Sunday, July 29, 2007

10 Things I Love About Living In India

Here they are, as promised. Believe it or not this list was easier to come up with! I have tried to include pictures where I can. Once again, in no particular order....

1. Our Employees - I am really uncomfortable with this issue. I have huge guilt issues. I hate that people refer to them as servants, I hate that they live in the servants quarters. I hate the whole thing. But I absolutely love these people. I seriously would not live here without them.

Uday cooks wonderful dinners and yummy treats. Every day with no effort on my part a fabulous dinner appears on our table at 6:30 pm and by 7:30pm it is cleaned up. If that means that sometimes we pretend to like something we don't, so what! If I occasionally have to send jello with fruit in it down the drain when no one is around, who cares!

Camla keeps our house spic and span. It is true that every morning we get up and straighten up the house and make the beds, but she does the rest. I have not cleaned a toilet in six months. "How is that different from when you lived in the US?" some of you may be asking. I'll tell you, now my bathroom is clean instead of scary! But that is not all she does. She seems to actually like my children. She helps them and plays with them, and after our Hindi lessons she asks them what their names are in Hindi. She is a very sweet person.

Kirpa Shankar is the man! I spell his name a different way every time I mention him, but we love him all the same. He tells us what is going on when we miss something. He knows where everything is, and if he doesn't know, he finds it anyway. He follows the traffic laws when no one else does. He keeps his eye on us when we are in public. I honestly believe he would help us if we were in danger. He is truly a good man.

2. Salwar Kameez - I love these outfits. I actually had Mr. Smith take a picture of me in mine, but I couldn't bring myself to post it. But, can you see why I would love them? You can buy them off the rack (if you are the size of the average Indian woman) or you can have them made. Now I can always to find 3/4 length sleeves! To me these are better than Saris. You might think they would be too hot, but for some reason they really aren't.

3. Fruit And Vegetable Market - The fruit here is so yummy and sweet. Some of it is new and some is familiar, but it is all good. Everyday there is fruit for sale at roadside markets, but Thursday is the big one. A main road near our house fills up with carts and stalls and tables brimming with every kind of fruit and vegetable imaginable. Don't even try to drive down this road in a normal amount of time because there are just too many people, some people just stop and buy things through their car window. I don't know where the market in this picture is, but it was as close as I could get to ours. Some Thursday I'll be brave and send Mr. Smith out to take a picture of ours.

4. American Women - The women that I have met here are so cool. I am truly a home body. I consider the women in my family my friends, and if left to my own devices, they would be the only friends I ever had. Luckily these women are outgoing and have pulled me into their circle. I will be grateful to them forever for the kindness and camaraderie they have shown me. I only have a picture of one of them (the unofficial ring leader) but there are about 6 all together.

5. New Sights To See - I love that there are such cool things to see in India. Some of them we see everyday, like the Lotus Temple. Some we have to make an effort to see, like the Taj Mahal. But I must say, it is worth the effort, and never in my life did I ever think I would see the Taj Mahal!

6. Trees In The Road - I do not even pretend to understand the logic. Can someone explain to me what makes a person decide to simply leave the tree in the road? Not curve the road around the tree. Not remove the tree from the path of the road. Just lay the road and leave the tree. Please don't think this is a rare thing, we had 3 or 4 to choose from in our suburb alone. I don't understand it, but I love it. It gives me a chuckle every time we swerve around one.

7. Store 18 - Store 18 is like a super market without the produce. The reason that I love it is because they import things from the US. I can buy fruit roll ups and peanut butter there. Lately they have had Pringles and Doritos. Once they even had M&M's. They were stale and gross, but it was exciting anyway.

8. Learning Hindi - Seriously, when would I have ever learned Hindi? We just started, but already the kids and I are enjoying it. My goal is to be able to understand what people are saying about me in public places. I know they are talking about me. They all are.

9. Ice Cream - There is a company here called Mother's Dairy. Luckily they have a store right around the block from us. They have the best ice cream ever. If I could think of a way to transport a gallon of their Vanilla home for my dad, that is the gift I would bring him from India. I just noticed that 4 of my 10 items deal with food in some way. Do you think I have issues with comfort food? Hmmm.

10. My Computer - I love Skype and gmail and Blogger and and all the ways this computer helps me keep in touch with the people I love. The fact that I can live in India and not feel lonely is a miracle too me.


Aunt Carol said...

Oh Amy, I loved this topic best of all. I am so glad your "employees" are taking such good care of you.

We are having a family reunion next Saturday up here in Crestline. I hope people show up. We are having it at the Lake near our house and I will have a house full..... oh,I better start cleaning. Love to all

Rachel said...

I enjoyed this post immensely. I found you through Up In The Night, and have been reading since.
I have a whole bookshelf devoted to Americans living abroad, so your blog has a huge draw for me. I will look forward to looking at India through your eyes.

mr smith said...

And the number 1 reason I love living in India is... AMY! she makes it home for me, wherever we are. She has been my bride and my girlfriend, my playmate and lover - my best friend - for 17 years now, and every minute of the day I am grateful to have found her.

I really don't know why we didn't call this blog Mrs Smith Goes to Delhi. But I'll take my share of the glory. :o)

Toni said...

I love that you get to experience all of this. I also love that I get to experience this through you! I wonder if I would get as much attention if I started a blog about living in Marana?

I miss and love you all!

Mrs. Smith said...

Carol - With you in charge it is destined to be the best yet. I wish we could be there. The one in Vegas was a blast!
Rachel - Welcome! I love new readers!
Toni - With old men sending to Asia for wives, wild animals, drama over the well, trash men who take bribes and the FBI's most wanted at the corner store? Yah, there might be something there!

Hunnydu72 said...

Ah, food. Ode, to my grilled cheese sandwich...I, as well, have three and a half decades of being a foodie. And comfort food, we have a love affair going back to that first bite of macaroni and cheese. Also, you might note that though I am lactose intolerant, nearly all of my comfort foods involve cheese of some sort, and though my digestive system refuses to tolerate them, I'll take the bodily punishment to enjoy the emotional comfort.

Unrelated to comfort food, I want trees in the middle of the road!! I really think they should have taken such ecological considerations when they created US roadways, although, Northern California and Washington State roads might have been made a little twisty, I think all US roadways would be far more interesting.

Marilyn said...

Amy, I loved this blog. For those of you that don't know I have been begging Amy to bring Uday and his wife home for Christmas. I know the kids love them too, and also their driver. Ben spent a couple of months with us this summer and he talked about Uday and his delicious food every day, and was worried when he heard their driver was sick. Keep up the great blogs Amy. We love them, and you.

shauna said...

And we love that you love these 10 things about India. I enjoy reading about your experiences there because, chances are, I won't get there myself anytime soon. But I can via Amy's blog! Thanks. :)

Aunt Carol said...

I know, Marilyn, you want Uday to cook for you too. haha. Amy I vote for Uday and his wife to come for a visit because I would love to meet them.

Hunnydu72 said...

Alright, so I've been Salwar Kameez shopping. I'm messed up on Indian sizing, and I don't think they make my size (I will not put the size here, but you know where I'm coming from, girly.) and I found a couple that I really like as like a smock/dress, not too flashy summer outfit combo. Do they make them to order there? I need a clue, and possibly to buy a couple tops. If they're so comfy I must have them!!! Here's what looks good to me in the way of cut and color.



I likey!!! =D

Adeline said...

I just want to say that I love your blog! Just found it today and it's very informative for me as I'll be visiting India in January with my partner and his family as his dad is from India. It's going to be my first visit and I'm excited and worried at the same time as it is such a different country to Australia. I love your post about wearing a Sari as I didn't know about a petticoat either! I'm planning a buy and wear a Sari when I'm in India and hopefully I can find one that suits me as I'm short and fat! But I would so love to wear a Sari as they're so gorgeous!