American back in India

I’m now an American who is partly Indian-afied, who is returning back to India after a brief intermission. The return has been fruitful and interesting. It has been easy to return to the left side of the road; my interaction and reaction time has not been so good. Yesterday, as I have forgotten that cars and bikes pull out from all directions, I took a lovely dive (I’m perfectly fine besides a bruise on my bum) outside of a hospital. I love the response time of people; I don’t love that the person who pulled out from the wrong direction, drove off immediately. Four people came rushing out to help me, picked me and my bike up, grabbed my chapals, and took me to the side of the road. They made sure I was ok; someone coming out of the hospital commended me for wearing my helmet and told me I should have sent someone after the guy. It’s the good and the bad of people all over the world. I’m fine, so no one worry. I also have to get used to seeing over 24 dozen eggs loosely packed into the trunk of an old Maruti (car). I also started paying more attention to the cows and water buffalo on the street. I’m not sure why.
New Years was amazing. We got some free passes to a non-us kind of party, but we went anyway. In our own way we made the party an us-kind of party and brought in the new year singing, dancing, laughing, and being ourselves. Here’s another shocker for this American in India; most of my friends had to work on New Years Day. That was beyond me.
For New Years Day I went to Bhakti’s house to have our long awaited reunion. Besides being amazing coworkers and teammates, we’re great friends. I showered her with I love New York items and spent the afternoon with her over lunch and tea. It’s always strange to have a holiday on a Tuesday. It definitely throws you off for the rest of the week.
I forgot to mention that I would never, ever, fly Kuwait Airs. It was not a fun flight back at all except for meeting a couple new people who were equally as frustrated yet not aggressive. We got stuck in Kuwait for a long time without any information. We actually got on the bus to go to the plane and sat there for over a half hour before they took us off the bus and put us back in the airport. They didn’t tell us what was wrong, when we’d board, or anything. There was a very, very angry crowd surrounding the Kuwait Airs desk. There was shouting from both sides. I met a British rock climber who was going to Hampi for a few months to climb there and we stayed off to the side peacefully. There was an Italian couple equally appalled at the crowd mentality. They sent us upstairs for sandwich, and we boarded the plane at around 3am (originally 7 I think, then pushed to 2 but we didn’t really board until 3). It was a nice travel meeting. I don’t usually get those because I live here, often forgetting that it’s still kind of traveling for me.
It’s back to the grind of the day to day life. The first week, or semi week, was a good filter back into living here. Tomorrow is Sports Day again. I’m not so thrilled about waking up early on a Sunday, but the day is always fun and a great way to bond informally with the kids.
Because I never mentioned it before – Happy New Year!

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