Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Things we'll miss about Bangalore

The PEOPLE – they are amazing and kind and engaged and curious and attentive and loving and do everything in their power to make you feel like you are the most special person in the whole world every day.

Our Friends (see The People) – We have made truly once in a lifetime friends here. I have bonded faster and deeper with these fellow expats than I have with any group since “Week 1” Freshman year of college (and yes, they have seen me at my best and my worst and still love me for it)

The Food – all joking about weight loss aside, the food here is amazing. Carrots & tomatoes that ACTUALLY taste like carrots and tomatoes (not hot house synthetic versions of the vegetables). Fresh food, made from scratch, daily… the AMAZING variety of spices, the bountifulness & varieties of fruits & vegetables.

The Adventure – everyday is an adventure. Going to work or school or the grocery store can be a sensory overload of new smells, sites and adventures. We have seen donkey’s riding in ricksaws, the word chicken spelled 10 different ways, pot holes that look like small craters, blue blue skies and green green palm trees. We have also see one of the seven wonders of the world, some of the worst poverty imaginable, visited 2 other continents (not to mention 7 new countries), countless temples, ruins and ancient cultural locations. The diversity of experience here is so rich its unbelievable.

The Autonomy to be ourselves in our family – please don’t take this the wrong way BUT.. because we have so few friendships here we have much fewer commitments and our schedule is much more in our control. We can go on a long weekend at the drop of a hat. We can hole up and just spend 2 full days on our family. We can read to the kids, watch movies, play cricket, color, etc with having to worry about soccer practice or piano lessons or carpooling or the 9 thousand other things that seem to eat up your time in the U.S. We have some adjusting to do when we get back

The Designated Driver – yes, I admit it, I am going to miss saying “ok, I’ll have another glass of wine, I don’t need to drive” or “sure, let’s order a whole bottle of wine, we aren’t driving”. Besides being our sober cab on a few occasions, he’s also become part of the family. He plays with the kids, hugs them hello in the morning, gives them kisses at night and keeps an eye out for them as they cross the street, ride their bikes, etc… (he also makes amazing chai!!)

Raj & Florence (see The People) – we are the only people that I know that have had the same cook/housekeeper for 2 ½ years. As much as we had to get used to having 2 extra people in the house (and in our stuff) everyday, they had to learn to be around 5 loud Americans (I think was probably harder for them to adjust to us than us to them). They take care of us (and our visitors) when we are sick, are responsible for all the wonderful food we eat, love our children (bathing, feeding, playing with them), insure that any party we host is “properly grand” and are the people we rely on to have a smooth life experience in a foreign country & culture. They do this all without a dishwasher, oven, dryer, A/C, hot running water, electricity some days, etc.. AND, they do it with loving warm smiling faces.

The Weather – it’s the San Diego of India, enough said