“Where are you from?”
This is a question I find very difficult to answer, especially during small talks with strangers at social events. I am from India; eastern part of India to be precise. But that does not answer the question. Throughout my life, I have always been on move. No, not like a quintessential millennial traveling with a backpack! I would rather define the move as being uprooted from a familiar place and dropped at a new address, pretty frequently. My father’s work demanded relocations and by the time I finished my studies and started working, I had already stayed across six states in India. Later on, I moved to the United States and have stayed in three states so far. So all these states are like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to complete the answer to where I belong to, because a bit of my home is in each of these places; through food, language, and most importantly, people.
I’m starting a series of blog posts where I will be sharing funny and not-so-funny experiences at the places I have lived across. Here is the first post on the city I’m still getting acquainted with.
Jersey City, New Jersey
A month ago, I moved to Jersey City, New Jersey and I’m in the process of making it my home. The process started with apartment hunt; the eternal search for a place that fitted my budget, and requirements. After going through multiple rental listings, talking to real estate agents, taking tours of shortlisted apartments, I gathered that:
“It is all about the skyline.” In Jersey City, any apartment that has a view of the New York skyline (even from the bathroom window!) is pricey. Period.
“The higher you stay, the higher you aim!” This was the statement from one of the real estate agents I met during the apartment tours. He was convincing me about the benefits of staying on the sixth floor of the building and how it would help me in climbing up the career ladder. Well, I had to tell him that after paying the rent to stay high and aim high, I might end up being low, financially.
Whenever I move to a new city, I try to find its similarity with the places I have lived before. It is my way of searching familiarity amid unfamiliar surroundings. In Jersey City, the familiarity is in the form of delicious, spicy Mediterranean, Indian, and Chinese food served at some of the small restaurants and food trucks (I am not a big fan of restaurant chains). I have already started making a list of my favorite eateries in the city and will share it soon.
After a rigorous apartment hunt, I am finally going to call this sunny place as my home in this city.
I’m yet to unpack my boxes and decorate my new home. But I have already started falling in love with the place. I have shared one of my misadventures in the new city. More to follow, for sure ! Can’t wait to share with you all.