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🇺🇸 America / first impressions

Ugh. Where are all my friends?

America was always this distant magical place growing up. In fact, that was the idea of "abroad" for most of middle class noses-in-books children. But then at some point, globalization happens, you get Internet, you get Oreos(handful of variants, unlike the 18 variants in US) and and your Urban Indian city isn't that different from a major American City.

But while the charm of America might have faded, charm of Silicon Valley only grew as I got into tech. It's the place where magic happens! Or is it? While I don't see it is as a distant unicorn I used think of it back in college, it's still an exciting place to be in if you work in tech.

So, I am finally visiting US, on a work trip. My pool picked up somebody from Instagram's office yesterday, and it was still a big deal, because these companies always seemed too distant(and with all the visa restrictions, still are) but there I was, right outside them. However, my time here has't been a very eventful till now (just a week in, also kinda expected). I am in East Palo Alto, and it's definitely not the most happening places. And with no street lights here, it's scary roaming these streets post 8.

Food

This one's on me, and somewhere on Indian culture and my upbringing. We are not taught to take care of ourselves, so as kids (or even as adult males in most cases) you don't do the basic things like cooking, washing clothes yourself. With the population of a 1.5 billion, there are house helps available for all those things.

So, I am pretty much dependent on outside food here, which is fine. It's not that I am not open to new food, but the hard part for me with new cuisines is figuring out to eat them, which sauces go with which, do you eat this thing with hands or with fork.

As you can see, I take myself too seriously. And I worry too much about my image in front of others.

Okay, this talk about food is getting darker.

Anyway, shout out to Owen's Hummus Place and Saaj, really loved their food! I am a big fan of Street food, and enjoyed a lot of it in Hyderabad, so was looking forward to trying the food truck near my office. It was okay.

Living

I am staying in a company provided cozy AirBnb with a Chinese post-doc at Stanford. Neither of us are overly extrovert. Every now and then we bump into each other and make some awkward small talk.

Niceties

One thing that's striking about US is their niceties. I say 'Thank You' more times here in a day than I do in India over a week. It's not that I am rude back there in India, but I just don't feel like there is any need for you to thank me when you borrow a tissue paper from my desk. It's a paper, just take it! I'd be a monster to say no to that!

Tinder

Love works the same way everywhere.