You should start writing even before you have anything to say

This is my first lesson learned today. Why it is so important? I’ll tell you later.

Midwestern United States is interesting. The completely different culture, work ethics, accent and food habits, which initially, I must admit, overwhelmed me, are now fun to observe. Adding ‘lah’ jokingly at the end of a sentence earns me surprised stares from those around me. Half the people don’t believe me when I say I’ve come from Singapore. A lady, perplexed at the mention, even went to the extent of asking me if Singapore was in India! I can imagine the confusion though. Poor thing.

I often find wild rabbits or squirrels on the streets. I mostly see them hop around from one side of the road to another. I have only seen animals on road in India before. But these ones are different. They are big, and brown. My friend fed wafers to a squirrel once. She said it was fun to watch it nibble away at the wafer.

It’s also a new experience to see so much space. There are huge shops and houses which have rooms no one uses and corners that are unused. Space being a luxury in Singapore, I do not find offices or rooms or shops which don’t utilize what they have.

Food is expensive and we try to cook by ourselves sometimes. But for grocery shopping we have to walk 15 minutes to the bus stop, travel on the bus for half an hour just to reach there. We all don’t have cars and it’s really difficult trying to get from one place to another. Also, most offices close at 4 pm and I have never before in my life seen people reach back home by 5. I myself have never stopped working before 6 pm earlier.

The funniest part is trying to adjust with the local accent. Although people are very friendly, it’s difficult to understand them. So a few days back when I got into a bus and asked the driver if he had a coin in exchange for my note, I looked at his face blankly for about 5 minutes before I understood he was trying to say “Don’t worry about it”.

My work is fun, though. Everyone says it’s my kind of a thing. Probably that is why I enjoy myself so much when I meet my professor every morning and discuss my insights about a new paper with him. Being at this university is amazing because some of their staff is very famous. My professor is friends with almost all of the people here and I can’t wait to meet a famous mathematician or a famous computer scientist. Usually I take back a lot of things from what my Professor and I talk about. My lesson learned today was important because it’s the first lesson I learn as a 21 year old! =)

It’s interesting if your birthday falls on a day when you are in a strange new land with new people around you. When you are not the center of attraction because nobody knows it’s your birthday. It’s a day when you can reflect on all the past birthdays that you have had, treat yourself to a nice lunch and party at night with the few people who matter in your new world =)

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21 Responses to You should start writing even before you have anything to say

  1. Eric says:

    Great post! Thanks for sharing you experiences. It must be like living on a different planet.

  2. Akshay says:

    It is indeed important to have a car there….I always like to watch squirrels eating…… I can’t imagine to be back from work so soon….actually when I went there I was really surprised to see people have their dinner at 6:30 PM….It’s crazy….hey If it’s your birthday… all my best wishes!!

  3. noelia ~ says:

    lol i’m always excited when i see a squirrel too xD

    traveling is always fun, you start to compare everything to “back home” haha

  4. Jeff says:

    Yeah, space is a luxury. An expensive luxury. I’m so over squirrels, probably because I’ve seen so many, rabbits too. I should travel more often or just start to period.

  5. Bharat says:

    Kudos to you for giving me a picture of what it’s like… I had the same experience moving from Bangalore to London, but I haven’t been able to put it in as many words.. the differences are too many, even when you’re looking at the biggest…

    and I hate it when people ask me… “Which place do you like better?”…. I mean, that’s an unanswerable question!

  6. Quarter Past Seven says:

    @Eric: Thank you for your comment! Yes it’s a completely different world..! Also, the official forms I fill refer to me as a “temporary alien” which makes if funny and worse at the same time!

    @Akshay: Thank you, it was indeed my birthday on the 5th. I eat dinner early too. At 6 sometimes.. so that wasn’t a different experience..but a LOT of other things were!

  7. Quarter Past Seven says:

    @Noelia: Yes yes, you are right about comparing everything to “back home” and it’s even worse for me because I am technically from 2 countries now.. and what I refer to as home is debatable for most people!

    @Jeff: Traveling is always exciting. It’s wonderful to meet new people and learn new things!

    @Bharat: Yes, that question is pathetic! I mean, come on! I am not a kid with two kinds of candies in my hand. It’s my bloody identity for heaven’s sake! Although I try to give a diplomatic answer when faced with a question like that, I am always made to feel like a traitor if I say singapore and a sad and depressed lunatic if I say delhi.

  8. jane says:

    what i lovedddd abt tat is tat a aren’t cribbing.. it’s almost as if ya were livin on ya own, celebratiing life as it were…- teh nostalgia left behind, teh curisity integrated in ya ready-to-absorb mind..
    verp optimistic n happy post :)
    mayyy ya carve a new n happpppy world 4yarself “)

  9. Gonecase says:

    Seems you are having fun in your new found home. Havn’t been to that place so can’t comment but thanks to you, got a picture :)
    And HAPPY BIRTHDAY :D

  10. Quarter Past Seven says:

    Thank you, Jane! :) I think it sucks to crib about things..If you can’t do anything about something, find humor in it! That’s the best thing to do :)

    @Gonecase: Thank you so much for your wishes! I am having fun in my new place.. although, nothing beats dilli ki streets!

  11. filarial says:

    Just replace the “lah” with a “Yah” at the end of each sentence and you will fit right into the midwest..:D

    Nice post..:)

  12. Quarter Past Seven says:

    Oh yes! That’s true (@yah) :D Thanks for visiting!

  13. Sutta says:

    Happy Budday! :D

  14. Quarter Past Seven says:

    Thanku! :)

  15. traveling would be so fun. I haven’t travelled much really, but I plan to!! It really must be different living in a new place, but all the same I think its so exciting too. Like learning new customs, just watching how people do the same things, but so different. Exciting post though!! Ps Happy bday!

  16. Akshay says:

    You have been Tagged yet again!! check my poetry blog!!

  17. peeves says:

    louwely post!

  18. Bharat says:

    ah, crap… sorry about that… must’ve been unconscious… but never fear, your anonymity has been restored :)

  19. Quarter Past Seven says:

    @againstthegrain: oh yess! it’s awesome to travel! I hope I can do more though.. but i keep spending all my money I have nothing saved for plane tickets!

    @Akshay: Oooh okay i ll check it out

  20. Quarter Past Seven says:

    @peeves: thanks ! Yes i will update… soon soon

    @Bharat: ah! I just mentioned it.. I didn’t have a problem with it.. I wouldn’t have told you my real one otherwise!:)

  21. peeves says:

    soon as in within-the-nwxt-two-days soon? or sometime-before-the-next-century soon?

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