Fitness Centre, shops at Costco (the biggest departmental store in USA - you can shop there only if you are a member) and talks of living over 100 years. He took to exercising after the first heart attack. Now, he says, his heart runs like the BMW engine. He is the President of the International Association of Educators for World Peace, of which I am the World Peace Envoy.
Charles, Noor, Mahdood Khan, a Pakistani working for NASA, and self, had invigorating discussions on the grand farce called American elections, how to replace the decadent UNO, Global warming, whether India should sign the N-deal agreement or not. We all unanimously felt that the N-deal agreement with USA was not in the overall interest of India or the Indian subcontinent. I also expounded my World Parliament idea as the President of World Constitution and Parliament Association. They wanted to know how it was different from Neocon's One World Order. I explained them the basic differences and asked them to read the Constitution of World Parliament and another document on World Problems and World Solutions.
Christmas was celebrated in Idaho with Don Harkins, Editor and Publisher of The Idaho Observer, and his wife Ingri Cassel of 'Vaccination Liberation' (founder Walene James), over cake, exotic home made wines, and hot meals prepared by Ingri in consultation with me, as she knew that I do not eat meats. The couple lives in a big loghouse on a five-acre land. They have Sauna cabin, which is heated with firewood. I had Sauna with Don and then electrifying ice rub in sub zero temperature. They also organised my lecture on 10 Commandments of Health at a huge shop called Shabby to Chic, selling beautiful things made by various artists from discarded junk. Ellen, an Acupuncturist and her Chiropractor husband Daniel Frantz, who attended my talk, among 25 others inspite of icy cold weather, invited me to their well-equipped clinic the next day, where Daniel worked on me, while I walked on his back (walking massage).
The New Year was ushered in with 92-year young Prof. Philip Isely, his 56 years old wife Eli and five other couples, at the Mount Vernon Country Club in Colorado. Prof. Philip Isely founded World Constitution and Parliament Association in 1958, which will ceberate its 50th year at a Conference in Mumbai in 2008. I was the guest in their stately mansion in Lakewood area, where Eli (originally from Macedonia) had invited neighbours for a lavish dinner in my honour.
In Florida, I was the Guest of Carol Roberts, MD, who interviewed me on the Tampa Radio on 24th December. The tape of my live talk is available to anyone interested in listening to it. Carol, who runs Wellness Works in Brandon and Sarisota, had visited me in Bombay about 10 years ago. She was holidaying in Rajasthan and came across my magazine Amrit Manthan (journal of holistic healing). She liked it so much that she travelled all the way to Bombay, especially to meet my family and me and had spent a day with us.
Everywhere I stayed with friends, who received me warmly at the airports and dropped me back personally, treated me to good food knowing my taste. In Sedona, I stayed in the rented mansion of Archbishop Larry Jensen and his second wife Glenda Green, writer and painter. In America, practically everyone has a second partner. It is live-in 1234 and out you go by the door over silly differences and false notion of independence !!!
In Alabama, one day we ate an Indian buffet dinner - 10 dollars per head, inclusive of taxes. Atleast 30 tasty dishes were on offer. Needless to say the restaurant was full. An Indian family, originally from Hyderabad, runs it. They said they get their ingredients from India. On another day we had Chinese buffet dinner. Again rich spread and cheap. In Tampa and California, I was treated to Thai food; in New York it was Gujarati home cooked food and Lebanese food at the street cart while sightseeing. The Gujarati friend, Praful Lakhani, who resides on Long Island in a 10-bed room bungalow, was surprised that formal Americans allowed me into their homes. When I told him that barring three (Isely, Roberts and Mercieca, whom I knew for long) all others I was meeting for the first time, he said, "your name should be entered in the Guinness Book of World Records for this".
Americans love their dogs and cats more than they love their neighbours or their soldiers fighting a losing battle in Iraq, Bible in one hand, gun in another. So, they have dog schools, dog houses, dog fashion shows, dog cookery books, dog massage parlours, dog mating corners (like smokers' corners at the airports) and consult psychiatrist for dog depression. I jokingly asked one of the dog lovers, "what is the religion of your dog?" He quickly jogged away with his dog. According to American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, as reported in Costco Connect, this year an estimated $40.8 billion will be spent on pets -- more than Americans spent in 2007 on airfare ($35.5 billion) or $46.4 billions they spent on nursery, elementary and secondary schools.
While in California, I watched an excellent animation film Persipolis (on an Iranian woman) in a theatre and strolled on the clean Santa Monica Boulevard with hostess Sascha Sarnoff, who works with American prisoners. Also met Christine Maggiore (who had last attended my workshop on AIDS and Alternative Medicine, in Durban, in 2000), who gave another horrendous tale of AIDS mafia's manipulations. Christine's 3-year old daughter died last year due to wrong treatment given to her for ear infection. But to cover up their mistakes, the doctors prepared a false postmortem report saying she died due to AIDS related pneumonia and accused Christine of negligence, taking advantage of the fact that Christine was diagnosed HIV positive in 1992. They wanted to penalise her for refusing to take Anti Retroviral drugs. They could not succeed in jailing her because Christine's both children as also her husband who married her inspite of knowing her HIV positive status are all HIV negative. Dr. Md. Ali Al-Bayati's statement challenging the postmortem report also helped. Incidentally, Dr. Al-Bayati is the author of GET ALL THE FACTS : HIV DOES NOT CAUSE AIDS and President of Toxi-Health International.
I did not like New York/Manhattan at all. It is full of ugly highrise buildings, many of which are an eyesore; it is crowded, it is polluted and it is totally commercial. I would describe New York as a city on the run. Visited 85th and 102nd floor gallery of the Empire State Building, and all other famous landmarks, Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty -- got a special pass to enter the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. Usually this pass has to be booked three days in advance for high security reason. But, Paula, a charming security officer, on learning that I was a Yoga expert from India, gave me Statue of Liberty National Monument Pass. The view of New York, Manhattan, Long Island, and Ellis Island from the Pedestal of the Statue of Liberty is very panoramic. Incidentally, the Statue of Liberty was a gift from French people to Americans, and one of the architects and builders was Mr. Eiffel of Eiffel Tower fame.
My only regret is: I should have stayed longer in USA on this maiden trip so that I could have gone to Hawaii, Houston, Miami, Washington and Chicago, where too my friends were waiting to receive me. In that case, may be I could have seen the footprints of Dinosaurs in Jurassic Park in Colorado and met Dr. Ron Paul, the Republican presidential aspirant, about whom we do not hear much in India, but who is very popular with the American voters. They want him to become the next President of USA, because all other candidates (bar one or two) belong to the same gang of criminals - the Bilderbergar group, the arms mafia, the petro-chemical mafia, the Jewish mafia, the Masonic mafia, the CIA all of whom hold not only USA, but the entire world to ransom.