100 Reasons I love America
It was much harder to come up with reasons #80 — #90 to love America as an Indian immigrant. I tried inspecting different dimensions of my life here and failed to come up with themes I can use but I did manage to collect a motley collection of thoughts that are important to me in small and big ways.
#81 Street Smarts
My mom-in-law tells me I won’t last too long should I move to India now. She says I lack the street smarts (which I think is different from common-sense) and organization needed to live in India. She talks about not wearing her gold jewels while walking alone on the road, locking up her money, jewellery and valuable things at all times and keeping an eye on the many strangers that mill around her in the course of her everyday life. She is probably right.
#82 Public Transport
I have taken public transport a handful of times in India and have not had pleasant experiences. In contrast, I have been pleasantly surprised each time I have gotten on to a train to travel to a different place in America. It has been predictable, clean, safe and an over all pleasant experience.
#83 National Parks
Although, I’d rather prefer to spend a weekend with my nose buried in a book, my family loves spending time outdoors and what better place to be in than America to visit a nice national park no matter where you live in the country!
I love the variety of organic food that is accessible in America. My mom tells me how hard it is to find organic fruits and vegetables in India. They are in select stores and there is just not the variety that you find here.
America is a vast and abundant land and if you are an immigrant here, you never get over how there is just less clamoring for resources in this country no matter which level of society you exist in.
I like the predictability of processes in America. How if you plan well and invest wisely, you will pretty much land on what you aimed for be it establishing a new franchise, opening a new Kumon center, building a bed frame, buying a house or quitting and following your dreams. It is a journey that is a lot harder and a lot more unpredictable in India.
I love the fact that an individual can explore America without depending on other people in most situations. America accomodates and celebrates individual ownership of well, most aspect of the individual’s life. India has a long way to go, compared to America, when it comes to wheel chair accessibility and how disability-friendly the society is. Catching the local trains in Mumbai, for example, is a feat that only the trained and experienced local Mumbaite can do with confidence!
#88 Lost in the crowd
When I grew up in India, I always felt like I fell short of making a mark in this life. I liked the feeling of being a part of a crowd but the same crowd sometimes obscured my identity and blurred my achievements. There were just so…many…people. There is a queue for everything, there is a crowd everywhere and sometimes I just felt lost in the crowd.
American Cinema is pretty incredible. They range from a Beautiful Mind to Inception to Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind to Before sunrise to Inside Out. There is such a variety of themes covered instead of a million variations of old love stories (which Indian cinema likes to churn out).
America being a first world country has the luxury of building checks into place in most of its businesses and services be it restaurants or stores or schools — do the restaurants serve food that is prepared in a hygienic fashion? Do the stores have fire exits that are unblocked? Do school bus drivers follow safety standards — things we take for granted in this country that don’t exist much in India.