Six months

Today marks the six month anniversary of our arrival as a family in India.  We are halfway through the year that we committed to, and a big part of me says I can’t believe that we have been here this long, and a much smaller part says that it can’t possibly have been just six months, it must have been so much longer! India, so far, has been a wonderful but chaotic experience, filled with many great experiences, learning many new things, meeting fabulous people and making truly great friends, but also a great deal of stress, many tears, and some pretty lonely times, especially for me.  That being said, I would not change a minute of it.  It has really been a great six months.

A little while after we arrived, a lady that Willy met told him that she would never recommend Bangalore as a first ex-pat posting, it’s too remote, too isolating, and too hard to settle in. He nodded and smiled and then relayed the comment to me later. I initially agreed, but then later came to realize that it’s not true in our case.  If we hadn’t come here first, we might never have come.  This might be our only posting abroad, and I would not have wanted to miss the last six months that we have enjoyed in India.

The people here are truly the nicest people that I have ever met.  We have learned so much about the mesh of cultures that make up this vast nation, yet we have only barely touched the surface.  We have travelled, together and apart, to places that most Indians never get to see, yet there are so many more places I want to get to.  The food here is enough of a draw, and I haven’t yet perfected the dishes that we knew we love, and have learned to love.  I have taken many photographs, yet I don’t feel that I have done the people and this beautiful country justice.

There are things that bother me about this city, life in India. The traffic, the pollution, the waste, the garbage everywhere, the poverty, and the fact that there seems to be little value placed on such a large segment of the population.   There are also annoyances that affect me personally, like the fact that is takes weeks to have a simple thing fixed, that nothing ever happens as it should, where it should or when it should, and little things that become symbolic and big, like the fact that I can’t get a bank account or credit card here.  We’ve tried several times, and failed at each turn, so we’ve given up.  It’s their loss really, given that I am the spender in the family.  I am also somewhat frustrated by what I have failed to accomplish in my time here.  I had big goals, and I have barely progressed on any of them.  This is partially a result of some of the struggles that we have had to face, but mostly because of the struggles that I have had with settling in.

I frequently get asked about what I miss the most from home.  For me, the answer is simple.  I miss the people that mean so much to us, our family and friends. We are very connected to them, yet we are almost as far away from home as we can get.  If there was just one thing that I could somehow bring with me, it would be them.  We have been so fortunate to have friends and family come to visit, and this has eased this ache quite a bit, but we now face six months with no planned visits, nothing concrete or booked. I know that is in all likelihood going to change, that we will have some visitors, but I can’t get my hopes up.  Sure, I also miss wine, cheese, Greek food, great breads and baked goods, stable electricity, clean water, diversity in climate and a few other things, but those I really can live without.

We are at a crossroads, and now is the time when we start to think seriously about what we do in October.  We can either ask to stay in Bangalore, or we can go home.  We’re both on the fence, but one of us is leaning towards Bangalore, and one is learning towards Ottawa.  I am feeling like home is where I want to go, and Willy can see us living here for a while longer.  We don’t have to make a decision today, but we really do have to make one soon.  Regardless of what that decision is, we have six more months to fill with learning and exploring.  We want to see more of Bangalore, more of India, and more of the south Pacific.  This is our focus for the next six months.

Category: India, life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 6 comments

  • SL says:

    Great post! Thanks for the update!

    I understand that feeling of being at “crossroads”. It will all work out in the end because you have a common goal and will move towards it together. :D

    Crossroads are welcome. It’s the “impasse” that’s a doozie! ;)

  • Brie says:

    It is quite the adventure you are living. I look forward to hearing what you decide.

  • Deb says:

    Time flies!!!
    Good luck with your decision – I can’t imagine it’s an easy one to make.

    Your friends miss you too ;)

  • Roshan says:

    You guys stay in India, I’ll move to Ottawa problem solved!!

  • Finola says:

    We miss you too!
    Take the time you need to make the right decision for you all. Luckily with the internet it still feels like you are very close by.

  • [...]  We’ll likely be moving back Ottawa, but we are really not much clearer on that than we were one hundred days ago.  In any case, we will be home in October for some period of [...]

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