Hina Hussein

The moment when I left my country of origin was very strange for me. I had mixed feelings because I was leaving behind my mother, father, sisters and my friends. I was sad about this but as I was going to meet my husband and his family, it was something I was happy about. My father and one of his friends were with me at the airport. My father was looking sad, I was also missing my mother, sisters and a very cute niece and of course, my father. He hugged me and kissed my forehead many times and told me funny things to make me happy and feel easy - probably also to make himself easy, God knows better. There wasn't any serious fear but I wondered what I would do when I wouldn’t see my family daily? Who would take care of my parents and my sisters if (God forbid) they were ill? What would it be like to stay in USA? How would I have fun without my best friends, because I don't know anybody in US, only my husband and his family?


When my plane landed I was very excited and tired as well. I was waiting for my husband at the airport. The weather was totally different and it was raining outside. I was looking around me and was trying to find where my husband was as my flight was half hour late I wasn't sure if he knew or not. A young lady who was sitting next to me in the plane was with me as I waited for my husband. She came here for a visit and she said nobody was waiting for her and she wanted to stay with me until my husband came. Suddenly I saw my husband coming toward us with a bouquet in his hand. He came and hugged me and I was really happy to see him.


From the airport when I was going home I noticed different things which were changed from my country, for example driving. In Pakistan, vehicles drive on the left while here it's on the right. The second thing I noticed is a specific smell of flowers, because I came here in the spring. I saw flowers everywhere around me. Thirdly I noticed there are more pigeons than in Pakistan and some kind of birds which I never saw before. The traffic signs for pedestrians and rapid use of credit cards instead of cash were different things for me. I have visited the Bronx Zoo, gone to beaches, shopping and to parties here; it is great fun. I notice there is more variety of food than in my country.


The best thing about New York is everything is clear and easy even for those who don't know much about this place. Every information is visible on sign boards and in the offices, people are there to help you if you want some information. I got my driving permit and I was very impressed by the procedure. You get an online appointment and when you take the test they send you your ID at home. It is the same when you want to see a doctor: if you have medical insurance you can make an online appointment and can have a check-up by a primary care physician. But if you don't know the English language, it's a problem for you. I really appreciate institutions like the English Speaking Union which are working really well and helping people learn English and get confidence. I think it's fun to live in New York.


When I came here, it was tough for the first week for me to live comfortably, due to the changed food, weather and time difference. My mind was a bit confused. But with time everything was alright .I talk to my parents and sisters every day and see them on Skype. I’m feeling happy and blessed. I’m preparing to go to college now. God bless New York and America! You should have faith in God and in yourself. If you work hard with dedication, surely you will get a good reward!

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