Back To The Grind

Coming back home after a vacation is always tough; there’s always the would-have, could-have, should-have moments. How much did you regret (not) doing, forget to do, or forget to bring back? For Adam and I, we managed to do most of the things we wanted to do, couldn’t bring everything back we wanted to, saw the vast majority of the friends we wanted to. It was nice to be back, but there were still changes that made it vacation: food we couldn’t get at home (India), different customs, different clothing, different weather…

Then, back to India we came, and we’ve already started falling into the old routines. We called for groceries, got the wood stove working, scoured the house searching for spiders, started our laundry. We arrived safe and sound in Mussoorie, avoiding the snowfall that had given some of our friends a hard time, and then the week of professional development kicked in. There are a lot of nice changes coming, ones we’re both quite enthusiastic about: the master’s program through the University of London, the PASSAGE program that will work in concert with the International Award for Young Persons (focuses on service learning and extracurricular exploration), and new schedules that will keep us at Woodstock for less time during the winter and monsoon, and more time on campus during the more desirable weather!

It does mean that we’re already missing things, though: central heating first and foremost, followed in short order by food variety (fruits and veg out of normal growing season!). I want to make lemon pound cake with real lemons, get lettuce and add avocado to it for a nice green salad, and have some beef for boeuf bourgignon or for a nice hearty stew. Mutton (aka goat) just doesn’t quite cut it – and while someone found real lemons, it was one crate, and the first time in their 5.5 years here that they found them. As we continue to work on improving our health and diet, it’s times like this that we both feel the pangs of not being able to get certain things, because we both feel that it impacts our health.

Coming back also means cultural adjustment: no more holding hands or public displays of affection (because in India, if you have to touch your woman or hold onto her, she’s flighty and that means she’d go off with anyone!), jeans and t-shirts become jeans and kurtas and dupattas, and head-bobs don’t mean no, but “Maybe”, or “keep talking”; you drop something off to get a battery replaced or to pick up some clothes, and are invited for tea or told that the phone will be dropped off tomorrow at your house, new battery inside.

So here we sit – me at the laptop writing, Adam dissecting another one for tweaks and upgrades, and this sitting in the crock pot for dinner!

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