You always tend to judge a place by the circumstances that brings you to that place. Or the kind of work you do in that place. Or maybe just the vibes. So, Pittsburgh.! The first city that I travelled out of my home country. The first city that pinched me how much I love my friends and family. First city I had to be on my own and make my own good friends. Pittsburgh tested me in all my elements (I think).
Now that I think of the past, coming to the States from India was quite a huge decision for me. It’s been 5 years in the USA, but the first 2 years in Pittsburgh has carved some good memories in my heart. 6th August 2012 – I landed in Pittsburgh to pursue Masters. Oh! by the way, I still have the first international flight ticket in my wallet 🙂 I am definitely not preserving it, but somehow I never felt like trashing it off. The journey was smooth. My eyes were capturing much more than my brain could capture.
Clean roads, huge aircrafts, left-hand drives, the punching machines (Everywhere; home/ bus/ college), tall buildings, everything was so overwhelming. First few skype days, I could not tell my parents anything about the city. Because we were still stuck with basic questions like housing, food, cash flow etc.
This city slowly grew on me. And now, I totally, totally love Pittsburgh. It is historically known for American and civil war. Popularly known as steel city for largest steel business and also known as the city of Bridges (With around 450 bridges in this city). And trust me, If you visit Mt Washington you would yourself say, it is indeed a city of bridges. You get one of the most gorgeous views of the city from here and you clearly see the confluence of 3 rivers – Allegheny, Monongahela River and Ohio River.
Mornings here were so pleasing. There was an acute crispness in the air, I had never experienced before. Colder mornings were even more stimulating. I was working part-time in the library which demanded odd working hours. But thanks to that, I could witness the sun rising behind the Cathedral of Learning (Tallest academic building here). And snow days were magical. There is nothing better than watching the snow with ‘Hot Chai’ in your hands.
The street that we lived on, Walnut street, was lively and charming. And known for a good neighbourhood – Shady Side (Don’t go by the Name. It is not shady at all :P). There were cute cafes by the street, happy drunkards (mostly students), nice options to eat and of course branded shops (which we hardly went to :P; as students). The public transport was superb. Mind you, people owning cars generally don’t say that.
Everything had doubled, tripled in scale after coming here. The library was huge (as huge as 3-4 marriage halls combined in India). Grocery stores were like never seen before. I slowly got used to all this. But not sure if I liked all this. There was an emptiness within. The fact that I was 12000 km away from my family would suddenly someday scare me. But the best part was, my parents were awake even If I would call them in the middle of my night 🙂 Different time zones is a boon sometimes 😛
I have no clue how my 2 years passed by. But if I think of Pittsburgh right now, it gives me goosebumps. I am confused if I miss the place or those days. I made few close friends (I think its time to call them Family) for a lifetime and definitely earned a degree.
Cheers to some good old days!
P.S. Stay tuned for “The First stop” 😉