Things a new desi in Amreeka will find amusing:
  • Everything is topsy-turvy – from light switches to car directions.
  • Everything is huge. Corridors, classrooms, vehicles, roads, footpaths – they are so massive! If you have difficulty walking, then Walmart offers you a little car to move around for shopping. (Such huge is Walmart, and other supermarkets!)
  • Its all so clean – Trust me, no Indian in the America has ever or is likely to pee or spit (sh*t) on these roads, or similar actions they wouldn’t hesitate in India.
  • Taps are like joysticks, as in the latest Batman movie. For the mechies, they have two degrees of freedom; for others, you can control the temperature and water flow with a single knob.
  • There are machines for everything. I saw two trucks in the campus, one crushed twigs into fine wood powder and spew it into the other. I even saw a machine for sweeping roads!
  • My house doesn’t have a ceiling fan, but there is an AC and a heater.
  • Buses have seat belts but no clutches. The bus I went in had an automatic load lifter, the driver just put the luggage on the cart and it automatically lifted and placed it in the bus! They also have strange abstract things like hand-sanitizers and route maps.
  • Buses also have inbuilt GPS so you can track their location from your cellphone. This technology is actually useful when during hasty mornings, every minute counts. Also during winter so you don’t need to wait out there freezing yourself.
  • Speaking of tech-freakiness, weather apps on your cellphones (unlike the Met department in India) are reasonably accurate, so you need to carry your umbrella only when it says high probability of rains.
  • All notes from 1$ to 100$ have the same dimensions! A dime (10 cent coin) is smaller than a cent and a quarter (25 cent) is bigger than a dime!
  • No one breaks rules, a biker will halt on an empty road in the dead of the night waiting for the red signal to go green. So do pedestrians!
  • Its the rule of the (Indiana) state that vehicles should yield to pedestrians. That makes it possible (and fun) to cross the road when a speedy car is approaching us and we can continue walking without the fear of being run over.
  • Its impolite not to hold the door open for the person walking behind you.
  • Squirrels here have no stripes on them, guess they haven’t been blessed by bhagwaan Shree Ram!

Overall, things might appear exciting and “cool” for a newbie (fresh-off-the-boat is the term) but soon, you realize life is totally predictable. I miss the uncertainty of Mumbai – those sporadic torrential rains which have served an excuse for the delays of millions of office-goers, the traffic-jams which teach you what patience is, and the crowd in the morning local trains that teach you what life is all about – Survival!