And as the day progessed , I went from the depths of depression to getting a vague idea of what the great american dream is about ! Now now , have I changed ? Have I donned on a pair of sunglasses; peirced my ears , plugged into a Ipod and refer to every other person with a very sprightly "yo dude ! " . NO I don't. I still want to see people spiiting on the road, I still want the cars to speed by over the zebra crossing with not an ioata of concern for the pedestritians, I want to the see more of the cudidar kameez than skin , I want to eat food , that would be still food by indian standards. So what am I ?
The day started with a TA orientation program. I was the only Indian in the lot. The others were chinese( 7:1 , I was outnumbered ). The graduate programs director met us after that, and gave us an idea of what the TA evaluation was and in the meantime, she made an attempt to make us feel at home. Washignton she said, has a multi ethnic community, with a lots of chinese, moslems( my race ) and other misc originns. This was the dull part, and I was coming to rue my decision to come to a university far far away. The paper work futher alienated me from myself , putting in great doubt the prupose of my visit while i was filling out that part of the form. What ensued was a better. It should be pointed out however that for my state of mind at that time, any thing , even a brocolli salad would qualify to be a good agent of change.
I was taken on a guided tour of the student stamp union by a Liu Wen , my student mentor. I was pleasantly surprised to to see that I could infact carry on a conversation with a chinese. We talked about chemical physics....about china and India, about the very visible lack of population here, about missing home, about going home in december ...time flew like it has never done in the past two days....we reached the student stamp union and went up to the resturnt for a sponsored lunch. As is the custom in most restrts , the only thing vegertarians do is to sit to stare , while all around there is a veritable massacre . Everythign that can move is cut up ( and for the things that couldn't move ..well they did not have a chance in the first place ! ) . I had some french friies and a pepsi.
The third day saw me take an english interview. There was some miscommunication between the interviewer and myself , for he apparently heard " I come from India" as " I Hindia phrom kome" . Obviously I did the pass the interview and had to take a listenning dictation ; where in I had to faithfully reproduce what I heard. "What is your name " is to be written as " What is your name" and not as " Wat iss syour mane " as we Indians do. I salute the Maryland English Institute for their objectivity.
US is a strange place, more so to new people. I shall write more on this later , for I still don't have a roof over my head that I can proudly call my own !