A Thousand Words Beyond the Hill

Price Chambers

Near the railroad tracks in downtown Bowling Green lies Jeannie’s Superwash, a do-it-yourself laundromat that caters to a range of ethnic patrons. Mexicans, Indians and others gather in one place on Clay Street for a common goal: clean clothes.

On a Saturday night around 8:30, four Western graduate students sit at the end of the room in a pale cast of fluorescent light talking about computer programming and American culture as their laundry swishes back and forth. All from India, the four guys share an apartment as well as opinions about the United States, Kentucky, Bowling Green and Western.

“We call Bowling Green ‘Boring Green’,” said Vijaya Rudraraju . “There’s nothing much to do,” added Sachin Katakdound. On average, the men say they spend two to three hours a day studying and working on homework. Most of them don’t miss their home too much. The conversation bounces from school to culture-shock to women as their shirts go on to the spin cycle.

Rudraraju has been here for two years. One startling surprise for him was the appearance of the United States. He was amazed at the uniformity of it’s buildings and infrastructure. “It’s better than what I expected it to be,” he said. Another one of the men, Gaurau Garg, was impressed with the city. “Bowling Green has everything, like all the stores.” Garg said. “The girls here are pretty. Girls and cars.”

Price Chambers is a senior photojournalism major from Nashville. He can be reached at [email protected]