Sunday, June 24, 2007

Denver Diary

It's been a month and ten days since I set foot in Denver. It's definitely been an interesting experience. I must say life when you're working full time, is very different.

The company I work for has five employees, including myself. We're all Indian, and that has meant that I've had very few conversations with Americans. My little rendezvous (I just learnt the word has its plural spelled the same way, but pronounced differently, interesting.) with people behind the counters at shops, has left me, undeservedly so for Denverites, with mixed feelings about their friendliness. Sometimes they were rude, sometimes they were very friendly. Undeservedly, because I guess people behind the counters can't be real people: at Starbucks they'll always be warm because I hear they can lose their jobs if they aren't (but I wouldn't discount that it's difficult being so).

On my street for over a mile, there're many automobile related shops: car parts, car washes and the like, but no supermarkets, which is wonderful considering that I can't drive, and don't have a car. There's a grocery shop opposite my apartment run by a family from Pakistan , where I get some things, but not all (another reduced opportunity to talk with an American, but the family is friendly and helpful).

It's a little strange to be living in the United States, and interacting only with Indians for the most part. Not that that's bad, but I think part of the interesting thing about being in another country is to interact and make friends with the people there. So my interactions, being in the workplace, concern javascript, html and the like. Some other interactions happen on the way to work and back home also with people from the office. The company is only a ten minute walk away, so these conversations are short, but thankfully about other things, and I must admit I do look forward to these conversations.

I had a roommate, for the first 30 days or so before he left to India, and during that time, I would have some conversation with him. He always took about two minutes to respond to what I said, so my patience meant that the conversation was mostly short. But these conversations were a respite, allowing me to vent any apprehensions and fears about my new workplace as he seemed to listen, and then there were Telugu movies and cooking for the day (we took turns) to talk about. Now I am all by myself in a two bedroom apartment, and need to move to another place in the middle of next month, when the lease expires.

It's my theory that people need to talk about things that make them happy, not just do them, to be happy. So my experience watching a movie, walking a street in a new city or eating at a good restaurant, are seldom complete until I tell people about them, and have them tell me back what a wonderful time I was having! I don't know if that's true for most people. It might be something worth investigating and might hold the answer to what motivates people to write blogs, share photos, set status messages and the like. So my theory leaves me looking for places to start conversations, and that's how I've been spending most of my time in the evenings: chatting online and ocassionally on the phone. Once or twice a week I get a movie from Netflix, having taken the one-DVD-at-a-time subscription. And last week when I received a damaged DVD, for lack of anything else to do, I fell prey to Youtube. For almost a week, I've been watching bits and pieces of David Letterman's and Ellen Degeneres' chat shows all evening. It's left me feeling a little shallow at the end of the week, and I should be changing course. Not that they're not entertaining, but I guess I was taking in too much at a time.

So that's how I live. At the workplace from 9.30-6.30, and then at home spending time as mentioned. I must say it can be very lonely if not for the chats online and on the phone. Weekends add colour to the week, as I get to do something else, thus get something to talk about, and then get to have to find somebody to tell it to. Thanks for reading and being that somebody.


dproyer said...

Ah, don't worry about not talking to more Americans, they are not that interesting anyway ;)

I have a friend in Denver named Kris. I can send you each others emails and perhaps you can meet up with him. He is also in to cinema, music, ect.

mythalez said...

well .. i can empathise with some of this .. :)
btw .. i downloaded the french movie u described below .. havin recently been to paris .. i thought it was imperative that i watch it .. ll do so soon :D

yogen said...

Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar
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Aravind Krishna K said...

hmm... dont worry! I bought a mobile just for giving u remote company & will save ur from boredom :p

& regarding the theory, .. may be its time for u to get married :P.. to share all your experiences to the finest possible extent.. hehe..

till then... vomit them all to me.. I am facing the same pblem as u here.. not much other life & no real good frends like u to share the experiences with..

Su said...

u need to spend more time with, digg, stumble and better still get a playstation ;)

Balakrishna Chennupati said...

@ dproyer
That serves as an explanation for why you chose to go to India this Summer :p.

@ mythalez
Did you watch the film yet ?

@ aravind
so you've been thinking about marriage :) ?

@ su
yeah, wonder how people survived without the internet not so long ago :).