Thursday, November 17, 2005

Adjustments to a New Lifestyle

We have now been in India for three weeks. My tongue is finally adjusting to the spicy cuisine. I really thought it never would but I'm actually beginning to enjoy the Indian food. We're getting a little braver and testing out different dishes since we don't know what half of them are. Sometimes we point and order what other people are eating to make life more simple. We mostly eat where the locals do. Which means....a cheap little hole in the wall, where they serve food on canteen/prison style, stainless steel trays with no utensils (those we have to ask for specially). We haven't had any tummy problems here.....yet (knock on wood).
We are also adjusting to the extra visitors in our rooms (cockroaches, rats, ants, lizards and more). It isn't as bad as it sounds though. It's just the way life is here.
Leaving Kolkata was really sad. It was like leaving home all over again. We stayed there for 12 days and in that time made a lot of local friends. The people are so friendly and interesting. For example the OCD homeless guy who touches everyones feet and calves as they sit on the curb waiting for a meal or tea, the young kid who runs your tea to you from the little tea stand down the street, the tailors who bought us dinner three nights, our chef, the fruit shake guys who always gave us extra lassi, the water and pepsi kid, and lets not forget the manager at the hotel who proposed to Bre in a letter before we left. All in all it was really great in Kolkata. We can't wait to go back in a couple months.
We survived our 49 1/2 hour train ride to Trivandrum. In that time we covered ~ 2,600 km. and it only cost us $14.00 cdn each! The trains in India are much wider and taller than any other train we've ever seen. Even Ammon had almost enough room to stretch out in bed. This was a pleasant surprise to all of us. However, it was still crowded and full most of the way. The scenery out here is really beautiful! Green, green, green, palm tree forests mixed in rice fields the whole way. Unfortunately our train arrived at 12:30 a.m. which meant that we had nowhere to stay. So again we adopted the locals' strategy and crashed on the waiting room floor in the station! You'd be amazed at how many people were doing this with huge groups sleeping out on the platform while waiting for their 3:00a.m. train.
We are heading out to the Maldives in the morning. Savannah is a little bit too excited to hit the beaches (and mostly the buffets) that await.
Anyway, I am really comfortable and love it here in India. The people have been great. I think they're being especially nice to us because we are a family and not the standard "backpackers". There is a noticable change in their attitude when they find out that we're a family. What I'm really learning the most out here on this trip is that you certaintly don't need all the things we are programmed to think we need at home. You can get by with so little and be more happy. It's also great to slow down the pace of life, breathe a little and enjoy the simple things the world has to offer.
Lots of love,


At 8:41 PM , Blogger huggybigbear said...

Hi Maggie and Clan
I personally cannot believe you are eating spicy food, you hate hot spices, well you did. I have cousins who go to the Maldives each year and absolutely love it. You must tell me if it lives up to their billing. I have truly enjoyed reading and watching through your eyes, I generally read each post several times. Ammon has the makings of an author with his descriptive flair. And the girls are so obviosly learning to role with the punches.
Well, I will write to your email asap.
Love and Bear Hugs Shean

At 8:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked that entry Mom. I hope you're having a nice vacation on the beach. For me, it is my last night here at the barracks before I head back to Iraq. So, I just wanted to say I love you guys and think about you all the time. Be safe and look out for one another. Seriously, look out for them Ammon.
OK, miss you, Sky


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