SS has posted the following experience in the comments section of this blog post After Arrival in U.S.
Landing in the US, now that I look back, it was a terrifying experience for me actually.
In retrospect, I think I should be proud.
There was no senior to pick me up.
I got my own taxi. I had found an apartment through craigslist. The next morning I woke up and walked to the university byasking random people for directions.
Man, first month. I was scared out of my wits. The first thing I bought in the US was a $1.10 mini bottle of Coca Cola. American coins don’t have their value clearly shown on the face like Indian coins and there was some confusion as I tried to count the $1.10.
It was so hot and I was walking back after having found the university, which turned out to be a good 3 miles from my apartment.
Yes this meant walking 6 miles a day for the first one month. And I didn’t know a single soul in the whole city.
I am a stubborn ass
The experience made me a new person. I didn’t call home for a whole month after I reached (only emailed).
I was incredibly lonely. But, I managed to become infatuated with the one person I met, a 60+ Indian American lady.
It was an unconventional choice but I pursued my first “love interest” ardently. Like most Indian geeks, I had not known love before I came here. In retrospect again, it was sheer madness.
Five years later, things have improved a lot.
I got my PhD. I have been all over the world now and now I am never scared to find my way in foreign countries. It all comes naturally to me now. I can now chat up people of any nationality and speak a whole bunch of languages.
But man oh man! I was scared shitless the first day.
It’s embarrassing to admit in retrospect, but walking back the first day in the heat, I saw “Made in India” on one of those gutter lids on the pavement and actually began to cry.
Oh and please do not depend on the International Office people to help you.
Maybe it was just my university, but the International Office people were the most ill behaved people I have ever met.
As years passed, I realized that going to the International Office would actually depress me, because I had to deal with the scowling folk over there who treat international students like we are living on their personal charity.
You will get accustomed to the new scenery, the strange birds, the strange sounds (like church bells).
Enjoy the process and learn from it.
The immigrant experience is something different, something no non immigrant can ever relate to. This is why I would personally recommend that in pursuing any potential love interest, give major preference to fellow immigrants (not necessarily from India), but immigrants nevertheless.
A native born American, no matter even if he/she is ethnically Indian, will never see America the way you do.
It’s always good to see such experiences. Thanks to SS for sharing his thoughts.
Relate d: My First 70 Days in USA