I’ve been in India about 7 weeks now. From past experience, this is the week I had scheduled for homesickness. It’s best to be prepared.
The conventional wisdom is that if you understand ahead of time that you’ll experience culture shock or homesickness, when it happens, you’ll still feel lousy, but you won’t totally freak out.
So, although this is my first time in this hemisphere, it’s not my first long stay outside the States. So, I scheduled my homesickness for this week…so, I should be feeling it…after all…yesterday…I ran out of Peter Pan (peanut butter).
Only I’m not.
Instead, I’m feeling pretty adjusted:
I no longer stare at cows.
I’ve started to feel that it’s not only normal, but highly preferable, to have an entire room get soaking wet every time I shower. I suspect that, now, a bathtub would feel terribly claustrophobic.
I’ve only worn jeans twice, I think, but I put them on today and they still fit. Read…no problems with the food.
Today I cooked eggplant and added just a sprinkling of sugar. Read…no problems with the food, even though they put sugar in almost everything.
The power was off all morning and I saw this as a most excellent opportunity to sweep the house, since the fans were off anyway. And…
I still love watching the monkeys outside my kitchen window – especially now there’s fruit in the tree – but I’m no longer afraid they’ll come through the screen and get me.
In the interest of reporting, for the ELF wannabes who visit the site as desperate as I once was for real information about the lifestyle, here’s a list of things I could miss if I were so inclined: drinking out of the tap, being able to read signs on the stores, driving on the right side of the road, using my credit card for everything, toilet paper (you knew that had to be there, right?), an American movie in a theatre that’s not dubbed.
What do I actually miss? My friends. We have Skype and Facebook and all that, but, sometimes, with a whole planet between us, they just don’t wake up at appropriate times.
All in all, I feel quite well-adjusted, and goodness knows I should: A lot of people have gone to a lot of trouble to make sure I’m comfortable and well-cared for. Although, I miss people back home, I’m making a lot of new friends and I’m really, really enjoying the work which is really what I came for. So, all you ELF wannabes, if you wannabe an ELF, you’ll get no negatives here. Seven weeks in, it’s a fantastic experience from where I sit.