What I Learned in the City (Part 1)

TTG in The Big Apple

Well it’s -15 Degrees C outside. It’s cold. But I’m here and made it in one piece. I was always a little unsure if I even wanted to come back, and was sad to leave Delhi. But as everybody else put it, I should go as it would be a “Learning Experience”. Well they were all right, it was a learning experience.

Here’s what I learned:

1) That my decision to move back to India 3 years ago was a good one.
I don’t miss America, and especially don’t miss New York

2) That New York runs on iPods.
White headphones, and units abound everywhere, all over the subway

3) That the immigration laws are still too free.
I walk into work on my first day, sit at my desk. In the distance somewhere, somebody goes “Ramesh?” So I’m like, ok so there’s a ramesh, big deal. Then Ramesh responds: “Ya Seema?”. So ok, Ramesh and Seema…Then Seema goes: “Yaar, call Ashok and Anu over and we’ll go have lunch with Venky”…and then they break out into a stream of Hindi and Tamil…for a few jet-lag induced split-seconds, I thought I was back in Gurgaon!!!!@!@!

4) That all the crap about how Indian software companies suck, and that the real ‘Quality’ software companies are American is absolute BULLSHIT!
As a consultant working for HCL, I’ve been privy to code written by people in a big software company, which we are now responsible for, and it’s actually quite shocking to see the level of the code. I would like to mention the name of our client and the software company that wrote this code before me to lend some credibility to my statement, but I have a feeling I might fired for it, so I won’t.

5) That New Jersey Transit, New York’s Subway and Indian Railways all fail with only one day of bad weather.

6) That I’m happier being an employee of HCL India who gets to travel to different parts of the world than a regular 9-to-5-er commuting to Queens everyday.

7) That the cellphone services available in America are absolutely barbaric – who the f- still charges people for incoming calls. RIDICULOUS! Not to mention the fact that I can’t bring my Indian phone and just buy a plan here. A-holes.

8) That Indians are truly cynical, or that there are more cynical Indians on the web than non-cynical ones – why? Because Deeshaa.org wins best Indiblog award. Deeshaa.org is total crap.

9) That when people say that Indians are backstabbers and small-minded with no work ethics, and Americans are intelligent professionals who don’t fear their inferiors stealing their jobs, to not believe them. What a crock of shit.

10) Following on from point 7, I ‘ve learned that I can’t live without a cellphone. I’m an addict. Gosh. And since I’m surrounded by iPods, I guess I’ll turn into one of those addicts too…but I guess I’ll try and save money and buy the cheapest one – the iPod Shuffle.

Anyway, that’s just some of the things I’ve learned. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot more.
My next post will be about the most hilarious thing I’ve ever read – it’s my company’s guide to acclimatising its staff to America. Excerpt:
Do not touch people (of the same gender) in America. It may be construed as a homosexual act.
Please ensure that you use deodorant, and breath freshener, as Americans consider these odours offensive (Gee I guess we Indians love smelling each other!)

And the funniest thing was a drawing of what an ATM and ATM receipt looked like. Before somebody says there are no ATMs in India, I would like to ask them to go to almost ANY petrol pump/gas station and see for themselves (not to mention the fact that our own building in Delhi has an ATM)….

Till Next Time…

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