When arriving in Bangalore for the first week all I could think about was all the differences between my life in Seattle and our new temporary home in Bangalore. It seemed as if everything operated on a different level apart from the fast food restaurants throughout the city. On Friday night, the first official weekend of our tenure in Bangalore, a small group of students met up with students from St. Joseph’s College to indulge in some local Indian drinks to avoid the more costly beverages at the dance club where we would soon be performing dorky dance moves and singing our hearts out at. Walking into our new friends’ apartment my thought process on the differences between college students in the U.S. and India were vanquished. BOP by Dababy was playing on the bluetooth speaker and we were handed bottles opened by Vish's teeth. I couldn't stop thinking about how similar the appearance of their apartment and the agenda of weekend hangouts compared to mine at home. Writing on the walls, old happy birthday balloons, pizza boxes in a corner dedicated to be the “garbage corner”, couches that have seen more than their fair use, and empty bottles used for decoration reminded me of a typical apartment shared by multiple college students. Apologies made for unwashed dishes and dirty bathrooms were all too familiar.
Another friend of Vish’s arrived and we were wearing the exact same outfit of black shoes, blue Levi’s, and a white collared shirt with a small blue pattern. What made this even better was that when he introduced himself as Gharav and I returned my name as Garrett, he thought I could not pronounce his name… I had found my Indian counterpart.
My initial preconceptions of the lives of college students of India were rebutted and I realized we are doing the exact same thing in different spots of the world. I now notice so many parallels to life in the U.S. and life in India. While there are many more differences than similarities between these two countries when you boil it down college students enjoy social drinking and dancing and singing along to music.