Now I’m back in Norway after having completed my second year in India. It’s maybe time to reflect a bit of what has happened during that year. I landed in Mumbai at the 24th of July last year. Some of you will probably quickly point out that that is not really a year ago. But well, that was the day I landed here to start my second year in India. Maybe if we talk in cricket IPL-terms that it will work better? I should maybe say second edition, instead of second year…
Anyway, what have happened since 24th of July until today? Quite a few things I think.
The first thing I did after returning to India (after a trip to FRRO maybe) was to take the train to Varanasi. This is one of the places that I always have wanted to see. And it kind of felt like correct to take the train to this place. Even if the train took more than 24 hours! When people ask me “Do you like?” about living in India, I think a train is one of those things that can sum up the differences between the good and the bad part of India very well. You can either focus on the lack of comfort, no real toilet, food that you don’t dare to eat. Or you can look at the bright side of taking the train. It gives you a fantastic opportunity to meet a bunch of people. When I went to Varanasi it was a family of 4 in the compartment next to where I was staying. And yes, I shared my compartment with five other people. And a long distance train is surely a very special way to see a lot of the Indian countryside.
Moreover; this was the year in where I got my own car in India. Maybe the smartest thing I have done here. Quite a few people have asked how it is for a foreigner to drive around in Mumbai. My answer to that is that it is not that difficult at all! Off course you have to adapt to the traffic here, but even that goes quite quickly. I do use Google map as my way to navigate around in Mumbai and are quite happy with that. Traveling around in India taught me how to cope with things here.
I have also been around and seen more of India during this year. A number of trips to both Goa and Kerala are something that I will never forget. First time seeing a tiger during a tiger safari is also something to remember.
Most important; I do think that this second year is the year in which I have really managed to settle in Mumbai! A friend of mine arrived in Mumbai just a few months ago. I have helped her a bit in her process to move from a hotel and to a flat. And it is interesting to see all the questions and frustrations that she has. Very much like where I was about a year ago. Now I feel that those frustrations are just distant memories. Sometimes I have to go back to previous blog entries and read about those frustrations. My daily life and routine in Mumbai just works. And after all, that is maybe the most important, isn’t it?
Talk to you soon!