Non Resident Alien

This is a chronicle of my tragi-comic life as a foreigner in the United States. My official status when I started school in 2004, was that of a Non-Resident-Alien and that's where the title of the blog is from. My status has changed to Resident Alien since then. My personal experiences are a unique roller coaster mundane everyday experiences for locals, but unique from the eyes of a foreigner. I started this blog to share some of my experiences beginning my third year living in this country.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Royal Treatment

I finally got my poor back checked by our family doctor yesterday. He suggested an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) as the first step of the diagnosis. Here is the Wiki entry on MRI. The process cost Rs.4000 (approximately $100), and that's not the end of the story. My doctor called the diagnostics centre yesterday evening and made an appointment for me to go this morning. They provided free transportation from my home to the centre (about 14 Kms away) and back. All I had to do was be ready at 9:30 am and the car showed up to take me and my dad. The actual procedure was 30 minutes long and we did not have to wait or fill out long forms. I am very impressed with the whole process. It was cheaper than I expected it to be and I got more out of it than I anticipated out of the deal. The same procedure would have cost me a few thousand dollars in the US and I would have needed insurance and filling up a few dozen forms. The procedure remains the same and the machines are similar, so why should it cost so much more in the US? This is something for desilibertarian to mull over. With such royal treatment here why would I even think about living in a more expensive society?

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Family Traditions

One of the several traditions we have at home is the almost ritualistic one during dinner time. From the time we were in grade school mom and granma used to pamper my brother and me during dinner time with a special custom. They would mix rice with whatever was the dish of the day, sit next to us with the big food bowl, make round balls of the mixed rice and put it in ur hands. Then all we had to do was pop it into our mouths and chew it down. This was especially helpful when as young ones we fussed about food and did not eat enough. This was also special time when mom would regale us with stories from our scriptures and make us eat healthy food while keeping us enraptured in her beautiful tales. Mom is a great raconteur, and as we grew older and moved away from home this custom took on a special meaning for us. Both my brother and I are adults now and the tales are no longer only spiritual. The conversations are more in tune with what we do and plan to do, or just recounting the events of the day. Since both of us live away from home, these special dinner time events mean a lot more to all of us now. Dad is always loudly stating that mom is spoiling us with this tradition, but we all think he also secretly enjoys this tradition with us. Here is a picture of horribly jetlagged me and mom coaxing me to eat with her tales.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I am home

I am home and horribly jet lagged. My folks are asleep and I am waiting for sweet slumber to hit me. I slept the whole day today and even though I asked my mother to not let me sleep, sweet mom that she is she did not feel like waking me up. Its raining outside and the pleasant and familiar smell of wet rains is teasing me even as I write this. It is good to be home. No place like it!! I thought the heat would be oppressive since I have not experienced Indian summers for almost two years now, but no!! I am the same ol same same and do not like the air conditioning in the bedroom. I slept in the living room yesterday night. Its great to be home and pampered. My mom made my favourite dishes for lunch today and pity I could not eat enough cause my body was still on East Coast time and it was the middle of the night. I am looking forward to a great vacation here, cause even though I will be working living in India IS a huge vacation.

Monday, May 07, 2007


Captain Lee Adama apparently hit on Adam. Told him he looked good!! I am so heart broken. He (I mean Apollo, no offence Adam!) is the cutest guy in the series and I cannot believe that he could be gay. He cannot be gay, can he?! For the uninitiated, Captain Lee Adama or Apollo is one of the stars of Battlestar Galactica, the TV series I recently discovered. I have been spending the last week or so watching seasons 1, 2 and 2.5. I am almost done now, and am ready for season 3. Apollo is a dish, the perfect eye candy, just the perfect kind of hero I want to see in a TV series. Who can resist his charms!! It comes as a shock to me that he may be gay. Look at this face. Is it not the cutest face you have seen? How could a person who looks like this be gay? Siiiigggghhhhh!!


Friday, May 04, 2007

Spinning the Web... Spiderman 3

I have just returned from watching (quite unplanned) the midnight release of Spiderman 3. The special effects are great in this movie. Its a gripping tale with not too many dull moments and very entertaining. Peter Parker is as angst ridden as ever, but there is a cornier face to him that comes out in this movie. On the big screen I think I like Toby Maguire playing the corny role rather than the angst ridden role. Much as I love the comic strip, I haven't taken to the movie in quite the same way. I feel Toby Maguire and Kirsten Dunst are not suited for the roles. James Franco on the other hand is stellar as Harry Osborn. There was a spontaneous outburst of vituperation in the theatre in one particular scene where MJ kissed Harry!! Yes she does!! If you want to know what happens to the love story, you have to go see the movie. I can tell you this much, Maguire is excruciatingly ugly when he cries, and believe me he cries quite a bit in this movie. On the whole, It was worth the 2 hours and 20 minutes past midnight and the money.