Mar 18, 2013

Life In USA

When the news of me going to USA broke out, there were mixed reactions coming in from all the quarters, happy parents, excited sister, crazy friends, jealous relatives,bitchy aunties and a nervous me.Advices started pouring in from all those who had never been to USA and the one’s in USA kept mum.Everytime a friend of mine left for USA and called me, my first question to them had always been “What’s your first impression about USA ?” and since they are not quite expressive like me , I never got a satisfactory answer. The moment had come when I was going to get an answer for my own question.
After all the melodrama at the airport(a typical Indian farewell) I went for  checkin with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes. Due to my dad’s influence got to travel business class for the first time ever in my life… and so it finds a place in my blog.. Business class means you are going to be treated like a queen. That was the only solace during the journey. The rest of the journey was terrible and pathetic. Being an aerophobic, I almost felt like the 24 hour journey would be my last ever .Reached JFK airport  at 10.30pm . And then I asked myself… how do you find USA. My facebook message inbox were brimming with messages like “DUDE , be happy you are in USA” .
After all the technical snags and stuff, finally I reached at 3.30 in the morning where I was in no mood to analyse what USA is. Over the week, I got to learn a lot about this place and this is what I feel about  it:

To start with let me talk about people

People : Here people are straightforward. Here you wouldn’t find people misleading you. Incase they don’t know a thing, they would say it on your face. Right from a cab driver to the reception desk,no one would try minting extra money from you. There have been incidents where my friends have been conned. But that’s a rare case as compared to the huge number of occurences in India. Here everyone treats you with respect.  I learnt a fact that saying Hi, hello to unknown people creates a lot of difference.It helps you break the ice between two individuals. There have been days when I would be nervous and panicky here in USA to get into a cab alone and go to markets and malls , but a single Hi from the cab driver always made me feel better. The cab drivers here are so polite ,decent and kind unlike their indian counterparts who just wait for a foreign tourist to board their cab so that they can loot them. Men here treat women with respect.There is no pushing,shoving  no nothing…As far as people are concerned, better stay away from Indians over there.. that will make your life hell lot easy. Blend in the US culture( which is not just partying and boozing) and you are bound to love this place.As far as the Indians  here are concerned, the moment they step into USA  they feel they are of the likes Of Obama and Bill Clinton. You may find lots of indecent and weird Indians here …stay away from them.
Food : If you are on a short trip to USA ,carry every damn indian thing along with you rather than coming here and paying double the rate for the same stuff. And don’t come here with the typical mentality ( we can have pizzas and burgers), its not that easy. Even If you feel like having a pizza , a taxi to the nearest pizza corner would charge minimum 6$. Am a hardcore nonvegetarian , but I couldn’t stand the sight of frozen meat here. I fear I may end up turning vegetarian. Everything here is in a frozen state.Defrost and have the stale food is the mantra to survive here in USA.If you are a hard core foodie and  if you are very used to the hot tasty food served on your table daily by your poor mum then you are going to starve.
Car : You are paralysed if you don’t have one or rather if you don’t know to drive. No one walks here,everyone drives. All that you find on roads are cars and more cars.If you don’t have a car, you need to be dependent on some of your moron colleagues, bear their mood swings to reach to the nearest place.Here our rickshaws win my votes and the respect for the rickshaws have multiplied threefold.

Family : The only thing that India lamely boasts of is the family ,culture and values.Here too people value their families, rather better than us.They see to it they spend time with their family on an outing atleast once a year.In india most of the houses, to spend time with family means to order food at home from expensive restaurants…that’s it. Not everyone here is a Kim Kardashian or Humphrey Davies .Here people respect their family and the values.

Helpdesk : Here helpdesks are meant to help out people unlike our Indian counterparts which are set up to test people’s patience to the limit. I have had an experience of calling these helpdesk people for various reasons and the way they handled my issues is commendable. They see to it you are at ease. And when they say we are sorry for inconvenience they mean it.
Transportation : There is none.Everyone uses their private cars and you would find no one walking on the street.No trains , no busses for long distances .So this is where I felt , GOD!! We talk so much about  The USA and there are no  proper transportation facilities even to the nearby location.For a Mumbaikar who is so used to travelling by trains , even if its  by bearing the kicks and blows ,its like a sudden paralytic attack. Your movement is totally restricted.

Night life: Walking  all alone to the nearby building can  be quite scary ,its terribly dark in here .And every shop shut downs by 8-9pm here.Even at JFK airport most of the shops shut down by 10pm. And I was like Gosh!! Our airport has the shops running 24/7 .So this becomes quite frustrating specially if you are a Mumbaikar in USA. People  back in India feel USA is all about party and booze and lavish lifestyle. I would say there is a lot of hype created about life in USA .People may party and have fun here but then life here gets boring if you don’t have someone to talk to.There is so much of privacy in here that one cannot walk down to the neighbours apartment without informing even if its an Indian who just came in yesterday to USA. There is a lot of loneliness here. If you want to lead a great life here, you need to have your family or friends.Or else it becomes monotonous to come back home and watch TV or chat away.
The most important thing in USA is that you need to be totally independent.You just cant be dependent on anyone for anything. Living in USA teaches you the way of living life. It makes you responsible, independent. Those who are highly dependent on others for every small thing are going to have a tough time in here.

USA taught me to value my friendships and my relationships with people. Everyday when I come back to my room and I find no one to talk to, no one to share anything with I realize what I am missing, I realize what I took for granted. No one looks forward for your coming back home here.Its the empty rooms waiting. No one cooks  food for you even If you are sick. Even if you are sick , you need to take care of yourself. Respect  relationships and don’t  take them for granted.
Coming to USA is a best experience in itself and I recommend it to everyone because being here will teach you the right way to live life.

My verdict would be: USA is overrated in several aspects and life isn’t all about partying here .Only the Fittest can survive here alone. You can have the best life in here if you have your friends or your family here


  1. I like the verdict.. that's the truth...

  2. So true.... I know how it is. Trust me.

    1. @himanshu : I am sure people learn a lot after staying there even for a month just like it happened to me..
      Totally happy with the way USA treated me... :) i hope you too had some real good experience... feel free to share...

  3. Bundle of emotions and experience makes it a good write up:)

    As freedom of speech is our birthright(being indian),i would like to express my views on some of your thoughts are pretty judgemental:)

    1)"each one of us shud live in USA to know how a life is lived"

    i never knew only if one lives in a particular posh country (economically rich) ,we would get to know the real life..:)

    2)"indian outing means ordering a food frm a expensive restaurant"

    and definitly spending time with family in india is not bout ordering expensive food,its bout going to lonavla,mahabaleshwar,shimla ,manali to name a few:)..if u had visited tourist spots in india u would have observed many families with kids running around:)..your perception about the above seems rather personal..

    and if point(1) and (2) are about your personal experience alone,my apologies for the same:)...As far as your outlook on expereinces with US people is concerned i would rather keep mum..:) india is not the safest for women either!!

    apart from that your other details about food,helpDesk ,transport and nightlife are worth a read:)
    Wishing you a happy stay in THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA..:)
    stay safe

    1. Thanks lavanya i appreciate your efforts in posting a genuine feed back....

      1) i would want to say by the statement " each one of us...." i wished to say indirectly step out of your country and then may be we all would realise what all stuff we take for granted right from our maids to our richshaw wallahs...

      2)yes i made the point about families, because its a notion that all Indians have or atleast a majority that the firangs have no family values. So i just wanted to make a point that its not only indians in the whole world who have family values, it is found among others too.

      And lavanya we indians should learn how these foreigners treat their tourists or rather female tourists. You would feel free as a bird. We indians should learn how to treat our foreign tourists.... I feel safe more than ever ..more than what i ever felt in my country. (you should be here once and you would realise what i am trying to say)

      Thanks a lot for your wishes... keep reading and i truly appreciate your efforts..:):)

  4. Nice write-up & though it is very much true in most of the aspects everyone sees USA with their own set of preconceived notions. Like many ppl think that moving to US is nothing but easy way of printing $$; but how hard it is for someone to work 24*7 here is not known to everyone. I have been here for the last 1 year n i can very much agree to what you have written n terms of Transport, Private Cars, People n empty homes (since i have gone thru all those experiences) at the end it all depends upon wat u really expected. if you think that living here is a piece of cake den u wud get d biggest shock of ur life on Day 1 if it turns out that u don't hav any dear/ long-lost friend/ relative staying here :-D. The funny part is u get used to life over here pretty quickly (apart frm d fact that dey don't have street lights which still freaks me out). You learn not to expect/ remain dependent on anyone; stop giving ur time n ear to constant bickering from friends/ roomies, you learn to ACCEPT & ADJUST a lot (which you are expected to do once you are married) ;-). But at the end all that matters is how you want to live in USA & what you learn (at a professional & personal front) during your stay :-D

    1. @unknown :you exactly spoke watever i tried to write in this long post . couldnt agree more to you

    2. Wish you had a face and were not unknown :)

  5. Aptly written..I too had come to USA in November 2 years back from Mumbai.Initially I hated this place like anything..Because I had come in winter..there was dependency on people for transportation, dependency on laptop etc.. But eventually I got to know about the good things which you have mentioned. Respect for people is the most important thing I liked here. When I used to go to a coffee shop, I would see old age couples enjoying their coffee. I was so fascinated by it. In India, people would stare them and make them feel as if they are not allowed to enjoy life in old age. I love India like anything but these are few things which we should certainly learn from here. People really don't treat you as foreigners here rather they are warm towards you. Atleast this is my experience since last 2 years. There are certain things such as transportation where they should certainly improve but nonetheless we can learn many things from USA certainly.

  6. @rekha:i totally agree with you.had transportation been improved then life would be heaven here....


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