#4: The Motherland
I'm going out of sequence, I know.
Honestly though, I don't care because today marks exactly 1 month since I returned to Vancouver from my 4 month stay in India. Multiple people have asked me how it was, each time I've asked them to hold tight because "I'm going to write about it"(but really, I was far too lazy to have to give the same spiel repeatedly. A spiel that would also inevitably not do justice to the experience, and thus felt wrong to give).
To kick things off, I present to you a stream-of-consciousness list of feelings, thoughts, and events that encompasses my time in India.
1. Squat toilets and the accompanying wonder and comfort of water (as opposed to toilet paper), are the vastly superior option in instruments of ablution.
2. I've taken on the firm affirmation that once I have the money for it, I'm buying a farm in India in order to house as many cows and dogs possible. In addition—for the sake of my teenaged cousin who has a possibly concerning obsession with corn—I will allocate a certain square footage of land on said farm to grow corn.
3. South Indian food is rivaled by no others.
4. Despite the obviously and unarguably reprehensible nature of colonization, the Portuguese, French, and Britishers presences allowed for some splendorous and perfectly blended architecture (as much as I hate to admit it).
5. There is no such thing as too much love for animals—but we already knew that.
6. Sarees have an innate ability to provide their wearer and automatic air of regality and I-have-my-shit-together-ness
7. Canadians (me) can apparently feel colder than Indians (my family), at temperatures that Canadians should treat as laughable. Whoops.
8. Being witness to destitution doesn't become easier the more you see it
9. Wearing traditional Indian jewellery with Western clothing is apparently really bewildering. This, however, was a whimsically amusing experience
Addendum to #9: So Bangalore has a relatively new metro system. At every entrance, everyone has to have their bags scanned, and has to have one of those security wands waved over them. For women, this is done in a little box (to preserve modesty). So one day, the security woman was waving away, and I didn't beep till she got down to my ankles. As per protocol, I lifted up my pants to show her the cause of the beep—my silver anklets—that I was wearing with my very not Indian outfit. She let out the most charming chuckle and we exchanged a look in which she communicated her pleasant surprise and delight at the wonder that was my attire. It was a lovely experience.
10. It makes me sad that I've spent the vast majority of my life away from the family outside my nuclear one. But, I'm also unendingly thankful that I have a family to miss, and that I have the means to see them at will, and that I had the ability to take 4 months to spend much needed time with them.
11. I am truly the luckiest woman in the world to have been born Indian. Shout out to chromosomal alignment and the one sperm that made it through!