It was all there. The little bits and pieces of India that had managed to pass through strict inspection. For some of us, it was in the form of three or four bottles of the leading brand of coconut oil, enough to last two years of our serious, nothing but scholarly existence in this well-populated university town in Florida. Enough to oil our heads and necks and the pages of our complicated advanced level cheaper Indian reprints of textbooks that had traveled with us through endless labyrinthine chutes of airport security.
It was the sight of a small university town that greeted me the day I first landed in the US. I noticed the big houses and the wide roads and the even bigger cars on my way to a student apartment where I was going to stay as a guest for a few days.
The next day, I took a bus to campus to do some admission paperwork. The buses, of course, were far less crowded than the ones I was used to in India. But the people, who were mostly young students, were also different in a fundamental way.
Continue reading Privacy: The Indian and the American frames of mind