“Great, is this going in your blog too?”
– My cousin Arun, as he was fixing something in my room that was broken.
This is awesome. I feel like a serious journalist, taking notes of everything and making it public knowledge to my throngs of loyal readers. Ok, so I don’t really have any earth shattering news and I’m still working on upping that fan base. At the very least I feel like Carrie Bradshaw when her friends would make her swear not to put their relationship problems in her next column. I’m pretty sure she always did anyway. My cousin is funny. I didn’t start this blog so I could call out everyone. Then again, who doesn’t like having their own portable soapbox. But this is my travel blog and if I would call out anything out it’d be like the basic necessity of every hostel to have large lockers available to guests and personal plug points by their beds. Or Japan to find alternative solutions to burning their trash in a way that’s better for the environment. I’ve been back in India for 24 hours and I already noted how some streets here could desperately use sidewalks (if I was driving here I would have already run over several aunties by now.)
Anyway, my cousin has nothing to worry about. He and his wife Lydia are taking great care of me. I always forget what a culture shock it is coming back to India. Especially coming from a place like Japan – the two countries couldn’t be more like day and night. Japan is so orderly and everyone follows the rules. And it’s so clean! India is an entirely different beast. Lots of people everywhere, goats and stray dogs running around, the occasional cow chilling on the side of the road eating trash.
Today I went to church with my cousins. It wasn’t until lunch was being served and everyone started eating with their hands that I was reminded that I’m not in the states anymore (or Europe, or Japan.) Maybe I was half expecting a pair of chop sticks to be waiting for me at the end of the buffet line, I don’t really know. Arun claims that food tastes better when you eat with your hands anyway. I don’t remember the last time I’ve eaten a full meal (not including chapatti) with my bare hands. I don’t know if Arun’s theory is right or not, but I can tell you that that first meal was heaven to my stomach. Something else that’s completely different between Japan and India is the food! I love it, don’t get me wrong, but the Japanese people tend to like their food more bland. It was like my taste buds were being woken up when I took a bite of some delicious biryani. And then I ate a chili and thought I was going to die. Baby steps!
This month will be completely different from my time in Europe and Japan. I won’t be doing nearly as much traveling to different cities, and I will be staying with family instead of at hostels. Regardless, I anticipate that I will learn some new things and be pushed out of my comfort zone during these next 30 days. For starters, I’m taking bucket baths! Also, I’ll be helping my cousins start up an organization that they’ve dreamed about doing for the last five years. Can’t wait to tell you more about that soon.