I live in a place where…

  • You stop questioning the power when it goes off for the 3rd or 4th time that day for at least 10 minutes.
  • I might wake up with a spider the size of a spread hand next to my bed. Or in my shower. Or under my toilet lid.
  • I actually have to worry about whether or not I might be attacked by a leopard on my way home during the switch-off between the hot & cold seasons. Realistically the chance is slim, but… leopard sightings are not uncommon.
  • A pair of $25 jeans in the US is about 1/24th of our monthly income (and for many Westerners, it’d be more like 1/100th, or an even smaller fraction).
  • The only yarn I can get is acrylic.
  • I sometimes don’t feel safe walking into my local bazaar alone, dressed in Western clothes.
  • My house is on a “rotation” for morning stops by a troop of 10+ rhesus macaques that like to consider attacking me a viable morning antic.

but…

  • The bells on my “lawn” could be goats, dogs, or – more likely – cows.
  • My house is on rotation for visits by a troop of 10+ grey (Hanuman) langurs, who are beautiful and much nicer than the rhesus.
  • Looking out the window on a clear day gives me a view of the Doon Valley and down into the Gangetic plain.
  • I can buy pure silk for under $10 a yard/meter. Pure silk with hand embroidery.
  • All my clothes are personally tailored for me.
  • I get proof walking home that it’s Western men that are just as poor in their social interactions with women as any stereotype of an Indian man (thanks, young-20’s westerner in a taxi going up into the hills, for your derogatory comments!).
  • Yellow-throated pine martens run past my windows almost nightly.
  • I can point out a giant flying squirrel nest near my house.
  • I can point out places of worship for no less than 5 different religions in the bazaar (Hindu, Tibetan Buddhist, Muslim, Sikh, and Christian), and there are at least 2 different places of worship for each religion.
  • I can get airfare to Moscow, Australia, China, or Kenya for less than USD$500, round trip/return.
  • 100g of spices can cost me about Rs50, or USD$1.
And I get pictures like this.

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