I met Atin and Tinni in Lexington, by knocking on their door during one of my canvasses in Lexington for Barack Obama in 2007. They are of Indian descent so we instant bonded over our shared heritage in culture diverse city of Lexington (sarcasm) that we both live in .
Being ethnically Indian, when you see another person from the South Asian continent (namely Sri-Lankan, Indian or Pakistani) you instantly recognize the shared heritage … and they do as well. The BIG question is do you nod or smile in acceptance of that fact or do you pretend that you didn’t actually see each other and walk away feeling a small amount of guilt of not accepting your own heritage. Fortunately we nodded – I had to … I was at their front door.
Atin, Tinni and I have shared backgrounds too. They came to the US for school in Mississippi, graduated, got jobs, got their green cards and now are citizens. I came to the US for school in Louisiana, graduated, got a job (soon to be had a job), got my green card, and only have to wait a little over 4 years for citizenship.
Over the years we have run into each other at the YMCA, around tiny Lexington, mutual friends, … I wanted to reconnect with them because they are my closest “peeps” in area. I do have some close Indian friends in Roanoke, but none except for them in Sexy Lexi. Since there is no Indian restaurant in Lexington we went to the next best thing: Latin American food at Mano Taquira. It is amazing and very reasonably priced. I don’t think there is a better DEAL in Lexington. Also, if you like a little extra kick in your food, then get whatever you order with the salsa verde.
They took me out to lunch, we talked about India and the US cultural challenges for non-Indian residents in the US who have culturally assimilated in the US to visit India which is going through its own evolution. Since they are well traveled, I asked for traveling wisdom and Atin was quick to share some ‘really good advice’ for single traveling Indian men. 😛 I’m still chuckling about it Tinni. Too funny.