I have grown to love many things about this culture that I'm living in, and I am really going to miss a lot of it when we leave in just a couple weeks. Obviously, the relationships we have made I will miss the most, and not only with the nationals we've met. When you pick up and move to the other side of the world, you form an incredible bond with other like-minded people who have also left their 'home' country as well. You become family. So now our hearts are divided in that are hard to explain, but certainly easy to feel.
Like I said, I'm going to miss so much, so I thought a top 10 was in order. Like the one I did about what I'm looking forward to, I'm not putting the obvious one of family and friends. That's already a given!
Top 10 Things I'll Miss the Most About South Asia:
10. The mangoes! Oh you wouldn't believe how good the mangoes are here in season. And not just the fresh ones (which are incredible), but you can also always find mango juice, mango popsicles, mango ice cream...I don't even know if you can get such fresh mangoes in the US. I sure hope so!
9. Cheap Indian Food! I know in the US you can get Indian food, and it can even be good quality and authentic. However, I've heard it's usually super expensive. The Indian restaurant here I will miss the most has a dish called Veg Thali - it comes with enough food to feed you for at least two meals, if not 3, it's oh so delicious, and it's only $2.50. Oh, and they deliver. Naturally. Which takes me to the next one...
8. Deliveries! I've posted about it before - I love how everyone delivers here. I'm going to really miss that!
7. Creativity and contentment! I'll admit, sometimes it's a pain, but because lots of conveniences aren't available here, you have to get creative. This includes with recipes, recreation, decorating, daily life, you name it. You always feel a sense of accomplishment when you've cooked something that you had to substitute 5 items in. And when you have less options, it's easier to feel contentment.
6. Easily accessible health care! Can you imagine a world where you walk into a modern hospital, with no appointment, stroll to the receptionist and pay (with no insurance card) $12 to see a doctor, wait for 5 minutes, and the well-educated doctor calls you into his/her office? Then if you need any medicine, you go to your local pharmacist, spend pennies on your meds without even needing a prescription? And if you have any later questions, you just call your doctor up on their mobile phone? This is the exact nature of medical care in the Capital. I'm sooooo gonna miss this.
5. The wallahs! Remember my mom blogged about the wallahs - the men and women who provide services or sell things for a very small price. The press wallah who irons your clothes, the fruit wallah who walks by your house and sells you fresh fruit, etc. What is husband going to do without his press wallah? His wife sure doesn't iron like that!
4. The hospitality! South Asians are notoriously hospitable. I couldn't even begin to tell you the number of times a woman and I have exchanged just a few words of small talk and she invites me into her home. They take pride in treating their guests like royalty - offering chai, sweets, food, and comfort. You always feel like you have made their week by visiting their home.
3. Bollywood! I love getting into a taxi or auto rickshaw and the driver turns on the radio to popular Bollywood music. Or sitting in a coffee shop that plays Bollywood music videos, or going to the gym and watch Bollywood movies while working out. Bollywood is so unique and so fun, and I'm going to miss how everywhere it is here!
2. Interesting life! It's hard to find a title to sum up the interesting day-to-day things you see here in the Capital. Opening your front door and seeing cows sitting at your gate is always fun. Or when they walk by mooing. That's cool too. Or driving down the road and you see an elephant plodding along beside you, or camels. The park we walk in has wild peacocks that cross our path. I like to chuckle at signs that are so funny (usually unintentionally), and the crazy way people drive or sell. Like the balloon wallah who rides his bike on busy streets, loaded down with dozens of balloons. And I'll definitely miss seeing all sorts of history on a daily basis. An old fort built centuries ago, or a bridge, or a tomb. It's fascinating.
1. The bargains! This is a no-brainer. The markets are a fun experience in themselves, what with the sights, sounds, and smells. (not all bad, mind you :) But then getting a great deal on something like jewelry, clothes, shoes, or home decorations...man! I am definitely going to miss the bargains.