Moving to a new place is always interesting, but also challenging and it is often not about the logistics of moving.
India so far has turned out to be the epitome of both.
Facebook is misleading – I have posted the occasional photos and observations but really, it is only one small facet – more like that of a tourist snapping photos of picturesque places and making not-so insightful comments. But for most part, people seem content with the idea of exotic India, after all, what is there not to like?
Living here however is quite different. And I am not visiting some new exciting place every other day, contrary to what the Facebook photos suggest.
My days here are really simple. I wake up to the sound of crows cawing and the Indian palm squirrel chattering (they have a conference meeting every morning). Then I make breakfast, read the news and catch up on what people are up to back home (or wherever they are in the world). After that I may do some housework or catch up on reading or some other hobby and wait for James to come back from work. Dinner is followed by some television time and wa-la, there goes another day.
Compared to the really busy days and stressful schedules back home, this probably sounds like a dream but hand on heart, the first month was really difficult. Coming from 8-10 hour workdays with the occasional and sometimes frequent need to put in additional work on weekends, having so much free time is staggering and almost crippling. You lose a sense of purpose and you are never quite sure what your role of being in this new place is. I can think of many answers but they do not always seem accurate.
Suffice to say, I am not housewife material.
Compound this with completely different cultural norms and the place of women in Indian society, I sometimes feel a little cooped up. Not being able to walk anywhere at anytime on my own will take some getting used to. But gender issues will be a post for another day. The stories are both amusing and appalling.
Mosquitoes are another problem but again, another post for another day. This one also deserves a whole post dedicated to it.
That said, I do not think that it will be indefinitely difficult and I have found some meaningful tasks to occupy myself with (from home improvement projects to looking for volunteer work). This feeling of being unsettled is probably due to the transition both geographically and the need to adapt to a vastly different way of life.
As of now, I do not have any regrets making this move – what I have lost, I have gained in other ways.
Will leave you with two photos – a view from my apartment and a picture of Vizag city from the top floor of an old establishment hotel (The Dolphin). My apartment is in a relatively peaceful and charming location (in a run-down sort of way – some buildings are damaged from a cyclone from years before, others are simply incomplete projects that fell out of favour). No skyscrapers in this city.