Sometimes journeys consist of only the most spectacular moments in your life. Sometimes traveling leads to some of your lowest moments. My favorite instances are the mundane ones, the few moments in which you forget what a weird country you're in and relax. These are the times when you can finally, truly appreciate the country's culture and really ascertain what makes the place so special. You can finally feel at home in the alien country and, although it only lasts a short time, it's worth every second of time you feel uncomfortable otherwise.
My favorite instance of this happening was during my time in Bangalore. I'd arrived after a week in India and I was thoroughly exhausted by my experience thus far. I'd promised myself a full night's sleep that night to remedy the fatigue but what I found awaiting for me was this uproarious hostel that I knew wouldn't quite down until 4am. So, advice I'd advise you to take in most situations, if I couldn't beat them, I joined them.
As the alcohol began to flow, I started to meet the people I'd be living with for the next couple of days. It turned out that the entire crowd was from India and happened to be in this hostel for one reason or another. One guy was home from studying in Paris and was a huge cinema buff; we talked for a solid amount of time just about Martin Scorsese's early work and the positives and negatives of living in France. Another guy claimed himself a self-made philosopher, which lead to hours of heated argument between the two of us as he argued deconstructionism and I tried to convince him of the merits of existentialism. The owner of the hostel had actually already sold his company and owned an apartment not far from where I lived in NYC! We talked about the future of tech and how long it will take for software to overtake hardware.
There were four or five more people I'd love to include but then the point of this piece would be missed. What made my time in Bangalore so fantastic wasn't the individual people, it was how those people, collectively, made me feel at home in a city 5000 miles away from where I usually reside. In a country with a cultural background entirely foreign to me, I felt as if I belonged. The pool table we all gathered around definitely helped though.
Over the next couple of days, I met more people who furthered my love for Bangalore. I learned that the city had a thriving micro brewing scene and that their fashion district was on point! Through these incredible people I was able to experience the city as, perhaps not a local, but definitely not an outsider, would. I learned that, more than anything, Indians are just people. People in the most basic, common sense. They're people with hopes, dreams, aspirations, achievements, and goals; not at all unlike myself. It's easy, even being in a foreigner's country, to think of them as different then yourself but, in reality, people are just people, no matter where they come from. That's why I love meeting them all!