Thursday, May 24, 2012

I am an Alien

Yes, you read it right. I am an Alien. Surprised? Well, ask US government. According to them I am classified as Alien and have been assigned an Alien ID while I am in the country. Isn't it funny. I am from the same planet Earth where US of A is and I look just like other "Homo Sapiens" yet I am classified and identified as an Alien.It's not only me, there are tens and thousands of people living in US of A who are x-communicated and categorized as Aliens.

Don't be surprised, Alien is a title used in US for all non US citizens, not the life from other planet. But it is not just this title that makes me an Alien in this country. There are so many other things that makes me feel like an Alien. For instance, my accent, my proper use of grammatical English in my speech, the words I use, the food I eat, the way I understand things, its everything around me that makes me feel like I am from a different planet.

It has been almost 5 years here in US and till date, I struggle with so many things in day to day life. The other day, I started a friendly conversation with my neighbors who recently rented the next door apartment and I asked them, did you shift recently? And the reply from the girl came, Excuse me?
I repeated my question, did you shift recently? And yet again, she asked the same question, sorry I didn't get you. In the back of my mind I was thinking, what the hell, I asked such a simple question but then immediately my tube light like mind lit and I re framed the question, did you move in recently? The girl smiled and said, Oh yeah, just a couple of days ago, still settling down, you know, and I smiled in return and said, yeah, I understand. See the question was same, just the word "shift" was wrong.

Now this one is funny, in US when you are asked if you want water and you don't want ice in it, don't ever say, water without ice. I tried that so many times, not because I wanted to observe but it's just my habit or the way I speak and 80% of the time, I get a glass of water with ice. So I learned after sometime that I need to tell in other way. So now when I am asked if I want water, I say yes please, water no ice.

Oh and this one is hilarious. Being an Indian, I share my facial structure, eyes, hair, etc. with Hispanic (Mexican/Spanish) people. So when I walk in some stores, usually, people at cashier or the store employees start talking to me in Spanish and I am always like, give me a break guys and immediately respond back with a shocked face and a reply, Sorry, I don't speak Spanish "no comprendo" meaning I don't understand.

These are just a few examples of why I feel like I am from outside of this world. There are some others that I wouldn't even want to mention. The worst thing is that when I come back to India, Indians think I am a foreigner and have got an accent and when I am here, people here think that I am a foreigner and have got an accent. Funny thing is, now I don't know what is my actual accent and which country I belong to :)

Guess, that's why US calls us immigrants as Aliens, people from the other world.



Sharell said...

Ah, you sound a bit displaced like me. ;-) That alien thing is quite funny. The US really has some interesting terms for things!

Poor In Java said...

Oh yeah, trust me Sharell, US and people living here have quite mouthful of terms that you'd be surprised to know.

Ms. Neha Gandhi said...

hahhah... i hear ya... totally!!
once a guy from my class do you wanna go out with me tonite... and since i had no plans i said yes and we went for a movie...
and he assumed i agreed to "go out" with him (aka.... DATE him) hahah

and dont even get me started on the school-university , dustbin-trashcan , lady finger -okra thingy...

anjugandhi said...

i was shocked when neha used to refer her university as school. arre u have gone to do masters and u r talking about going to school :-)
and u people use the terminology which u use in USA and stand out amongst other Indians
and then u use the terminology which u use in India and then again get termed as aliens
धोबी का कुत्ता घर का ना घाट का

Poor In Java said...

I know Neha...there are so many funny things out here and I am sure the feeling is mutual for US people going to India.

Poor In Java said...

I totally agree with you AG.

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