The world is a beautiful place which never fails to amaze me. I am lucky enough to have covered about fifteen percent of it at a decent age of twenty-four. The better part is that I got to stay for long durations in three different countries. Growing up in New Delhi, India and then moving for higher studies to the US and living there for 5 years and eventually moving to Zambia, where I have been staying since the last 1.5 years. Talking to my friends about it made me feel like sharing my living experiences in these so-called First World, Second World and Third World countries. I am not really sure if Second World is the right term for India from an economic point of view but yes it’s a developing nation faster than Zambia. Some readers might feel that I’m being biased on certain points however, remember that everyone’s experience is different and this is just a comparison of casual observations that I gathered during my stay. Also, the price comparison is not absolute numbers but according to income level in the countries and other basic factors.
- Morning Experience
Definitely, the US and Africa had far quieter mornings than waking up in India to the noise of cars honking and mom screaming to get my ass up from the bed. I prefer quieter mornings now since those make me feel fresher but nevertheless, I do miss those noisy mornings. In terms of a morning showers, US had a 24-hour hot shower, meanwhile in India I had to turn on my hot water before my shower and in Zambia I have to turn it on a night before since 6-10 am there is an electricity cutoff. So if you are forgetful like me then cold showers become a habit which according to science is good. My shower caddy consisted of 10 different shampoos and products in the US compared to a 3-4 in India and maybe just a couple of things in Zambia (and no it’s not because I became filthy).
- Daily Commute
In terms of commuting to places I had to be on working days, US and Zambia have much better roads to drive on and reach places. As most of you know traffic in Delhi sucks and is horrible. Zambia had nice highways but of course, not like 6 lanes in California and people do not follow the rules here. Good coverage and unlimited internet imply that I can listen to pretty much anything in India and US but for Zambia, Spotify premium is a necessity, although there is internet 4G LTE coverage but it’s too expensive. So I rather save my songs as I have a habit of listening to my new favorites on repeat and burn them out quickly.
- Work Schedule
Working timings in Zambia and California are typical 8 hours a day but in India, it can go unto 9-10 hours a day. But in the US and Zambia, the feeling of calling it home came usually after a couple of months in terms of getting in the routine and realizing that it is just not a vacation but I am actually going to be living here for god knows how many years. The perks of an organised cabinet by my mom for me at home was priceless because now I have forgotten what that feels like after moving out. Living out of a suitcase was a new thing for me.
- Grocery Shopping
For my grocery shopping, in the US it was in a decently sized Trader Joe’s or a giant like Walmart where even the cereal counter had 100 different options along with a bunch of organic options and dietary options in pretty much all the items. In comparison to India where they have a decent range of options in a tightly squeezed grocery stores or shops where you pretty much ask the shopkeeper to give you the one from the limited brands you know or they advertise about. Zambia has decent sized grocery stores too and did have a similar experience in terms of the shopping in the US but not at all close in terms of the range of options in the US and very limited dietary options. But both California and Lusaka grocery stores charge you for your plastic bags. I heard that they are trying to implement in India soon too. HELL YEA, SAVE EARTH fellas. Just a little geeky about recycling so I would also want to touch base on how my trash bags have much more plastic content compared to the US.
Electricity is omnipresent in the US and hardly goes off but India and Zambia can experience the problem of load-shedding. Especially small countries like Zambia can be affected much more easily if they don’t get enough rains for a couple of consecutive years. A Smartphone is still a big thing in Zambia and network plans are expensive in the US too whereas India wins the race with the cheapest network plans which everyone can afford along with a wide range of cheap smartphones.
Every other week I will compare my experiences on different topics. Feel free to comment about any topics that you might want me to cover and talk more about.