Saturday, July 18, 2009

Why I Will Miss the US of A

In the past I've written a lot about how I hate NRIs. And even after coming here, I haven't always been kind to the USA. But after living here for 2 years, (both as a student with no money and as a software engineer with some money) I've come to realize that when I move back to Chennai, I will miss a lot of things here. I decided to put them on black and white here, so that I can come back and read it when I feel particularly homesick.

1) I will miss the food here definitely. Even for a vegetarian, there is so much of delicious food available and not just American. Will miss pancakes and waffles (the ones at IHOP, Perkins n Waffle House as well as the ones I make), cheap Chinese restaurants, Chipotle and other such Mexican places, McCafe, Burger King, P.F Chang, the awesome sandwiches at Subway, Potbelly, Milios etc, the awesome deep dish pizza at Old Chicago, Olive Garden (the bread there is heavenly) and other similar Italian places - these are just a few.

2) My car. Owning and driving a sedan as opposed the hatchbacks in India (I know there are nice big cars in India too, but I can most certainly afford only a Santro or Swift when I move back)

3) Driving at 80-100 mph on a deserted highway in the night, with just the radio for company. I love driving through the night on road trips with S. Stopping at the McD at 2 in the night for dinner, watching the sun rise across the horizon. Again, I love road trips!

4) A lovely apartment that overlooks the woods. The view from my patio is sooo amazing. I love sitting on my patio with a book and a nice tall cold drink.

5) My awesome French tutor. I have been learning French for a couple of months now from this French girl who is studying at UW. I like learning a language better when I am not in a class and when there is no fixed syllabus. The lesson just flows based on what I want to do that day.

6) Ok this is a bit frivolous, but people here laugh at my jokes! Really they do. The most inane comments and sarcasm cracks them up :-)

7) Fast internet, Wii and other such things unavailable in India.

8) The fact that I am able to return something if I am not happy with it. And actually getting money back and not store credit. Sometimes, reading all the reviews in the world does not guarantee that you will like that product.

9) I like that most people on the street have a smile for me and take time to say Hello and Good Morning. The world is certainly a more beautiful place with more smiles.

10) The feeling of being independent and confident that you can do whatever you set your mind to. I see people in their 60s doing a Masters after retirement and people building their own patios and fixing their car. Even after just living alone in my apartment, I feel more self reliant. I know women in India who live with their husbands or roommates and sometimes in laws, have servants to help them clean (house, clothes, dishes) and still complain that they do so much work. I love the fact that I live alone (on and off with my husband), and still I manage to cook and clean and keep my home neater and prettier than most of my friends' in India. I have lived alone for extended periods both in India and in the US and life in the US is tougher hands down and I feel I am a better person for it. I have to thank America for making me believe more in myself and for showing me that I can do it!

I am not giving up my Indian passport, nor am I losing the tingle when I hear our national anthem, but I do have something to say. I love America!


Sandeep said...

Welcome to the club!!

My head still does bow to india and the numerous varieties of Biriyanis that it has to offer - Hyderabadi, Ambur, Karaikudi, Madras road-kadi ...the list is endless!

Jinguchakka said...

hey, hey, hey!!
You made me remnisce my days in the U.S.
I'd agree with almost of all you said.
I could do with your French tutor, though. ;-) Ask her whether she is vadakalai French. My mom prefers vadakalai only. lol.

C'est la vie, mon ami.

janani said...

@sandeep - I write this really heartfelt post and all you have to talk about is biriyani?? Ok that settles it, we are moving back to Chennai.

@jingu - So which ones don't you agree with? And btw, I checked with my tutor, she isn't a vadakalai - tough break buddy :-)

Oooh, I love this. Since I am a girl who is your friend, you have to use amie not ami!! :-) Wow I can't believe I am correcting someone else's French!

Jinguchakka said...

In friendship, there is no gender!!
How is that!!

Janani Sundarrajan said...

hey Name Sake

i love(d) reading your posts and even though I don't know you, I feel a little sad that you are leaving the US. I hope that you continue with the blogs and good luck with the moving. I live in NY ( born and raised in Chennai too)and understand that it is going to take a great deal of adjustment on your part and I wish you all the very best. Have a Great Life

Janani Sundarrajan :)

janani said...

@jingu - Nah, that argument doesn't fly! Your French is just bad :-)

@my name sake - Wow, I've never known anyone with my same name and last name, especially the way it's spelled. Well, I am not leaving the US any time soon (unless the Immigration feels differently and cancels my visa :-))

Janani Sundarrajan said...

Whoops tot u did..anyway I was equally surprised to see your name when I just happened to google my name :)

RaviB said...

Awesome post, wonder how i missed reading it before. Unakulla ipdi oru 'sentiment' olinjindrukardhu ippa dhan therinjudhu.
"on and off with my husband" - Aathukarar-a ipdi light switch madhiri aakitiye ! Idha keka aal illanu nenachutiya ?

Anonymous said...

Hi I love reading your blogs, aana one puriyala, hate NRI's solringa,
chennai miss panran solringa, love america, mothama enna thaan solringa puriyalai...