we are into the home stretch [pun intended], and i am so excited about being back home soon. i am going to miss everyone in india crazy amounts, but it is time for me to go back, and there are some things i am more excited about than others.
these guys. they have supported me unconditionally through every decision i have made over the last 10 years, but i know more than anything else they have been waiting for me to decide it’s time to go back. i can’t wait to be back in the same country as them and to have the knowledge they are no longer a 30-hour trip away.
the running culture. i miss running on proper roads and footpaths. i miss not having to play chicken with buses or lorries who are running red signals. i miss the camaraderie of my fellow runners, those nods and thumbs ups and other signs of recognition and encouragement we give one another when we pass on the roads.
all the food. don’t get me wrong, i love indian food, but i also love fried chicken and bbq and crawfish and ramen and cheeseburgers and sushi. and i miss all of those things when i am away from them for too long.
not taking an hour to travel 2 miles. i know there are cities in the us that have atrocious traffic problems [i’m looking at you, atlanta], but it’s nothing like what the traffic in bangalore has become. it has steadily become worse over the years, and it has gotten to the point where i dread going anywhere because of the time and effort it takes.
things [mostly] running on time. i am my father’s daughter through-and-through, which means that i am generally early for everything, whether it be meals, meetings, or events. as you can probably guess, that has been a real struggle for me in india, where things tend to run on indian stretchable time. i am looking forward to being back in a place where things tend to run on schedule.
sporting events. i miss the sports culture of the states. i miss dropping into a bar and having 3 games on the television. i miss the instant camaraderie you feel when you meet a fellow fan of your team. i miss the atmosphere of arkansas football and fedex forum when the grizzlies are in town. i miss all of it, and i can’t wait to be back in that atmosphere.
wearing whatever i want. i am not someone who dresses skimpily, but it is nice to be able to wear shorts when it’s hot and not get stared at by everyone — or, in the case of the aunties in the neighbourhood, be on the receiving end of some major shade. especially with how hot bangalore has become, the last few months have been really difficult from a comfort standpoint.
COLD WEATHER. this one should be shouted from the rooftops. when i first moved to bangalore in 2005, winters were pretty chilly, and there would always be a cool spell during monsoon in june and july. it certainly wasn’t as cold as the states, but it was chilly enough to require a hoodie and jeans. in the last few years, however, these respites from the heat have become fewer and farther between, and as the temperatures continue to rise, my long-sleeve shirts and pajama bottoms have begun gathering dust. i am looking forward to layering up once again and generally enjoying the changing seasons.
electricity. as you can tell, this year’s summer has been brutal in bangalore, and just before i left for my se asia trip the city was experiencing up to 4 hours a day of power cuts in some areas. there are not many things worse than having to sit in a hot room with no fan in the middle of the day, just waiting for the power to come back on. this was the most miserable i’ve been for such a long period of time, and although i am returning to the states just before summer properly hits, just knowing that there will be power 24 hours a day makes it entirely worthwhile.
exploring more of the states. during my road trip in the summer of 2014 i was able to visit a number of new-to-me places in the states, and i am looking forward to more domestic travel now that i’ll be based back there for the foreseeable future. i have a lot of friends throughout the country i’ve not seen in a long time, and i have a list a mile long of places i want to see, so i look forward to exploring a little more of my own backyard.
even though i don’t yet know where i will be settling, i am so excited to get back and see where this next phase of life takes me.