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One thing I have learned on this trip is that there is a major difference between a tourist and a foreigner. For the first two weeks, I felt like a tourist. I wasn’t at all self-conscious of the way I acted, dressed, or spoke. I was in India to see the sights, not to assimilate.

It wasn’t until I started interning that I started feeling like a foreigner. For a few days, I assisted the floor director at Coke Studio@MTV, a program by Red Chillies Idiotbox. It was a great experience and I really enjoyed it. I met a bunch of great people and was actually pretty upset that the shoot ended so briefly after I had just begun to work there.

I have had plenty of jobs in many different industries. I worked at a grocery store, announced baseball games, interned at a radio show, and much more. However, none of my work experience helped me with the extreme difficulty I had with this job.

I can count the amount of words I can speak in Hindi on two hands. That being said, every task I had to do, even things as simple as grabbing an extra bar stool for a guitarist to sit on took much more work than normal. I was extremely grateful to the floor director for putting up with my inability to communicate and using excess English.

This experience was really eye opening to me. At a few of the jobs I have worked, I have been with people who speak very little English. After a few failed attempts, I usually just gave up on communicating with them and got annoyed with them for not understanding. Having this situation flipped so that I was the one unable to comprehend was incredible. It truly gave me a whole different outlook.

In the few days I was there, I could tell the major shifts from people eyeing me like I had no place there on day one, to making small talk and a few even thanking me for the work I was putting in.

As much as the three days on set were all major struggles and journeys in communicating, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Can’t wait to see what’s next. Namaste.

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