Friday, May 16, 2008

two years of india

Well, Joie and I are finishing up our first two years of India. Today was the last regular day of classes. We have a week of exams and a few days of end of the year stuff and then we'll fly back to the US. Almost there.

Will was nine months old when we got here, and now he is a well-established toddler. He walks, talks, laughs, scowls, jokes, and is very nearly housebroken. For as long as Will can remember, power outages, monkeys, mountain climbing, and the absurdities of an Indian bazaar have all been facts of life.

Being caring parents in India means that we have to be careful about what we eat and drink. We rinse our produce in a potassium permanganate bath, and we never drink the water at restaurants. Thus, I have found myself saying to Will: "No, don't eat that, it hasn't been poisoned yet!" and, "No, you can't have any water. Drink your Fanta." Crazy, this life of ours.

In two years of living in India, I think I have learned a lot about being culturally sensitive, but there are still some things that I cannot leave unsaid:

Desserts should not taste like cumin. Not nearly as many things should taste like cumin as actually do.

I will never pay to get a full body massage from a creepy old man on a street corner.

I will never pay to get my ears swabbed by a waxy looking fellow at Connaught Place.

Un-enforced laws against plastic bags are stupid.

Nobody really believes that the traffic cops are ever going to use those massive machine guns that they tote around. We're pretty sure they are not even loaded. The guns, I mean.

If the garbage can is just going to be emptied out the door of the train, quit installing garbage cans on trains and I'll just throw my trash out the window like everyone else. Cut out the middle man.

If your country plays cricket against the same country every day for two months, it at some point stops being front-page news.

Rose is not a flavor. A flower, a color, and a scent, yes, but not a flavor.


  1. I've enjoyed your posts immensely!
    Your family and you have had a unique two years at a unique school.

    Cumin!? I dunno' ...guess I grew up with it in most of my food. Without cumin lotsa food tastes ...well...tasteless. Individual preference rules here I suppose. Cheers!!

  2. Nate,

    I just read your post out loud to Allison and we were laughing out loud. You're a great writer. Thanks for posting your thoughts for us.
    -Dave W.

  3. Nate,

    I really enjoyed reading this. It's fun to hear about the little things and to hear about my cool nephew Will. I'm sure Annie is just as cool :)