Re-learnt the basics of life. To their Culture, Systems, Values, Freedom, Ethics - Hats off!
Donno bcz its US or its bcz of my best friend, for some reason, I thoroughly enjoyed this trip. Every single moment. Not sure if my bestie hadn’t been there I would have enjoyed this trip this much, but yeah , I enjoyed it a lot.
The best thing we will find here is people. They are polite, expressive and cool. In movies you often see them saying f**** word. But I could never hear of that word one single time in my 7 weeks duration. Instead I heard them using “cool” word more often. And they follow rules. First hats off to the system. Its very nice but double hats off to people for following it. Take traffic. Everyone stops on red, slows down on yellow and doesn’t honk on green. Stop signs. Everyone literally follows it. You don’t need red signal to stop traffic in US. All you need is a stop sign. It may be due to fear of tickets or politeness, whatever, but in the end system works. After all some discipline comes with fear. The amount of respect they show for pedestrians, cycles is awesome. If they see pedestrians/bikers crossing the road, they stop and doesn’t honk and wait till they cross, if they see stop signal, they will stop no matter what. In fact cars are afraid of bikers and bikers are afraid of pedestrians though I have to agree bikers are the biggest violaters of traffic rules including me ;)
People are extremely polite. Standing in queues or way of talking is extremely awesome. They follow single line system. Before entering queue, they make sure they aren’t entering in between. Even if they get 1% doubt, they will clarify that they are in right place. Not just in lines, but everywhere. Last day while I am traveling to Salt Lake city, we stopped at few places to capture pics. At one place a old lady who is going in other direction stopped and took a U turn just to make sure we are fine and if we need any help. Few mins later we stopped again to enjoy snow fall where one guy pulled over again to make sure if we are fine. It went till an extent that we are actually scared that if we stop again, some one might stop to check if we are fine or not! Definitely unbelievable. Be it servers or cab drivers. They are extremely polite, smiling all the time to make sure we feel comfortable. They are expressive as well. Its a bit tough to talk to them given our background and accent, but once we break it, they are very interactive. Ask my friend Richa about it. One thing I liked about them is they smile at you even if they are seeing for first time in their life, say Hi/Hello/How are you back. Felt so nice.
Ofcourse , The first thing we will notice after landing in US is the place. OMG!!! Seriously unbelievable. Be it San Francisco, Be in San Jose, Be it Bay Area, Be it Monterry, Be it Jackson. Every place is damn beautiful. One thing places are very pretty and second thing, these guys know how to keep it well. Natural places like mountains, rivers, clouds are very pretty. But even people contribute to beauty. Unlike us they don’t throw garbage on road /rivers. They maintain beaches, coasts, roads very well without dumping any waste. They do maintain very well. Unlike us even fisherman places are damn pretty! Every place , they will try to maintain pretty or convert into tourist place. In the end, place looked damn beautiful.
Transportation. Its of two types. Within city its damn good and outside city its worst. Within SF, you have bart, muni, buses, Uber and as a tourist you can survive. But as a normal person, its going to be expensive either in terms of money or time. And outside city you need to have a car, orelse its better to sit at home. Caltrain etc are there but it won’t help you every time. It surprised me. Though they have billions of dollars and can construct complete under ground transport or even they have lots of place on roads. But for some reason they don’t improvise much and every person travels in car increasing lots of pollution.
Coming to roads, thanks to large area and small population, roads are vey huge. State highways, Interstate roads are very nice. Even if it rains/snows you can still drive on roads comfortably. Exit system here is very good. Even the lane system. People follow lanes very nicely. Faster people travel on left lanes and slower people travel on right lanes and when changing lanes they give signals and make sure they maintain distance while crossing and have exits at right most lanes. I liked roads very much. But only things is driving in nights is difficult. For some reason, they don’t have either street lights or enough reflectors which makes driving easy. I was surprised with that. One thing to forgot to mention is footpaths. Footpaths are damn damn big atleast in SF. They are bigger than indian roads! Very pretty, nicely maintained. You just feel like walking on them. Lots of activity seems to happen on footpaths. While some walk, some do skating, some running. You see so many things happening.
Its not like everything is good though :P Just like they made a American Spiderman version though European Spiderman version is there, they make American versions of everything. Everyone drives right and they do left. To turn on switch you need to reverse, To brake bike you need to do reverse. Route will be called rouuute. 101 is called one-0-one. They invented American Football. So in everything they try to make their own versions. Thats a bit annoying
Food. Thanks to little girl. If not her I would have hated food like anything else. Americans by default are non-vegetarians. Many of them don’t even know vegetarianism exists! Had very tough time finding vegetarian/non-alchoholic drinks. If not for little girl, I wouldn’t have tried any food outside. But she showed me there are lots of places where we can find good veggie food. Its a bit expensive though. But being a tourist and given office pays all expenses, I tried various cuisines. Americans loooooooooooove food. They have various type of restaurants. Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Burmese. You name it , they have it. All the time Americans eat eat and eat. In fact most of tv commercials are about food only. Since they are already fair, they don’t have fairness creams like us ;)
Physical Activity. As I said before Americans eat eat and eat. But guess what they are very very fit. No tummies, huge bodies. May be its in genes as well but yeah they do maintain. They do lots of physical activity. Be it running, cycling or other activities like mountain biking or walking with pets, they do lots. They eat, they exercise, they eat and exercise. In the end they maintain really well. Unlike us, they don’t just do gym, they do others a lot.
Girls. Needless to say about them. They are damn damn damn damn beautiful/hot/cute whatever you call them. Most of US girls I have seen are pretty. One thing they are fair and second its natural gift for them for being pretty. But they maintain their bodies damn nicely. Not sure how they maintain but they do maintain. Even their brown hair, I liked it ;) In fact you would find lots of Scarlett Johansson, Christan Stewarts on roads/offices and in every lobby :P In fact many girls looks like heroines, even servers. They are damn cute!!! Don’t even think about college/university girls. No words to describe their cuteness. Its better not to think/talk about them. They give 1000% competition to the beautiful surroundings ;)
Till now I used to think Indians form majority here. But realized I m wrong. Its chinese. May be some of them are koreans, japanese. But you can see lots of that batch. Lots. Literally lots.
I was disappointed a bit with offices. I thought each office would be some different, cabins would be huge. But most of offices looks same and nothing more than computer lab. From outside they are a bit good, but inside they aren’t good :P Indian offices are better ;)
Here people follow timings. Be it baseball match, be it bus timings, people are very punctual. On time. And even one more thing I liked here it, people have lots of life outside office. Weekends they work very less. Weekdays, they come to office early and leave early.In office they don’t spend much time eating/talking/fbing. They come, work and leave. They go home and enjoy their personal life. Even on weekends, they go on vacations. I admired it a lot.
Friendship. Not sure if colleagues can be good friends here. Its difficult to make friends here. They might say hi to you without even knowing you, but going beyond that is a bit difficult. Be it in office, or outside, its not very easy to make friends. Not sure if thats age effect on me, but yeah I don’t feel they would be good friends, But yeah they would definitely be good colleagues.
Coming to Twitter. Its bigger than what I expected. Have lots and lots of food. vegetarian options are a bit less but yeah lots of things are there. I liked snacks more than actual food. Lookouts of varieties are there. Even beverages, lots ;) Lots of juices, beers, coffees are present. Though I must admit I didn’t like any of them :P and ended up with thought of drinking plain water. But the funny thing is getting plain water is a tough thing here. They do have super cool water also but getting room temperature normal water is tough. I had to go to fountain and then drink. For god’s sake, hope it changes! Coming to the core part,some of the ppl here are really really smart. Can learn lots and lots from them. Be it asynchronous programming or normal programming techniques, they are really smart. No wonder they are able to support scale of Facebook, Twitter. Not every one is smart though (as I expected) but many are. And one more good thing is everyone is helpful. They are ready to help you always, open to share knowledge, I really appreciated it. And if they don’t know , they directly say so! They won’t go beating around the bush. One thing I felt though is not many ppl know systems end-to-end. They are very restrained to their area. May be thats how big companies work but from twitter you do expect that right ? ;) One more thing is they don’t waste time on unnecessary things. First they give macs to everyone so that you don’t end up spending time on updating drivers/battery life etc. Even if you want any gadget just go and collect. You don’t need any approvals. They hardly bother. They have lots of money, thats why they do. But thing is they don’t want employees to waste time on these small small things. Instead they want ppl to think on big things.
………. To be Continued