A sudden gush of hot air greeted me, when I got off the aircraft on Aug 6th 2005 at 2 am. I was like - 'What place have I landed in?', 'Is this the place I am going to spend a significant portion of my life?(Then it was 2 years, though it is a lot longer now....)'.
Excluding the two month long lazy trip to Bangalore last summer, I really have been around Tempe all while. So it does make sense to put some thoughts about my life in this _____(read blank) town.
This guy who's never been away from home had set his foot on the US soil (read concrete) and was raring to go. A lot of expectations from within and from others made him pretty responsible and not take things too lightly. But would this thing last.....
No more relatives around, all friends(mostly new ones), roommates, (who could be the best thing to happen to you, or at times the worst too!), professors, bosses at work, students of other nationalities in the classes all would seem new to this person, who has never been in a hostel either. A not-so-frequent call to back home, counting the number of minutes spoken(or the duration the calling card would last for) used to be the case with most of us. But thanks to the ever reliable company, it did seem reasonable to talk to loved ones pretty frequently. Weekends used to be fixed for webcam chat and voice chat, by those who felt 'Seeing is Believing'. For me, weekend meant sleeping for long. I still believe so.
A totally new variation in teaching style, asignments, labs, exams seemed wierd initially, but not anymore. Waiting outside a professor's office, during office hours to ask help with assignments or to talk about being prospective research assistants(read funding!) all took place. And I did land up with a very sweet professor too! There's no feeling for an exam here as back in India, and the grades really don't matter after a while. Research does matter a lot though!
A sudden change from eating cooked food to preparing food without a transitional phase in between was something shocking. But it was handled comfortably, thanks to tips from mom, cooking turns amongst roomies and free food give-aways by the hotels here. Why would I speak more about the food, it should be more emphasis on other stuff done in these two years!
Shopping was something that fascinated me in this country and I would shop away to glory, after all there is a credit card to pay! Be it groceries or other things, I would enjoy it.
The types of people I came across would be either good or bad, opportunistic or helpful. This stint did teach me a lot and made me more independent, patient(after all who would listen to me shout, other than my family). I also figured out it improved my time-management skills etc. I found myself at the receiving end, when people helped me initially. But, I am able to do it now much to my satisfaction!
After all, these two years weren't two bad and hope the next couple of years would be as smooth as this, or perhaps smoother!
God bless me and the world!