Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Decisions and their consequences

A. and I were talking today about how slim the chance of us meeting was...

I grew up in Brazil, did my MS in th USA, went back to Brazil, went back to the USA for a PhD in Raleigh, NC, with the intention of only staying for 3 semesters, finish the coursework and then go back to my job in the Brazilian Amazon (where I had just bought an apartment and would be doing my research anyway).

A. grew up in Hyderabad, India, almost went to the National Defence Academy in India (did not go due to a last minute decision before taking the train), finished college in India, worked there, went to the USA for his MS, worked in Dallas, Detroit, Edenton (NC) and then moved to Raleigh.

And when I moved to Raleigh I decided to go out on my first weekend there. And guess who I meet? That's right, A. He had just moved to the area 6 months before, fleeing the small town life in Edenton. We were friends for 6 months first, with the latter part of those 6 months being filled with "what ifs" by me and by A. wondering if we'd ever work. Four years after first meeting we're getting married! So I guess it does work out.

But details aside, it always amazes me how decisions that seem small at the time they are made can have huge implications on the rest of your life. My Dad used to worry about me going abroad again for my PhD, thinking that chances of meeting someone for the long term were big, and chances that this person would be Brazilian were slim. Not that he preferred Brazilians, but that would make it much easier for me to live "next door", so to speak. I always dismissed his concern and was always sure I'd go back to Brazil. But he was right... the decision I took lightly (thinking only professionally and not necessarily personally) did allow me to meet A., and we still have no clue where (if??) we'll settle down. This is obviously not bad, but it does carry consequences... let's just say that the fastest way to get from India to Brazil takes 26 hours and about US$3000 per person.

Sometimes you don't even realize big decisions are being made... but that's the beauty of it.
What life changing, yet small, decisions have changed your life?


  1. Hi Samba, I'm Kat and I'm actually born, raised and still living in Raleigh. Glad we treated the two of you so well when you were here.

    A year and a half ago I began dating my Boyfriend who is also South Indian(Telugu). The relationship has turned into something more then I would have ever imagined. We are soon going to begin the introduction of me to his family(wish me luck). If all goes well, the "consequences" of my relationship will soon become a reality because I will have to move with him back home to India.

    I definitely feel your pain on how expensive it is. Although, from here, it is only $1500-$2000.

    I know your dad will miss you great, but he knew the kind of girl he was raising and thats why he knew it was a possibility. No matter how much he will miss you, he will still be proud that raised successful daughter who found a great man to marry.

    Good luck with all the weddings and I look forward to reading your blog regularly.

  2. Hi Samba,
    found you via Jurate's blog.
    My husband is not Indian, but just like in your story, never ever in a million years did I expect to find myself living in Japan with a Japanese husband, whom I met in the US. And I'm Polish.

    Love your blog, and I'm bookmarking it.
    Good luck with all your weddings (we only had 2, but they were 5 years apart).

    And I'm looking forward to lots of wedding photos!

  3. Hi Kat,
    Nice to "meet" you. Raleigh seems the place to meet Indians :D Where in India is your bf from? Where would you live? That can have considerable implications on how you like it. Have you traveled abroad?

    Hi A and Y!
    Thanks for your comment. Your blog is interesting too!
    How long have you been living in Japan? How was moving there?


  4. And I thought North Americans had it bad getting to India - $3000 and 26 hours is significantly worse than any flight out of the US to India!

    What are your plans regarding where you'll live as a couple? Third country for "fairness" (or the academic job market) or try to make it back to Brazil or India?

  5. Hum... "no plans" seems to be our planning. A. says he wants to live in Brazil a few years, I would not mind living in India either. But for the longer terms we figure either Europe (8 hours flight to Brazil and to India) or Africa (also half way) seem to be the fair options... :)

  6. Hi Samba,

    Very interesting situation you have going here. I came here from GoriGirl - which I discovered a month or so ago - and loving your posts. The question at the end of your post had me thinking. Maybe I'll have a detailed 'answer' on my blog sometime soon.

    In short, I'm a Indian guy (from Kolkata), married to an American woman, living in Minnesota.

    ~ Krishanu

  7. Oh, just had to mention this. Bengalis have a 'deep' relationship with Brazil. Soccer - or football. Jogo Bonito.

    We 'worship' the greats from Garincha, Vava, Pele, Zico, Romario, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Kaka ...

  8. Hi Krishanu,
    Thanks for your comments!
    I thought half the Bengalis cheer for Brazil and the other half to Argentina!

  9. Let's just say that 80% of Bengalis cheer for Brazil. The rest, who were fed up, got an opportunity in 1986 when Maradona was the 'God', and have since then stuck to Argentina.

  10. Hey there,

    Guess what!! I did my Masters from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Hell melly!! I guess its either that the Charlotte water source starts back in the Amazonas or rather that Telugu's back in the US are too many that no nationality could go untouched by the plume of Telugu's in there... I met my girl while I was in Charlotte and guess what, she is Brazilian. Was going bonkers when I read the typical Telugu looking Batata curry, should have been tasting good as well...

    Well getting down to the issue, the boy's parents, that's my parents dont agree to get married to a brazilian, not that anything is wrong but just that affinity to India a little too much, backed by my uncles and aunts... So the biggy big battalion of "NO sayers" are more and I am keen to get married with her the Indian as well as the brazilian way.

    Any Ideia, por fovor ?

  11. Hi CI,
    Well, you have to be strong, independent, and follow your own choices. Indian parents eventually come around (after the initial Bollywood drama). My husband was very straight forward about what he wanted and despite the drama eventually everyone is happy.
    Good luck!