Coming to a new country after leaving a completely settled, content life can be daunting. It seems brave in the beginning but once you are deep into it, it is pure depressing and stressful.
I have spent almost a year in the US and have coped up well here – made friends, am doing well at college, am driving around and shopping on my own, pursuing my hobbies – and yet, I find myself in awkward situations every now and then.
Like the other day when I met a friend for lunch and realized I was very low on petrol (Yeah, I still say petrol). I asked my friend to help me because I had never filled petrol on my own before. And when we 2 ladies were frantically looking for the button to open the tank, I eyed a man looking at us. It was a Sheesh! moment.
And later at college, a classmate and I ended up talking about our Thanksgiving holiday plan. She said she was visiting Disneyland with family and I blabbered off on how wonderful it is and what they should be doing there only to know later that her husband has worked in the Art department of Disneyland for many years and it has been their regular holiday destination. Oh my gaad!
My first awkward moment actually happened 10 days after I landed in the US at one McDonald’s in LA. We finished off our food and while leaving, I spotted the illuminated Exit sign. For some reason I thought that is where you are supposed to exit from (and not from the entry way) and Whooooooooooooeeeee went the alarm. I saw a hundred eyes on me. I wanted to melt but I bravely walked back the same way, went up to the servers at the counter (who were going on with their work like nothing had happened) and told (rather, stuttered to) one of them that I had accidently let off the alarm. She looked really annoyed.
But the best thing here is no one really cares. No one gives you or your actions much thought. They are not judgemental. This is how I adjusted so well at college (with a totally new career) and find most happiness there.