Eleven things that will happen when you move to the USA
*Eleven things that will happen when you move to the United States*
1. You will get complimented on your English.
As strange as it may sound, you will be confused if it is a compliment or an insult. Most people ask if you learned English after moving to the U.S. You will spend the next five minutes explaining the Indian education system.
2. You will mentally ‘correct’ spellings ( and give up quickly)
All your life you have spelt words in British English. Now you will miss the ‘u’ in color and go back to change ‘spelt’ to ‘spelled’
3. You will find yourself explaining the geographical diversity in India.
People WILL ask you if it is really HOT in India. You will jokingly ask them if they meant the spices or the weather. Then explain the geographical diversity of India. Oceans, beaches, deserts, forests, and mountains.
4. You will be smiled at and you will constantly wonder if you have curry on your T-shirt.
People are friendly in India but you are not smiled at by strangers. Smiling is a fantastic experience and people in the US smile a lot. You will quickly learn to differentiate the smiles. The polite smile, the genuine smile and the big ‘what an adorable baby’ smile.
5. You will get bamboozled by the choices in grocery stores.
Whole milk, 2% fat milk, 1% fat milk, almond milk, soya milk, coconut milk and the list goes on. You will miss the simplicity of just buying cow milk or buffalo milk. The choices are too much for your senses for the first few months. Add bread and eggs to the list.
6. You will become a master of currency and weather conversion.
You won’t be able to help it. You will convert everything in Indian Rupees and wonder why everything is so expensive. You will give yourself a year to get over this habit. Till then you will stop wasting your veggies and will clean your plate because spinach costs triple! Similarly, you will start adding 32 and complicate your near non-existent math skills to convert weather from Celsius to Fahrenheit. You will give up on the kilometers to miles conversion.
7. You will find yourself repeating everything you say.
Your accent will not be understood easily. Even though you speak impeccable English, you will struggle with the accent. ( I remember an instance when I tried to order a pizza through the phone. I spoke English the way I always have and the pizza person couldn’t understand my order even after repeating myself several times. I had to give the phone to my husband who placed the order in the adapted accent. Job got done in seconds. ) Thus, knowingly, you will adapt to the local accent to make things easier for you. Then, unknowingly, you will use that accent with your friends back in India. You will be teased mercilessly for ’turning into an umrican’.
8. You will miss street food.
If you are a foodie, you will continuously crave yummy street delicacies that are part of the daily life in India. You will dream of Chaat, Paav Bhaji, Pani Puri, Bhel, Bhutta, and Dosa. Few restaurants in the US may offer them to you but you will have to be in the big cities like New York, Atlanta or the Bay Area!
You will get temporarily upset with your sister when she uploads Pani Puri photos on Instagram.
9. You will get asked if you miss India.
And your first thought will be YES! I miss domestic help. You will then cover up your emotions by explaining the beautiful chaos that’s India and how India is feeling for you and not only a place where you spent your formative years. You will then sigh and get back to doing the dreary chores.
10. You will miss ‘Maa ke haath ka khana’
You will be encouraged when you cook food every day. You will know in your hearts that you miss your mother’s cooking. You will lovingly ask her for recipes and try cooking them LIVE on FaceTime. It will never taste the same.
11. You will give up explaining the Barista at Starbucks that Chai Tea is essentially TEA TEA.
You will laugh heartily at the ridiculous sounding tea and coffee names at Starbucks. Explaining the Barista that you just want chai or just want tea will be a pointless exercise. They will insist on selling you Chai Tea. You will joke about how your Masala Spice Chai Latte Tea with extra milk and cream basically tastes like coffee.
PS: How could this slip my mind! Get ready for the invasion of the toilet paper! You will not find health faucets anywhere, at all. ( Unless, it’s an Indian household- that too, rare)
What has your experience been?