Friday, May 06, 2011

2 years and some change

Well, today is the 2 year mark of me being in India.

Looking back, it's been an adventure, a roller coaster, anything but what I expected.

I've started (and continue to) learn Bengali. I can read, write, speak (to a certain extent) and understand quite a bit. I never imagined I would be learning a new language so late in my life that would be essential for every day, well, maybe Spanish (or brushed up I would say...) if I had stayed in the US. It was hard, and still is...I still have problems trying to say exactly what I want to say in bangla. I either say things in direct translation from english to bangla, which doesn't work, or I say them wrong! It's a work in progress.

Plus...I've had lots of things to learn to deal with, such as the traffic, the stares, and the hardest, being dependent on someone, and living with the in-laws.

The traffic isn't so scary now, I can still remember the first day I arrived in Kolkata. We had taken the Rajdhani Express from Delhi to Howrah. It was an adventure. At Delhi, we had gotten a porter, which I had no experience with, and while we were waiting to board the train, some guy had come up to DH and asked if he wanted his ears cleaned. W-O-W!!! Talk about shocking! I had never taken a train ride before, we had taken over the right side of the train (the bigger part of the compartment) and we spent the night watching movies and just talking and watching the scenery. We had gotten off the train and went to wait in the pre-paid taxi stand to go home, we had numerous taxi drivers try to rip us off, and DH asked me if I wanted him to pay the extra or if we should wait. I said wait...I can still remember the feel of the sweat dripping down my back and face, bap re bap! It was so hot and humid.

The ride home...well, I was seeing things for the first time, and I was scared! The traffic was horrible, and scared the living daylights out of me!! But now I'm cool with it, and I joke with DH about waiting to see how my family deals with the traffic. hehe!

I've always been independent, I hate being dependent on others, and I **HATE** being treated like a child, and always having to tell someone where I am going and what I am going to be doing. I guess, that is just the Indian culture, and I have to deal with it, but having to tell my MIL where I am going and why I am going is getting old. I'm 27 years old, I need my independence, so I'm waiting with bated breath for the day we move out.

Also...the food, the adapting was not so bad...but there are some foods that I can't stand, but I still have to today...we're having gugni (chick peas)...which I can't stand...but I'll eat it for lunch, and maybe try to convince DH to take me out for a celebration dinner!

Yeah! 2 years!


  1. I think it is really after the two year mark that a person really comes to understand a new place in depth, and settle in. I can only imagine that some places are easier to settle into than others.

    I know what you mean by the treated like a child thing. Well, it's not being treated like a child, it's being treated like a female and a daughter in law. I am sure part of it is that they are just genuinely concerned about you, especially since you are a foreigner. But yep, stuff like that grates on my nerves, too.

    I hope you guys had a great dinner out! Congratulations on your two year mark.

  2. Congratulations! And hats off living with the in-laws...having to justify your every outting...that would wear thin too with me, we end up having to do it at DH's home when we visit. Or when my in-laws are over (fortunately not often) nothing more irritating than saying "I'm going to buy milk will be back soon" whe you are in fact in your own home

  3. @Fatima

    No, we didn't go out...we went to the dr instead, that in itself requires a post :-) LOL



  4. Congratulations!!!
    Two years in Kolkata, and I feel you really love the city, if I am not wrong!!! I just wish you a happier stay in the city...

    Enjoy your days, enjoy your life...

  5. I lived in Amman for 1 1/2 years. It took me almost a year to get comfortable with going somewhere by myself. It took time to get used to. I also hated having to tell others where I was going, and having to depend on my then-husband for things I needed. I do miss some of the family there.


  6. I know the feeling. It can drive you crazy. What about work? The only thing I would say is that in a developed country where we would all come and go I found that once I had children there was more freedom in living in the extended family. The nuclear family is very restrictive once you have children you don't have the freedom to come and go. The other thing us the perspective of age has changed my view though not my tolerance! What I mean is that when we lived in Ethiopia we were 26 and 28 the grandmother would worry so much when we went out at night that she couldn't eat. She would worry lest someone had killed us! I was bemused. But now I see. When you think we were young white and Asian couple in a completely habesha town bar the handful of Italians secure in a compound and we could easily have encountered the hyenas or other nasties who would howl at night from the mountains I see exactly where the mother of 8 and landlady was coming from! But obviously this is utterly different from your situation living In Kolkata. I was digressing!