Sunday, February 10, 2013

Things I Miss...

During the NRI (non-resident Indian) season there are lots of families from abroad that come to India and visit family and friends, as well as travel. It’s evident from all the stores (specifically jewelry and clothing) posting large “NRI SALES!!” signs. In any case, I digress.

The point of my post is to shed light on the things I miss, apart from people. I am blessed to have people traveling from the states and asking me what I want from there because I may miss it here. Luckily though, I've adjusted well to the products available here: beauty, hygiene, clothes, etc. In reality the things I miss have more to do with lifestyle.

I miss independence the most. The single woman traveling creates a lot of angst for family members and moving around is cushioned by messages ensuring my safety and comfort. I knew in my heart it comes from love, but I struggled with this when I went to Delhi. I understood the worry since the terrible Delhi rape incident had happened only a few days prior, but in all honesty, I missed the freedom to roam about and discover things for myself. I am slowly understanding the different way of life for a girl versus boy in India, but it still seems foreign and I find it hard to not question.

I miss clarity. The ever-present “Indian standard time” (a term used to describe the regular tardiness of Indians) is on steroids here. This has been crazy hard for me to deal with professionally, as well as personally. I have always been fond of planning and having a schedule (sometimes even in the form of Excel spreadsheets) and the ability to create a schedule in India and stick to it is dreadful. Even for classroom settings it is hard- festivals and celebrations constantly trample through plans and dance around them until they’re fully disheveled.

I miss luxuries. I’ve gotten quite used to bucket baths, but I miss standing showers and dry spaces to change into clothes. Indian bathrooms are all one level- for the most part. The shower head is generally not working (hard water creates calcium blockages) so you shower from two buckets, a bucket of water and a small bucket to pour on yourself. In either case, I enjoy the reduction of water consumption, but I still get soap in my eyes when I wash my hair.

So those are some of the things I miss. I’ve acclimated to life in India fairly well, but there are definitely things I’m looking forward to when I come back to the states.

PS - I also miss Mexican food, Thai food, In-n-out, a sturdy internet connection and driving my car with the windows down.

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