Because our TEM Lab was based in the USA, especially in the capital city of the country, we believed that we were going to be perfectly fine – after all, you could not expect culture shock, language problems or miscommunications in a well-developed city in the country that you have lived in for a few years now. And DC has proved us wrong several times. From erratic internet services at work and home, staying in a place without a heater during the cold winter months, the weekly rains, snow storms and an interesting client team, DC has thrown quite a few surprises our way.


DC is charming because of its history, interesting mix of people and the neoclassical architecture that exists even in residential areas. Business interactions are conducted even during happy hours during the weekdays. Unlike New York, Washington D.C. has a clean metro system that is functional. Most taxi drivers are friendly and are proud of their occupations. We have had interesting conversations with cabbies, learning the nuances of living in DC coupled with interesting stories that we would have not heard otherwise. Traffic, while extremely high during rush hours, is manageable and not as frustrating as in NYC or LA. In terms of weather, DC appears to be ill equipped when the weather goes bad and prefers to shut down. On some days, we have had perfect weather and that makes DC more amazing, because it is amazing to walk in this city.

I would love to tour the White House (we are working towards it) and the Pentagon as well. We have seen a few museums here, and there is so much more to see. The alumni we have met have given us interesting tips – such as getting a 360-degree view of DC from the tower at the National Postal Museum. The food industry in DC is amazing! From food trucks at the National Mall to global cuisine restaurants all around our workplace, we sure are not short for food options. Music is another part that makes this city so interesting – from the fiddler on the sidewalk to jazz festivals, DC has it all. Culture resonates throughout every corner of the city, and we are happy to be here.

Author: Kulnuttha Angupaitoon (Kitty)