The Conversion Factor

I am a big fan of shopping. I stress shop.  I LOVE departmental stores because they combine two things of my interest: shopping + meticulously organized goods on shelves. And now that I’ll be moving to Iowa for my graduate studies, I had to shop for my basic needs, almost continuously for the past 2 weeks. For the first time in my life, I’m tired of shopping!

Yesterday night, a girl who will be travelling with me called me up in a state of distress; her baggage weight was exceeding 69 kgs! That covers the 3 x 23 kg bag limit for international flights, where the passenger is travelling on an F1 visa. The trend that I have noticed is that most guys manage to fit their stuff into 2 x 23 kg bags while girls are struggling to fit theirs even into 3 bags! Ridiculous! I asked her to share her packing list, and sent her mine. I was perplexed. I know I’m bit of a tomboy and I’ve only started doing some girly stuff recently, but from what I understood from the list, I’m still as far from femininity as the Pokemon Go craze is from dying down. Very.

Wax, waxing strips, wax heater, mascara, foundation, ballerinas, stilettos (don’t even know how to spell that!), casual dresses, fancy dresses, traditional dresses! So many things that I’ve never or rarely used. Living like a boy is so much more comfortable and convenient! Razors instead of wax, girl! To top this off is the conversion factor. So these girls are carrying mounds of food from home to sustain themselves… maybe for two weeks? I really don’t see the point of carrying so much perishable stuff that won’t even last them for that long. Why carry so much then? A packet of noodles costs 20 bucks here. The same costs 200 bucks there after converting their currency into ours. So much for money saving!

When you move to a place that has different lifestyle standards than your home country, I think it’s important to adjust your finances and spending habits to suit that country. You can’t stay in America following a strictly Indian standard of living! I suppose a lot about saving money relates to intelligent spending. There’s no point depriving yourself of basic resources!

So packing blues aside, I’m actually thrilled, nervous, excited and stressed out about moving to a new city in a new country. There is a lot that will change and hopefully all in a positive way. Here’s hoping the next five years hold the most exciting adventure of my life so far.



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