I’ve been in the US for a little over two weeks, mainly in beautiful southern California. I also spent a weekend in Boulder, Colorado, a paradise surrounded by beautiful snow covered mountains. At times, it all feels like a dream. I know that I will be out of Mother India for five weeks. At times, given that I’m on vacation I really don’t know what day it is. The sunny skies of California and the ocean lure one into a dreamlike state. The Rocky Mountains really makes me appreciate the beauty of the States. It is such a different world from Mother India.
I’ve been going shopping in grocery and retail stores and the abundance and choices are mind boggling. I think that I’ve noticed this in my life BI (Before India), but coming back after two years really puts the abundance and choices directly in my face. The clothing which most of us don’t need is always on sale with an extra 30% off and how do we resist even though our closets are bulging? The clothing of course is where I just came from, i.e. the developing world, so why buy it in America. Because it is on sale.
Sometimes I feel as if I’m caught between two worlds. Maybe this is what happens when one works in the developing world or just after being in a place like India for two years without coming to the west. I know where I am, but I also don’t know where I am. I’m stuck somewhere in the middle, wanting to be back while enjoying the west. It truly can be quite confusing as I continue to keep up with my friends in India.
After all there are no noises and no smells. The streets are clean and the cows are somewhere penned up, most likely on some farm and not roaming in the middle of the streets, where they feast on garbage or roti. Everyone stay in line and cars don’t constantly honk. The skies are perfectly blue and the weather is around 60 F. It is a well manicured lawn with the sprinklers coming on every night at 6 PM, just as the sun sets. Of course the sunsets are beautiful and can be seen for miles. Everyone seems to be Caucasian and they all speak English. The malls consist of beautifully maintained buildings and there is Chinese food and bagels on every corner. The gas stations have no employees except for the guy behind the booth and the prices keep going up. We pump our own gas here and I only leave my car for that reason.
This does seem like a dream and I wonder which world I’m really in.