Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Living La Vida Local

Things are different here. The first thing I noticed were the number of "IIT " bumper stickers. Around here there are more IIT bumper stickers than for all other colleges put together! The pool in our building is full of Indian kids splashing about while their parents call out to them protectively in Hindi, Gujarati or Tamil. And the once-familiar sight of clothes hanging out to dry on window ledges and balconies, is once again common.

We can walk to not one, but two, different Indian grocery stores. Steaming hot platefuls of idli and dosa are available in abundance - and cheaply! My wife and I love Keralan food, so we were delighted when we found a great little place with fantastic pepper-fried chicken. Even though we don't have kids, our friends in the neighborhood tell us about the cultural center they take their kids to on the weekends - to learn Indian classical music and dance. For us less cultural pursuits, like watching Guru, suffice. Or, if we feel like staying in, we can go pick up an Indian movie at the local video store.

No, I'm not back in Bangalore - we live in Sunnyvale, CA! Although it wasn't planned this way, it's turned out to be a great transitional place for us when we moved from San Francisco last year, and get ready to move to Bangalore next month. Sunnyvale and Fremont in the East Bay are the two centers of Indian life in the Bay Area. Everyone planning to relocate from here to India, whether Indian or not, should come and spend a couple of months here to make the transition smoother!