Tuesday, October 20, 2009

People.

When I first decided to come to India, I thought that I would be alone. I'd find a job, find a place to live, find friends in whatever way I could. But through chance, I heard of this organization, AIESEC, that arranges international student internships, and now I'm spending my days in Delhi surrounded by fellow foreigners from all over the world.

As I've described before, there are 14 people living in my flat, and at least 50 interns in other flats around our area, hailing from places like Peru, Japan, Indonesia, New Zealand, and countries from across Europe. Our living places are all within walking distance to each other, so we interact often. During the week, we regularly visit a local bar/lounge for drinks and dancing, and we like to meet for shopping and movies. On weekends, we go in groups to travel outside of Delhi; my entire next month is filled up with places we plan to see. Every night coming home from work, there are happy greetings waiting for me, and a chance for me to bounce words and laughs off of warm, genuine people.

Back home, the friends I valued most were mirrors to myself, but here, I appreciate my new friends not for our likenesses, but precisely for our differences. We all approach India from vastly different angles, but our end goals are the same. I can't count how many engaging conversations I've had that are powered solely by a common, unyielding desire to embrace the novel. I've never been around so many people who instantly understand my belief that the greatest motivators in life are states of discomfort. Not only do they thrive in strange, chaotic, uncomfortable environments, they seek them actively, without question, complaint, or fear.

The most compelling aspect about the friendships that I've found here is that despite only using a fraction of our capacity to communicate using the English language, there is a strength of understanding that can still be achieved. My realization is growing that there is vastly more to human relationships than what can be ascribed to language alone.

So, a toast to my fellow foreign friends here in Delhi. Their company is the heart and soul of life here.

1 comment:

deengu said...

hey,

jessie sent out your blog link on the aiesec NU listserv.

are you thinking of staying long-term? i'm actually in cambodia right now with public health, but i'm interested in econ development in general.

your name sounded familiar, and i think i met you briefly at that charlie brown musical a few years back (sry if that sounds weird).

looks like you're having fun!
deen