We were warned that an assignment of one year is basically six months of settling in, and six months of moving out. We’ve tried not to view it as such, but it’s hard not to think about it when it comes up in conversation all the time. It’s the ex-pat dance. People talk about how long you are here for and when you are leaving. Lately, when I say that we are here for a year, leaving in the fall, people tell me that is really soon. So I counted the days.
The number is one hundred. We are committed to be here for one hundred more days. Sure there is an outside chance that we will stay longer, but it doesn’t look like that will happen. 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 time.
I am not ready to leave Bangalore, to leave India. We are finally really and truly settled, although it took much longer than we anticipated. This is especially true of the lils, who have blossomed since we returned from Canada and are really enjoying life here. It is almost like they had to see that everything was still OK at home to realize that it is pretty OK here. Their happiness contributes to our happiness, and we’ve all found a groove. Sure, I am still lonely, especially when Willy travels or works at night, but I knew that would happen from the start. We are just a lot better at making the most of the opportunities we do get now.
So I am making lists. Not the lists we need in order to move, the lists of what we want to do before we go. They are huge. There is so much we have yet to see and do, but now there is pressure, and a need to prioritize. Large chunks of Bangalore have been unexplored, and there are favourite spots to revisit. I have plans with friends that we just haven’t gotten around to yet. Do we go back to Mysore, or visit somewhere new? We know we are going to the Maldives soon, can we swing a trip to Thailand or Singapore as well? Will I get to take one more trip to photograph parts of India that I will never get to again, where will it be, and who will I go with? As the lists grow and grow, I worry that one hundred days is not nearly enough time.