The challenge of “moving home”

Hi Everyone

Last week, or maybe it was the week before, time flies when you’re on vacation and actually do nothing. But well, some time back, Richard, the excellent writer of Bombay Bollocks shared a story from another blog with me.  This is written by Hilary, an American who lived in Mumbai during the same period as I did and for almost the same duration. She writes about the difficulties of moving home.

Before I moved to India I was told that coming home is often more difficult than going. I did read a lot of books about India and still think I was quite prepared to go there. But I have read only one chapter in one of the books about how it would be to come back.

Right now I think I have been in Norway for less than four weeks, and I still haven’t moved back to my own flat. That will actually not happen until I have had one more trip back to India… So it is maybe too early for me to say how it will be to be back. Most probably I will get some of the reactions that Hilary writes about when I’m finally settled. And I will surely write about it at that time. But let me just quickly go through her questions one by one and give my comments on them.

On her first question about what was the hardest part by leaving there is no doubt that I must agree that saying goodbye was the worst part. I really hate doing like that, and I absolutely miss my friends in Mumbai. Luckily we are still able to stay in touch by Internet. But Off course that is not the same as seeing them.

At the second question I must admit that I don’t really remember what I said. But I do remember that all my colleagues asked me when I will be back, not if I will be back. That was surely nice. And I do guess that the situation for Hilary and for me is maybe a bit different. I still work for the same company and are almost daily in touch with at least some of my colleagues in India. So I don’t think there was any need for me to say anything in particular. All of us knew that we would be in touch.

At the third question I must say that I really wanted to say thank you for taking care of me for two years! We had some cake the last day, and I at least tried to make sure to show to all of them that I was very thankful for having had the opportunity to be there for such a long time. Hopefully I managed to say thank to them the way I really wanted to do.

On my way back home to Norway, I had a stop-over in Zurich in Switzerland. I remember when we landed there at 6 am in the morning. That was the first time when I really realized that two years in India was over, and I almost had to shed a tear. My first thought in Norway I must admit I’m not sure what that was… Mostly I think quite practical, and as my luggage was lost in Zurich (I have got it back now), I think I was mostly focused on that and to get on a bus to my native home place as quickly as possible.

My first meal, after a quick sandwich at the bus station must have been my dad’s dinner! There is nothing like homemade food is it? Don’t remember exactly what we had, but I do remember that it tasted fantastic. Indian food I’m actually not sure if I have had since I came back. Maybe a bit coincidence, as I have been mostly with my family who has young kids who are not that happy with too spicy food. And I have surely had rice a couple of times, so some Indian food I have surely had.

Question 7 I think I will just skip.

For transportation, the biggest concern must be that some of the places here is so remote that it is difficult with public transport from time to time. Driving is mostly ok. I have a few times looked at the other side of the street, but never really ended up driving on the wrong side. Sometimes I turn on the window whispers instead of the flashlights, but I think that is just funny. I do the same mistake in my car in India and have seen friends doing the same, so that is not really any worry.

What I have enjoyed the most is a bit difficult to say. Seeing friends and family is surely up there (I have to say that, right?). Being able to just walk out in the forest and not having any mad dogs or traffic all around is surely also nice.

And finally what I miss most about India. That is surely my friends over there. No doubt about that one.

Karsten

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