It is said, “Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” The first few days of my trip felt like I was in an alien world where there are good roads but small houses, lots of greenery but very few people to enjoy it, and lots of mailboxes but less conversation among the people using them. I missed the hustle and bustle of people, the never-ending crowd of vehicles, the moderate temperature, the dusty footpath, the faces of people, barking dogs, etc. The silence there sometimes haunted me as I realized that I missed my life in my home country. The office was quiet except during the times of stand-up meeting and lunch. Here, my day started with the call that Sanjeev used to have with the Nepal team in the morning and ended with Sagar discussing a delivery date with the Nepal team. In between, I got some time to discuss going to malls for shopping and planning the weekends despite the regular office work.
I was branded the “rain-carrier” by many in the office because the day I landed in the US it rained, and the rain continued into the weekend. When I was not around the sun would shine and when I was around there was usually a downpour. The weather was not as much fun as I had hoped it would be (especially since it was summer). When the sun did shine it was really hot and when it didn’t it was windy or rainy and cold.
People around Boston were very polite. They always smiled when they saw other people and held the door for you to walk through. Similarly on the roads as well the vehicles would stop regardless of whether or not there was a stop sign if they saw anyone waiting to cross the road. There was a schedule that everybody there followed. I always thought that Deerwalk people in the US are so lucky to have such an easy working life. I never thought that they are all so busy that they have to plan for everything. They are always stuck with their daily schedules, client calls, verification on certain jobs completed by Nepal team, planning, client visits, etc. This was the first time I realized that the US team are such busy people, and that one day a week they have calls which last the whole day and night. The lunch hour was interesting as one could relieve some stress then. All would gather in a place and start their lunch and share food they cooked/or tried cooking for the first time, expressing happiness forgetting to eat some Nepali food as well.
During my stay in the US I got to reunite with my sister in California after 4-5 years. I felt the “June gloom” as they would say since it would be cloudy until 1 p.m. and then the sun would shine and the beach would glow. I got the chance to see a completely different lifestyle the people had there. In the parking lot at a beach in Santa Barbara all I could see were the Porsches, Lamborghinis, and luxurious homes of the stars. I also got to experience the completely different lifestyle of people in New York – the opposite of what I had experienced in Boston and California. We got lost in the train station and found our way back. We even spotted some places similar to that of back home (except for the skyscrapers). The long bus ride back to Boston was a warm welcome from the city that truly never slept. The most positive thing that attracted me was the independence the people have in the US. Be it gender, race, size or any other aspect, people were independent. They have a say in their lives and lived the way they thought was best for them.
I tried to enjoy and live each and every bit of my stay in the US. It was not easy to adjust at the beginning, and it was not easy to leave after such a short time in the end. Life in the US felt very well equipped, but as everybody says, life is where our loved ones are i.e. Nepal. Our life will be a happy one only if we can enjoy what we do, and share that happiness with the loved ones around us. However, I am not the same having seen the sun shine on the other side of the world.
[Rosina Shakya, Associate Project Manager, visited Deerwalk US office from June 1 to June 30, 2015.]