Life has taken a nine and a half hour phase shift, as I now find myself in Detroit for the next 8 months. Weather wise the timing was perfect having avoided the inconvenience of monsoons in Bombay and getting the best possible climate here with the onset of summer in this notoriously cold part of US.
Hope I could have said the same about the Economic or Political climate out here. Michigan has been the worst hit in this recession in the USA; in fact it was a laggard in most of the economic indicators for a long time, owing to the heavy dependence on the chronically under-performing US auto industry. It is a part of the so called "rust belt" of the US. One can see signs of a economy in depression almost everywhere, starting from empty roads (except maybe during rush hours), houses up For Sale signs, unusually high number of garage and other distress sales, half-empty malls closing down, heavy discounts on various goods, people talking about lack of jobs, low rents etc. Inflation is also at a high with high gas and food prices. A classic example of Stagflation.
Downtown Detroit the business capital of Michigan is also quite sparse compared to many other similar cities in the US. Though that cannot be solely attributed to economic reasons, but also due to other socio-political reasons. Phenomenons such as ghettoizing of Afro-Americans (being politically correct), white-flight, high operating costs and lack of a specially skilled workforce are some of the factors that have inhibited new investments in the state.
Politically it has been a roller-coaster ride for Americans as the electorate has become highly polarized on race, gender and class. The coming few moths will be quite charged politically, so it will be a good experience to observe the American Presidential elections with a ringside view.
Overall personally the last one month has been an eventful period, with lots of things happening mostly good some not so good. One can find somemore details on my wife Meghna's blog.