Well, they say that “they” last! I have never really cared to verify that. And to be able to do that, I have to brush up my journals kept 12,000 kms tucked away neatly in a box back home. I reached the city of Ann Arbor with 2 huge bags, despite giving away all my worldly possetitions in India. Kidding! I was just minimizing green house emissions by carrying as less luggage as I possibly could. It was good to put a face to people I had been interacting all summer – It started with Jessica in ECIR (The place which would be my home for the next 7 months), Lindsay who had come in to say a quick hi before the American government module starts (More on that in the next slide). So, I was literally learning inside a classroom in my first hour in Ann Arbor. Talk about doing what you came for. I was take away by the beauty of the campus, having not experienced a fall before, I found myself appreciating nature the 3rd time in my life – Kashmir -1, Kasol -2, Kerrytown had to be 3, by the power of alliteration. The calmness of the university reminded me of the good ol’ Roorkee – which housed nothing but the campus. The similarities between Roorkee and Ann Arbor are uncanny. Roorkee was the oldest civil engineering program in whole of Asia, Ford school one of the oldest public policy programs in US. The history, the fall, I was soaking it all in.
Wherever I turned my head to, I could see people carrying their unique cultures, prides and quirks. An India is not new to diversity, but this was quite overwhelming even by my standards. By evening – while figuring out directions, collecting M Card and completing other logistics – I was too tired to do anything of consequence. But, out of sheer willpower dragged myself to the international center’s incoming dinner welcome, which turned out to be an excellent choice. In a university as huge as Umich, small cliques are bound to be formed soon. And I wanted to interact with people from other nationalities before we all comfortably settle into cliques of my own. Getting to know the meanings of people’s names, answering fun questions in ice breakers – It’s not something you do every day (Can I say thankfully so?).