Tuesday, May 23, 2017

My Indian In-Laws First Reaction to America

Hubby and I had plans...not necessarily the same plans, but we had plans for when his parents arrived. I am the practical one in this relationship and he is the daydreamer. After exiting the airport, I knew how important it was to provide some disclaimers to Mummy ji and Papa ji.

When I landed after being in India for 16 months and when hubby landed in the US for the first time we both reacted to the feel of speeding down the highway. I had forgotten what it felt like to drive/ride so fast and I got scared even though I was riding with my mother who I know is a very safe driver and she wasn't driving fast at all. Hubby hid his emotions better than I did but he was a bit terrified at how fast I was driving on the highways going home.

So, I told Rohit first thing to tell his parents that we drive a lot faster here but not to worry, I am a very safe driver. He told them and we started out on our way. They were talking like crazy and going on and on and on so it was a while before I got to ask how they were feeling with me driving so fast.



In true Indian fashion they insisted they didn't even notice. I know they had to but that at least told me they weren't freaking out too bad.

Rohit wanted to tour places but due to the rain, we were limited as to where we could go. So we went to the big Indian grocery store that was on the way home and picked out foods they wanted to eat. Then we went to Yogaville, VA. By the time we got there the rain had stopped and it was a beautiful day for a visit to the temple.

hindu, intercultural, marriage, India, LOTUS temple,

The only thing is, getting to Yogaville means driving on some sketchy back-woods roads with lots of curves. I had forgotten that some people can be sensitive to this because I'm used to those roads. Papa ji was not.

We drove on the curvy roads for about 20 minutes before arriving at Yogaville and poor Papa ji got out of the car like he was about to die. Mummy ji was laughing at him because the roads didn't bother her at all. Rohit was thinking wtf, why didn't he say something and I felt a little bad because I know how fast I was rolling through there because I hadn't thought of that scenario.

The way home was worse. We had to go a different direction to get out and that part of the drive included a 3 mile long (approx 6km) gravel road down the mountain and another 25 mile (50+km) drive through some really curvy roads. I was driving so slow and careful trying not to make Papa ji feel even worse but at one point he did tell my husband not to stop anywhere else, just to take him home.

On the whole trip I noticed a trend. It's approximately a 4 hour drive from the airport to our house but due to the stops, we had been in the car for about 9 hours. They didn't remark about the things they were seeing. They kept commenting on what they didn't see.

"There's no dust here."
"There's no cows and dogs in the road."
"There's no humans around."
"Everything is so clean, there's no trash in the streets"
"No one is honking their horns."

Papa ji told me our city was so pretty. He loved the trees and the flowers. He loved the calm and quietness around us.

This was definitely a great start to their visit with us.