Monday, February 28, 2011

I Know I'm Not in India Anymore When...

I know I’m not in India anymore when…

-          I got in a taxi today and was asked to put my seat belt on
-          I don’t hear “chalo” anymore but instead hear “yala”
-          I can breathe outside
-          I see green
-          I was instructed where to put my recycling
-          I had a hot shower that lasted more than 2 minutes
-          People speak to me in the native language and expect me to respond in it
-          Fresh veggies have real taste
-          Pita is there
-          Saying “xyz is there” isn’t normal anymore
-          Head bobbles are not there
-          I follow traffic rules
-          There are rules
-          There’s minimal to no honking on the roads
-          I can do my own laundry and not rely on a child laborer
-          My landlord knocks before entering
-          Mosquitoes are gone
-          I can drink from the sink
-          When I see white people I don’t get excited anymore
-          Toilet paper is plentiful
-          The grocery bill from one grocery shopping run equals approximately $40 USD
-          Instead of walking single file down the street I can walk next to others on sidewalks next to the street
-          The security line at the mall isn’t separated by gender
-     I don't have to jump on the bus while it's still in motion - it actually just stops for me
-          No smell of burning garbage
-          I have no goats, hogs, or cows roaming outside my apartment door
-          Billboard advertisements are rarely in English
-          It’s not particularly imperative to check the expiration date on foods I buy at the grocery store
-          It costs money to use a cart at the grocery store
-          I’m wearing four layers of shirts/sweaters and I’m still cold

All that being said it’s definitely bittersweet to have left our Hyderabadi home and to now be settling into our Jerusalem apartment. I’ve wanted to live in Israel for such a long time so it’s really a rewarding experience yet it doesn’t take away from the definite loss I feel from no longer being in India. It seems like just when I got life down to a science there it was time to uproot and head out. My experience there was so up and down and right and left and forward and back and sideways and all over the place that I imagine I’ll be continuing to process all that happened there for quite some time… In the meanwhile, stay tuned for upcoming blogs on my new Israeli life :)

Much love!

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