Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Settling In

Remember all those uncomfortable feelings I mentioned last time? Yeah...they're still there, but you should see all the gross stuff I do now and don't even care! I drink milk and orange juice from the pantry section at the grocery store. Last time I checked, cow's milk should be refrigerated. I obviously refrigerate it when I get home, and I've been eating it in my cereal for two weeks and nothing bad has happened (yet).  I also walk around in sandals and my feet are covered in dirt and God know's what else. It's easier to wash my sandals off in the water on our balcony than wearing shoes that will just trap the dirt because I can't wash them. The other reason I go the sandal route is because last week Matt and I went for a walk around Central Park which is a huge, well kept park with a golf course and Polo grounds. I of course had not learned my lesson yet and wore these really cute, over priced sequined Sperry's I bought a few months ago.  I got what I deserved because they gave me huge, painful blisters on both feet.  The point in me telling you this is how despite my efforts to wear bandaids to cover my gross wounds, my foot sweat made the bandaids not stick, so flies ate away at my flesh for days. Aren't you glad you know that? I guess the point is that despite my efforts to change or avoid things, sometimes I just have to let it go and remind myself that warm milk and flies won't be the end of me.

Matt and I have experienced a lot of "firsts" lately.  We have wanted to venture out on the weekends without having to rely on our driver. Ajay has a family, and also has a farm where he grows vegetables, so we are trying to make sure we are not taking up all his time, as well as learning the area for ourselves.  There are many places within a 15-20 minute walk, but sometimes it's just too hot. It also gets dark here insanely early, usually by 7:20, so we try to avoid walking in the dark.  Our solution to this is the tuk-tuk.  Tuk-tuks are everywhere. Basically, if we just walk outside the front gate of our apartment complex, there will be several looking for someone to give a ride to. We have used tuk-tuks several times now, the first time being the night of those blisters that almost caused a meltdown. We've taken them to our new favorite restaurant 100% Rock, or to check out other new places nearby. The best part is we usually only pay 50 rupees, which is about 85 cents. 

*Note the three wheels.  Matt has advised me that in the event we are in a tuk-tuk and it rolls over, to keep my arms inside and not attempt to catch us.  

We have enjoyed many other new things lately.  Matt has golfed twice in Central Park at Rambagh golf course. It is a members course, so he is looking into joining. He seems to really like it. The course is used for several professional golf tournaments, and many of the caddies are professional which he likes because they offer good advice. I think his goal is to come back and not hit parked cars anymore. 

I have volunteered several times now, and I really enjoy it.  I teach five different classes, and each class has a distinct personality. My favorite class is the one that's a little mischievous.  The boys are testing me by doing all sorts of things they shouldn't be doing, like shredding up paper under their desk, or  eating these berries they pick. But they are all adorable, and are so excited to be learning English. My big task is to write five different tests for them to take in a few weeks to see what they know so far. 

Last post I mentioned planting flowers at our apartment, and I'm almost done. Our driver has been getting some dirt for us a little at a time from Matt's work. It is a construction site since they are adding onto the plant he works at, so there are mounds of dirt we can take for free.  I must have at least 80 plants. It has been fun to pick out what I want, and make our apartment look much nicer. I think the other residents here think I am crazy for planting myself. Everyone else here has a gardener. The modo seems to be why do for yourself what others will do for free or a minimal charge. But, I enjoy doing this myself. I also forgot to mention that apparently plants are required. Everyone has them lining their entire apartment. So, it's not like I really had a choice, I just made the choice to plant them myself. 

I still have a few more to plant. In the bottom right I am growing guavas, limes, peppers, and chiku. I am not sure what chiku really is, but I wanted to try something new.


The door on the right is where our laundry machine is. First time I have had to go outside to do laundry, and then let it hang to dry. I hang it inside to avoid pigeon poop on our clothes. It is better than going into a basement, however it takes so long to dry in this humidity, and it is a small machine, so I feel like I am constantly doing laundry. 

Table for two. Outdoor furniture has been extremely hard to find. I settled on this little table for now, which looks a little silly on this huge patio. But I feel like I bargained a good price for it.

All these plants are mine! 

 So, needless to say, things are getting much calmer.  It is great that Matt and I are enjoying our time together, but are also starting to find hobbies of our own.  We've both been able to read a lot more, and be outside. I just finished reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, and Ender's Game by Orson Scott. I am just starting Reconstructing Amelia. In fact, I am headed outside right now to read and chase pigeons off the patio. If you have any great book suggestions, please let me know! 

My quote I leave you with today: "Your day will go the way the corners of your mouth turn." It's never been more true. 


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  2. Laura, Loved This. Sounds as though you are adjusting to life in India. As much as I have traveled I know you are doing a better job at getting into life there than I would. Enjoy the RIDE! Love, Maureen

  3. I am glad you are finding joy each day. Keep up the positive attitude ... it makes all the difference. Thanks for sharing your experiences - it makes me feel like I am experiencing it all with you. Everyone loves and misses you! xxoo

    ~ Lisa

  4. Your plants are beautiful! It sounds like you're adjusting well - so happy for you. Love that quote at the end. Miss you!