Abstract Chatter


The adjustment period
July 22, 2015, 9:21 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I know I haven’t taken many pictures yet. I’m just afraid to stand out even more than we already do. (I’m not sure it’s even possible to stand out any more than we do as we carry our baby in an Ergo with a Columbia/Osprey backpack while my husband struts around in his t-shirt and gym shorts.)

Eid was a few days back and I want to document this moment because it truly felt like my prayers were answered. They were such small prayers now that I think about: finding a mosque that would allow women to pray, feeling at home on Eid weekend, and sweet savaiya in the morning. Literally, every wish came true. I found out later that my grandmother had been making dua for us as well –praying that our adjustment period and transition is a smooth one. And she’s got angels around her. That much, I’m sure of. So it makes sense that her prayers were answered.

It was a beautiful Eid weekend that we spent with a local family. They were so generous and welcoming with their time, inviting us to their home, giving us food to take home, helping us find a mosque and making sure someone could pick us up before prayer all while bringing us savaiya to our doorstep. Subanallah.

The mosque we attended for Eid prayer supported an orphanage of 800 boys. They were all dressed in their freshly pressed gray kurtas with white topees. I was missing home upon hearing the takbeerat but then realized that there were 800 children who didn’t have a family or home to miss. Such a blessing. And I almost took it for granted.

Today however, was a different day. The stress of not having someone watch Edris while I attend briefings, or go on interviews, or take care of stuff at the consulate has made these past few days a bit challenging. Once again, the Ergo carrier is brought out. The toys and milk are packed, and I’m hoping and praying that Edris doesn’t have a meltdown. The stress of trying to catch an auto (rickshaw) everywhere I go, and negotiating the price every time while waiting in the polluted, standstill traffic is probably what’s contributing to my current headache. But as difficult as the day was, we  hired our housekeeper today. I came home to cooked food and a clean kitchen. Seriously, it can’t get any better than that.

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Finicky Ethernet Cord
July 17, 2015, 3:58 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Earlier this week, we landed safely in Chennai, India. The sweet and very distinct aroma of the city that someone previously mentioned did indeed fill the air. Sparks from the ongoing construction were falling from the overpass just centimeters away from our car as we drove by. It was like our very own fireworks show.

I wonder how the driver who picked us up felt about the Americans talking about his country as soon as we stepped in the car. I wonder how the guard feels about calling someone half his age “ma’am” and “sir.” I wonder how they feel about me speaking in Urdu in Southern India to my son while picking up readymade patathas at the market. (I’ve now come to realize I most likely will not loose weight here.)

I brought Edris to the Consulate with me the day after we arrived, and he stole the show. My husband is now known as the father of the cute kid. People loved Babydrees. But what’s not to love? Despite the random 2am wakings, he’s doing such a fabulous job adjusting mA.

I keep cleaning but ants continue to come up the through the drain. We don’t have a router so our wifi isn’t set up yet. I do have this ethernet cord from the 90s that disconnects on its own terms. It’s the only thing keeping me connected to the outside world, so for that I’m thankful. I haven’t had chai yet. I haven’t worn the jasmine flowers that I keep eyeing on the street. I’m afraid to ask. We’re blocks from a fancy hotel. Their dinner prices ranged from 800Rs-1100Rs for a meal. We turned away with a quickness because we didn’t bring enough cash and got palak paneer from a small halal joint around the corner for our first dinner. But of course, a night isn’t complete without witnessing our first hit-and-run. The person on the motorcycle wasn’t hurt. The cop standing around the corner caught the car’s license plate number and jotted it down.

Next week, I’ll be hiring domestic staff. This shall be interesting.

Bismillah.