I read this article that a teacher at AES posted on Facebook and found it quite interesting. I though I might change it up a little for me in anticipation of my travels to family and friends this summer.
Since I’ve only been gone from the US for 10 months (good God, has it been that long… feels like FOREVER in many ways), there have been many changes on both sides of the world. You’ve changed and so have I. I may not immediately see your changes, but give me a few minutes and I will probably be able to put a finger on it. No, let’s not say that we look older, that the lines in our faces have become more prominent or the gray in our hair is grayer. Let’s see the spark that’s still there, enjoy the easy laughter that I haven’t heard in a while and just breathe in your presence. Change is inevitable and it may cause just a little pain to see how the little ones have grown. Yes, I’ve missed out on the day-to-day moments, but let me just enjoy the present moments without the drama and the guilt. It’s hard enough being on the other side of the planet when your heart is somewhere else.
Yes, i am looking forward to driving on the right side of the road. Just driving in general! I may need a little practice, but I’m sure it’s like getting on a bicycle. The balance and skills will come back quickly, so don’t remind me or scold me if you happen to be a passenger. I’ve seen some pretty gnarley traffic situations in India, so trust me, driving in the States will be a piece of cake!
If I get (in your opinion) overly excited about shopping, please just let me go a little crazy. Shopping in India is a challenge at best and finding anything like what is common in the US will be fun to see again, even if I don’t buy it. My suitcase will only hold so much “loot” coming back, so don’t encourage me to buy too much. In fact, you could help by discouraging me from buying anything at all! I’ll know what I can’t get in India and can’t live without.
Don’t feed me like I’ve been starving. Don’t give me high calorie, high sugar, high fat and overly processed food that the US is so famous for. We have food in India. In fact, the vegetables and fruits are fresh in the market every day and nothing is GMO. But if I “need” a milkshake every day, I might just get one… or a hamburger (made from real beef) or lots and lots of bacon.
If there is something you’ve been hearing or concerned about, ask me. Yes, India has it’s social problems. Yes, they are disturbing, but ask me about it. Ask me my spin on things. Ask me what I’ve seen and heard. You know how the media can be in the US and it can be that (and much more) in India. If you are worried, ask about my safety, how I travel around, what I do, who I’m with, etc. I’ll be happy to allay any concerns you might have.
No, I don’t speak Hindi. No, I haven’t learned to cook Indian food. Yes, I have a maid (who works for myself and three other expats). No, my maid doesn’t cook for me. Yes, it’s nice to have a clean apartment, but it’s also nice to think that I’m helping by paying this wonderful woman who is caring for her own children and two elderly family members. It isn’t that I can’t wash my own clothes, make my own bed or clean my own apartment. I see it as helping someone else earn an income that I can easily afford.
I want to thank you ahead of my visit for taking time out for me, helping me out, being a part of some of the time I see as precious while I am there. I am hoping that it goes slowly, that I can squeeze in the places and people I want to see and that I can make some memories to bring back with me at the end of July. I will want to share photos and stories with the people here who care about me and show them how much love I feel when I visit the US, my family and friends.