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What I Learned From Living In India

903 words - 4 pages

“Are your parents in the army?” is the question I am often asked when I reveal the number of houses I have lived in and the schools I have changed. When I answer that my family simply enjoys moving, my response is greeted by a look of both amazement and confusion. Since I was little, I have been raised with the idea that change is good, change is fun, change is needed. Finding a new place to call home was seen as a part of the change, and I welcomed it, accepting its presence in my life. The act of relocation became exciting for me; a new house, new school, new neighbors, and new friends. Yet I would take with me the memories created in my previous homes. Each street would continue to hold a special place in my heart, as I would accredit them all in making me the person I am today. One particular destination however, would make a tremendous impact on me and how I would continue to lead my life.
I remember getting off the plane in India for the first time. I was met by a slightly musty odor in the air, men insisting on taking your luggage for you, and honking, plenty of honking. To know that in two weeks I was not going to at the airport again to catch a flight back, that I was going to live in India for an extended period of time, made me a little anxious about what was in store for me. I tried to look to my parents for some sort of comfort and a confirmation that adjusting was not going to be problem. They could not offer much help though, as moving to India was a transition for them as well. Looking through the car window as we drove four hours away to our destination, I watched as the cars, scooters, and bicycles all fought for a space on the cramped roads. I saw street vendors trying to lure in customers and celebrity advertisements hanging on the fronts of the small shops. I saw what was going to be my new home.
What first struck me about India was how everything came in extremes. Each aspect of the society was more pronounced, more vivid; the geniality, the greediness, the wealth and the poverty. I still cannot forget the amount of homeless people I saw the first time I went to a market. Sensing that I was a foreigner, many of them came up to me, hoping that I would be more generous with my donations. I gave them all the pocket change I had, yet for me it was not good enough. A mother approached me, her infant son cradled in her arms, and began explaining the...

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