Six months ago today, we landed, not on the Moon, but in India, which is about the same for an American! We were in completely unchartered territory, but with the help of some amazing people, first at the Taj Vivanta in Whitefield, then our Awesome driver Sathya, as well as a myriad of friends such as Marsha and Idhaya, we have made Bangalore our home. We have made some new friends along the way with whom we have grown as people, exploring the city, learning new customs and learning about ourselves.
To celebrate, I am treating you to a guest post from the grand all mighty E., my hubby extraordinaire. Here’s what he wrote on a napkin when I asked him to give me his top five, and his “low five” of being here:
- Exploring on the Vespa
- Indian food
- How nice people generally are
- Travel-ability go lots of places I have never been but always wanted to see
- Quality/intelligence/education of individual engineers
- Work problems
- Work problems (again, as this is a big one)
- Being constantly confused, never understanding anything or anyone 100%
- Dishonesty/lying by people
- Nothing works, and it takes 15 people and 5 visits to get it fixed (and even then it still doesn’t work right)
Here’s what I wrote on the back of a restaurant bill:
What I like the most:
- I love how nice people are in the streets. They smile, wave, seem genuinely happy to make contact with you even for a few seconds
- Coconut water, but not the kind you buy in a bottle at the store. It has to be sold fresh from a coconut man, occasionally a coconut woman, who decapitates them with a machete and sticks a straw in it. We will have a video of that later I am sure.
- All foods. I have unfortunately bit into a few things I didn’t care for, but those are rare.
- The birds. I haven’t talked about them yet, but we can hear very loud birds with different songs all day, and night long. Yes, in India, birds are so happy they sing at night.
- Learning something new every day.
What I would like to see disappear from my life:
- The lies. It’s unbelievable how often we are lied to. From bad faith, to incompetence, to trying to extort money out of us, we hear a lot of lies.
- Being stuck at home for days at a time, waiting for some much needed maintenance person (6 days to fix the AC in the bedroom, the second time in 3 weeks) who shows up at a time based on an imaginary schedule that only they have access to.
- E.’s work problems. They affect our daily lives more than when we are in the US. Not fun.
- Lousy workmanship. Rarely is anything done correctly the first time, even if given precise, written instructions, in the language they write.
- Dust. It’s getting to me, more precisely getting to my lungs. I completely cover my face on the Vespa, and breathe into my scarf when walking.
We will never be the same. India is making us better people, one day at a time.