I had settled down comfortably in my host’s big home in a place called Issaquah, a very quiet, beautiful residential suburb which is about an hour’s drive from Downtown Seattle and about half an hour’s drive from Downtown Bellevue. On a sunny Saturday morning, my very first week-end in the <st1:country-region><st1lace>US</st1lace></st1:country-region>, I was taking a long walk on the <st1:Street><st1:address>Klahanie Boulevard</st1:address></st1:Street>, a beautiful three mile road with trees on the either side and with very little vehicular traffic. I had heard from my host that it is the custom of this place to smile even at total strangers and ask, How are you doing today. Well I should say that I was not discriminating in favour of beautiful women while practising this wonderful custom. I was stopped on the road by a sixty year old man who looked like very much like an Indian. When he asked me, ‘Are you from India?’, in a modulation-less accent which only Indians, and that too South Indians can manage to deliver, I switched over to Tamil. “Enna Thamizha?” . The man grabbed my hands and we were talking for a long time. Let’s call him K. I met K several times. Every time it was holding each others hands and talking of every thing under the sun, or walking by the side in friendly silence. K is visiting his son, a software guy who had made his millions pretty early. He and his wife had come down to take care of their grand children. They had first come for a 3-month-stay. But then it got extended to 11 months. I casually asked K, “You should be enjoying your stay in the <st1:country-region><st1lace>US</st1lace></st1:country-region>?” . I was expecting a casual reply, ‘Oh, yes.’ Or at the worst, ‘It’s just about OK. Nothing like our life in <st1:country-region><st1lace>India</st1lace></st1:country-region>.’ But to my utter embarrassment this man burst out right on the street. He was quite passionate in condemning the <st1:country-region><st1lace>US</st1lace></st1:country-region> life. He told me that he was virtually counting the days and hours to go back to <st1:country-region><st1lace>India</st1lace></st1:country-region>. He was terribly bored and virtually had nothing to do. And oh yes, the winter was a different story. With the thermometer neatly sliding below 0 degrees Celsius and with the roads covered with sheet-ice and occasionally snow, it was prison-life. Summer and Fall was MI (mild imprisonment) and winter RI (rigorous imprisonment.) I have been living here for almost a month. Well, I do not share K’s hatred for American life. In fact I have almost started loving everything here. The half an hour car drive along I-90 to Bellevue, the quick lunch of Bean Burritos, Fire Sauce and Potato Veggie Delight at Taco Bell, the vastness of the Home Depot, the pricing strategy of Wal-mart, the beauty of a typical private school, the disciplined traffic, the way husbands share the household work with their wives, the work-ethic, the respect for labour, the material abundance and the existence of a system even for something as mundane as taking out the trash. Do K and I see different worlds in the same place? Yes. What should K and people like him do to enjoy their stay in the <st1:country-region><st1lace>US</st1lace></st1:country-region>? When your son or daughter call you to assist them during pregnancy, make it clear that you will be there only till the lady in question (daughter or dil) returns to normalcy or ready to go back to work. Staying after she goes back to work is gratuitous baby sitting and I cannot think of a more cruel punishment than that. Grandchildren are no doubt sheer happiness but only if taking care of them is what you choose to do. It is a chore when it is forced on you and it is a punishment when you have to do it 24 X 7. Plan your trip well in advance. Just observe how you are spending the time there in <st1:country-region><st1lace>India</st1lace></st1:country-region>. You may be going to the neighbourhood temple or chat with the lady in the next flat or go to a discourse in Vani Mahal or simply walk around Gandhinagar in Adyar or shop around in Renganathan Street. Remember you can do nothing of that sort here in the <st1:country-region><st1lace>US</st1lace></st1:country-region>.