India

Silver Linings

Well, the last time I penned a post, it seems like I was in a hell of a mood.  But, you know what? I’ve been noticing something lately. When I find myself caught in that kind of mood and can’t seem to shake out of it, I have a special recipe that gets me up and running in no time at all.  It goes something like this: Sauté 3/4  cup of finely chopped moping over high heat.  Add a quart of boohooing.  Bring to a rolling boil.  Reduce heat to medium, add a tablespoon of ranting and let simmer.  Now, reduce heat to low and add a dash of venting.  When done, remove from heat and garnish with an evening with a sensible, understanding friend.  So that’s exactly what I did and here I am, all shiny and bright and as good as new, counting my blessings, and still looking forward to the day we pack our bags and move again.  Meanwhile, I’m going to get my glasses on and try to focus on the silver linings of this very dark, thick cloud.

  1. People here are very hospitable.  And here’s how.  A couple of days ago, I had to go to the ER.  This is the third time in the past 3 months. Migraine. Horrible, terrible, awful, excruciatingly painful, debilitating migraine that came with a vengeance. Vengeance for what, I’ll never know.  Anyway, I ended up in the ER.  So, before going off to the hospital, I sent Ka off to my friend’s place upstairs.  Yes, just like that and no, I didn’t ask my friend if she was okay with Ka coming over.  I just asked Ka to take her homework and go upstairs.  I went to the ER, got my shot of meds and was asked to get admitted.  I didn’t want that and since I was starting to feel better some 4 hours later with just a little bit of residual pain, I went against the doctor’s advice and was on my way back home.  I went upstairs to pick up Ka.  She had finished her homework, eaten, changed into borrowed night-clothes and was about to get tucked in.  Anywhere else, this wouldn’t be possible.  You don’t just pack your child off to a neighbour’s without so much as a “can you please…” or “would it be okay…”.  I know that anywhere else, I would have had to worry about enough things to give me another migraine and an ulcer (buy one get one free), unless I had Indian friends, of course.  I will never forget how much I hated living in the U.S. when Ka was just a baby.  I was a lonely new mother struggling with a 2 month old babe, in a strange new country where people stared if my baby cried in a public place (not that I gave a damn). I didn’t have a driver’s license, I’d had a couple of bad experiences on the public bus, I never got to see my neighbours, let alone talk to someone.  It was crazy and I felt lost and helpless.  People were cold and distant.  With time I learnt that it wasn’t like that all across the country.  What I was experiencing was the “Seattle Freeze”.  I swear I didn’t just make that up.  They really do call it that and even though locals might be in denial, I assure you it is for real.  I eventually fell in love with the city, its weather, Mt. Rainier, its proximity to Canada, the whole package despite the “freeze”.   The only reason I wouldn’t want to go back there is because I don’t like to live in the same place twice.  I love traveling.  I love seeing new places, meeting new people, experiencing new cultures.  That’s my thing.  Other than that, I don’t have anything against the place.  I wouldn’t be so miserable this time around.  Now that I know what to expect, and how to deal with it.   For me, it’s a part of the whole ‘experiencing new cultures’ thing.  That is the culture of the place and it isn’t right or wrong.  It just is.  As is everything else.  Moreover, every freeze thaws…eventually!
  2. Ka has many friends.  She doesn’t need ‘play dates’.  She doesn’t need me to drive her anywhere.  She just calls her friends and goes over to their place or they come over to ours.  She has become much tougher and bolder.  In the past couple of years, she has learnt to choose her friends wisely, to stand up to bullies, to question authority (although she needs to work on that a lot more) and to stand up for herself (again, an area with much room for growth).  She has become more assertive, argumentative, defiant, and slightly more rebellious and weird parents that we are, we feel good about all of this.  We find raising a human much more rewarding and stimulating than raising a puppet.  We want to raise a child that wildly and vehemently favours the question why. 
  3. I have a lot of friends in all kinds of shapes, sizes and varieties.  As a result, there is always someone’s door I can knock on, settle in for a cup of chai, and talk to my heart’s content.  There is no need for me to feel lonely or depressed or helpless or sad at any point.  There’s always at least one friend who has a solution to whatever it is I am going to through, even my frustration at living here.

And that’s about all the things I can think of to add to my list of silver linings.  I think I have worked hard enough for a day and If I think any harder, I will be making things up and/or sparks will start flying out of my ears.  So, let me leave it at that and take a rest.  Ciao…

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