Friday, August 06, 2010

Pardes

Its been a month, I have moved out of Hyderabad, well not for good, but yes surely for some time. In IT parlance am in a long term onsite assignment. So am here in South California in the lovely city of San Diego, and its been more than a month. I have been here before, but those were all short term, maximum being couple of months so this was different.

Firstly, there was a whole lot of convincing to be done at home, yes my wife doesn’t like the option of being away from me. (I know am irresistible) It was a career shift, so it was in the pipeline for sometime and we both ignored it, till it came upon us. And then we decided to chug along the master plan of LIFE.

Shifting is a big job, first you need to pack all your stuff somehow into those huge bags which have to weigh exactly 26 kilograms each unless you want to burn a hole in your pocket paying for excess luggage. You need to carry some basic cooking stuff, at-least that’s the norm and who am I to challenge the norm. You have to meet and say bye to all people and friends, coz you never know when you would meet them again as the stay is not pre-defined.

Coming to how stuff works here, no am still not an expert but its just a list down on stuff the way they were thrown to me.
  1. You cant do anything here unless you have a Social Security
  2. Everyone wants to sell you stuff but no one would unless you have a credit score. And you won’t have a credit score unless you take a loan and pay it back and no zero credit isn’t a good thing down here.
  3. You can work your way around by paying lot of security deposits, which was taken care of by my benevolent colleagues here.
  4. Paying by cash is looked down upon.
  5. Temperatures and distances are in Fahrenheit and Miles. So when people ask you whats the temperature back their in your place, you got to do C/5= (F-32)/9 in your mind before you can answer. Well 105 is a safe answer unless you stay in Shimla or Kashmir.
  6. No one knows what a lakh is? Or for that matter ladies finger and brinjal. And I thought they were English words.
  7. You buy most of your stuff second hand, from random people looking up craiglist. ( This website has been a great blessing)
  8. There are no tube-lights or ceiling fans in any of the houses(Ok any of the houses I have seen).
  9. Saving paper is over-rated. On one side they try to save it, and on the other they use it for everything and you know where am getting it.
  10. Any activity on the cell phone is charged, there are no freebies.
  11. Your post box is spammed with promotional mails.
  12. Wine shops are bigger and better than the most of the shopping malls back there in India. You are spoilt with choice.
  13. Offers are there round the clock 365 days a year. There is no fixed price for any product, different outlets offer different prices, so buy and then don’t ask anyone else how much they bought it for.
  14. You get to celebrate your b’day, twice in a year, one when your family and friends back in India wish you, and then the actual day here in the US. :)

Well this list will go on as I would keep discovering new things about this place. Settling down in a new place hasn’t been new to me and I can adjust pretty easily. I have stayed at so many places with people coming from varied backgrounds that I can easily get along. Still I miss India and home, not to say my lovely wife and all you wonderful friends. Internet and Vonage are the only things apart from the free flowing beer and wine that is keeping me going.

Watch this space for more.

4 comments:

Anu Menon said...

2 bags of 23 each i think... which airlines did u take?

Sabarish Chandrasekharan said...

hehehe understand it...especially the credit history part.

Arijit said...

don't forget us we still love u

Monalisa said...

hehe..

that was funny. I liked the two days birthday best.

Best wishes.