Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Married in the USA

Lexington 2000 Posted by Hello

The wedding was over. The marriage had begun. 7 years and many cities later, there I was.

If your first city in the US is Boston, you should count yourself luckier than most ( the big dig not withstanding). If your first home in the US is in Lexington , MA ..... You are luckier than most! Assuming of course that you land in Logan airport on a clear blue , deceptively sunny May day . The cherry blossoms are in pink and white bloom perfect all American suburbia greets you in every nook and corner.

Turns out my new home is embedded in history. This is the oft touted "birthplace of American liberty". I wonder about mine! Liberty should include freedom to express myself any way I want !

One of the things I was soon to discover about life in the birthplace of liberty is that - liberty is at a premium! You cannot work. Not without the necessary visa. You must follow speed limits. You musn't touch the next plate at the buffet after you pick yours up because you may spread your germs. You musn't cook enough to set off the fire alarm. You must refer to a queue as a line or else no one gets you. If you must eat a sandwich - and make your decision from a mountain of breads, cheeses, dressings , fillings make sure you do it in 3.5 seconds or else you get glares from everywhere. ( Not in the waspy Lexington, but elsewhere - eg NY city, you may be pushed aside!).

Which reminds me of the Togo story. No I am not jumping to Africa. Merely to a desi infested suburb - Framingham , MA. A friend of a friend of a friend (never mind the connection) was ordering his chicken burger & fries at yet another high grease, high visibility, all American fast food counter - when the perennial question was posed to him " to go or stay here"? The poor sod, tired after all the loss of liberty he had been experiencing since he had landed, responded as if to the INS - " Not to stay here, only here for one year. After that I go away, back to my country." Suddenly in his own awkward way he had managed to crack the clones. The ones who can't count without a machine. Nor deal with non standard responses such as his! But if they could, they probably wouldn't be frying burgers. Then again, who knows!

Many such urban legends and much acclimatization later, I found some liberty. Employers who agreed to sponsor my visa. A driving license soon after (thanks to a young State Trooper who was not immune to the little Bo Peep treatment). Several weekends spent in Tucson Arizona in the golf villas while the husband worked on a project there. As the CEO of my company put it "there's worse places in the world to be"!

More importantly I found friends. Rediscovered old ones. Found new ones.