Hi my name is Shwetha Mallya, I am 26 years old, I am a student at the University of Texas at Austin. I moved to Austin in 2014 from Mangalore, India, and now I am currently living in Austin, Texas.
Ah, I was really excited to come to the U.S. because it was my first time visiting this country. And it was scary at the same time. But I moved here with my husband so that made it easy on me, just having someone who has already lived here and telling you things to do, things not to do. Especially when we were packing, he said “Don’t pack a lot of clothes because you’ll find a lot of clothes in the U.S., you’ll love shopping here!” And I actually love shopping here, so I am glad I didn’t bring a lot of clothes from India.
My first impression of the United States was everything is big here. The buildings were big, the supermarkets were big, the roads were really good, I mean, the roads are clean. There’s a lot of greenery, especially coming to Austin you’ll find a lot of trees. It’s a beautiful city so I was mesmerized just by the beauty of the city. I was lucky that Austin was the first city I visited in the U.S.
I remember the first day I woke up at 3:00AM because I could not sleep because of the jet lag. I went to Wal-Mart to do grocery shopping. I remember being completely stressed out looking at the cereal aisle because there were so many options, I had never seen so many cereal options before. So we did a little bit of grocery shopping and after that, when we came to the check-out counter, I was surprised because the cashier actually greeted me! And we are never used to greetings in India, so I was happy to see, like, smiling face at the check-out counter because that is something new that I’ve found in this country.