“…or how I got a job, got a car and got desperate…”
Ok. So I got a job, here in the US of A, the Land of Opportunity, the place where dreams are made, the place where you get to make a lot more money than you care to spend, etc. Well now that I have blurted out the reason why 99% of Indians come here to do their Masters, lets move on.
Yes, I have a job here and I have a job in Des Moines, Iowa. Don’t worry, I hadn’t the slightest knowledge about the existence of this place either. In fact, when I first applied for this position online, I thought IA referred to Indiana and was harbouring thoughts of watching the US F-1 Grand Prix sometime in the future. So when I was contacted and asked “Are you still interested in this position at Des Moines, Iowa?”, my immediate response was : “When on earth did I apply for a job in Iowa? What was I thinking?” (The fact that I got that job should make it clear that I did not actually say that out loud).
And so to anyone whom I shared this news with, their immediate response went something along the lines of
“Iowa? Dude what are you going to do in Iowa?”
But at that moment, I was just friggin’ happy that I had a job and didn’t care a damn about where I was headed.
So I arrived in Des Moines on a bright and sunny day. The next day I would realize that that was an anomaly. Cloudy, gloomy, cold, very cold, extreme cold and snow…lots of snow- now that got people to feel more at home. (Just suffice to know that I am not a big fan of snow). Well eventually, I got a place to stay and that too pretty close by to the work place. But perhaps the most significant part of where I am staying is that I now get to watch Premier League, Serie A and Champions League matches on a TV in my room. No more streaming issues!
And yes I eventually got a car too. And got a mega-awesome deal at that too. Brand new 2010 Toyota Corolla! The biggest handicap of my past 1.5 years was now taken off of me. I was now able to actually go places. Well I didn’t really go anywhere initially. But at least I knew I could go somewhere if I wanted to.
Well that was about as excited as I got for the first few weeks in Des Moines, because after that, the reality of the place began to hit me hard. For some vague reason, and I noticed this only after 2 weeks in Des Moines, I had not met a single person who was older than 6 years and younger than 35. This appeared to be a very dangerous trend and it became even more scary when it eventually became the norm.
I found myself ‘hanging out’ with Indian families- people who had gotten married a few years back and had a toddler in their hands. – on weekends. Now don’t get me wrong. They are all nice people who helped me a lot in settling in here. But it is hard to miss the part wherein I DONT get drunk and let myself loose on topics which would perhaps give rise to an awkward silence among the ‘family’ members- you know..the kind of stuff guys of our age tend to talk about.
And its also hard to miss the WTFness in my thoughts every time it is drilled into my head that
“Des Moines is the best place to start and raise a family! You should really think about getting married soon!”
Thanks for the information. But I think I will pass on that one. No offence meant.
The way I see it, in all seriousness, when I was studying, I had all the freedom but no money. And when I get married, I will have money (or not) but (and) no freedom. These few years in between are the only times I get to have both money AND freedom. And I plan to make the most use of it.
And so my hunt to meet new people began. Initially, it was in slightly optimistic places such as bars. The closest I came to meeting somebody new this way was this very lively bartender at a British pub. (Not a good sign). Then it went a notch lower to just waiting to be introduced to some people of my age by the few people I already knew. And then when that didn’t work out, I hit the lows of desperation a.k.a online forums.
And trust me. That was NOT a good experience. It is really scary the levels to which people are desperate. Every time I realized that, I wanted to take a gun and blow my brains out point blank. It was almost like every time I looked at some person’s profile, some of my self esteem was getting sucked out. And so I put an end to it pretty fast.
But I was still desperate. Never had I drunk so many beers alone without anyone to talk to. Nobody to even have a normal conversation with. For someone who was surrounded by people of my age all the time for the past 6 years, it was a really scary picture that I was seeing myself headed towards. But in all honesty, there are a few things here in Des Moines I would not trade for anything. First up, the cost of living here is simply put, Dirt Cheap. Ok may be not that low, but definitely low enough for me to spend less than 1/3rds of my income on all my needs.
Which gives me a lot of money to go somewhere AWAY from Des Moines and have some fun. And which is exactly what ended up happening in the past one week. One week where everything went from rock bottom to super awesome and more! All that in my next Updates post. So keep reading….