Hi everyone. As 2010 is now approaching its end, I think it is time for me to sum up my experiences over the last five months. Five months! I have actually been in India that long now. In these months, I have seen a lot, explored a lot, had a lot of nice experiences, and also some not so god experiences. Among the things I have done/seen I can mention:
– I have been spoken to in probably more than 10 different languages, of which only a few I really know. People have spoken to me in English, Hindi, Norwegian, Swedish, Icelandic, Dutch, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Guajarati, Malayalam, and most probably in a few languages that I don’t even recognizes.
– There have been a lot of different ways of transportation. I have been walking, driving car, been on a motorbike, taken the autos (a lot) and been on local trains and busses. Also I have been on sailboats, motorboats, and a few ferries. I have been driven by company drivers and in taxies. Sometimes I have been cheated by the drivers, and sometimes I have ended up on completely wrong places. Like when I went to Hirarnandani in Thane instead of Hirarnandani in Powai…
– Two times I have been food poisoned. Both times it has lasted only one or two days, and I’m quite happy with that.
– I have been Santa Claus. Not kidding!
– For some reason, I have, well at least almost, never argued with the police.
– Maybe most importantly, I have met a lot of lot of people! Most of them have been nice, and even those who have been not so nice, well, it have been interesting
– The whole autumn was full of different festivals. I think it started with the Ganesh Chaturthi, in which I managed to pass through people who had been 18 hours in a queue in about 18 min. Then the next one was maybe the Navrati, where I learned some Indian folk dances, then off course the Diwali festival. And well, then we have off course had Christmas…
All together I do feel that I have really settled in India. Not all days have been that good. And some days, particularly when I have to argue with auto drivers or other, it has been quite frustrating. But surely most days are more good than bad. It is also quite nice when my neighbors, who initially just pointed at me, starts to say hello, and give me some kind of feeling of respect.
So what can I expect of 2011 then?
Generally I’m not that kind of person who set me goals like I should do this or this in the new year. And I have not really done so this time either. But there are clearly a few things I like to achieve. If I should manage to get my contract in India extended, I do realize that there is quite some hard work at the office to be done. So there is no doubt that that is something that just has to happen.
Over the last two months or so, I have started to learn some Hindi. I really would like to say that I am able to speak that language, so clearly I do have to put some effort into that also. Still I do find it quite difficult, and the fact that the alphabet is different does not make it easier at all.
People have told me that the most interesting things you can do in India is to take part in an Indian wedding. So far I have not taken part in any, but one of my colleagues is getting married quite soon, and I have, at least informally, been invited, so maybe I will achieve this. There is one more who is planning here wedding in May, so maybe I can even manage to get into a few weddings this year. That would be great fun!
Before I went to India I had huge plans to work some time for a NGO. So far there have been quite little of that kind of work, so that is also something that I should try to do more of.
And off course I have to continue to write on my book about life in India, and to update this blog.
Happy New Year, and talk to you soon!