i thought i would take a slight deviation today and fill you in on some of the nuances of my life here in india. i love it so much.
there is a saying that most of us learn before we even arrive in country…
tii…this is india
little do you really know until you have experienced some of this rich and quirky culture exactly what it means. the beauty here is that it covers a multitude of items and situations…here are a few of mine.
i bought some salwar suits…traditional everyday dress around here. they are awesome, you can have them tailor made and fitted for you for way less than shopping off the rack at home for something that might or might not fit you after it’s been washed. now the colors they use here are vibrant…until you start to wash them. then not only your clothes, but everything else they are with also becomes “vibrant.” this isn’t my first rickshaw ride here in mother india…but after washing something and after washing some clothes that were gifted to me…i was thinking, particularly the gifted clothes should be fine and no longer sharing their “color” with the world…wrong. so i now have some very interesting colored pants and things that i’m re-arranging in my wardrobe to go with other items…after all tii…mix and match is the name of the game.
there is a huge celebration coming up at the end of this month. diwali is a festival of lights so to speak. and everyone yes, i do mean everyone is preparing big time. because this is a ‘light focused’ event there are regularly scheduled…and not so scheduled power outages to “save up” the electricity for all the lights (think of that annoying neighbor that turns their yard into a scene from christmas vacation and you’ll have a ballpark understanding). my amazing friends have a back up battery, thankfully, but my house does not…so sometimes we have fans and lights during school…and sometimes not…tii (ps it should be noted that a while back in the local paper it was explained that since a major city that i will choose not to name is in this same state that our power outages are necessary so that electricity can be sent to the thriving metropolis. but not to worry this will soon be rectified…in 2022.) wow
so, i go to make chai at my house alone for the first time. now granted, i do not have the luxury of cooking on a gas stove at home. it may have slipped my memory exactly how quickly gas heats up. so while i’m looking for (and can’t find) the tea to put in said chai, the milk boils and boils…i remember to stir it therefore successfully keeping it from boiling over the edges of the pan, but it took me so long to get my ingredients together and in the pot that by the time it was “right” there were about 2 tablespoons of the 2 cups of milk i had started with. so i poured some of my filtered water into a new pan, lit the flame again (oh, yeah…gotta lite the gas after you turn it on…it’s a wonder i haven’t blown something up) boiled water for “coffee in a tea bag” added that to my “chai” and had a chai coffee latte…because tii and you just have to roll with it sometimes.
with the tinyest exception of: the small iguana type lizard that seems to think he owns my gate, to the geckos that actually are territorial and will fight over who gets to eat the bugs in which room, to the chipmunks/birds/cat that think my roof is a major highway, to the small insect and bug-like things that can be killed with a shoe or some bug spray…it’s really just like home.
speaking of which, i have had many requests for the update on my house…this is my final tii moment for you today. everything here is very laid back…we will [insert task necessary for me to move in] tomorrow, which turns into the end of the week, which turns into – oh, has no one come to [nail that board on the bottom of your door so frogs and things bigger than frogs can no longer let themselves into your house]? no? ok, i’ll be there tomorrow. and while it has not bothered me that the process of my moving in has been little by little over the last month and a half or so…i’m sure my friends are glad to have their house back to just their family, at least for part of the day. so after what i know has been a nail biting experience for you (i mean what else do you have to do other than wait for me to scratch time together to blog and tell you all these things, right?). i am happy to present to you…my finished product. my lil’ green house, the way i really live in it…