Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Am an American.....But This is India!

I was having a conversation with hubby the other day (peaceful I swear lol) and I teased him that the sooner he realized I'm white the better off we will both be. You should have seen the quizzical look on his face. It's like he didn't understand why I would think he didn't know that already. Or maybe it just hit him in a different way that I was. I'm not sure, but it hit me in a way I hadn't thought of.

It got me to thinking though about all the adjustments we have both been making. Don't get me wrong, I've always known I'm white, I just don't think I really realized until that moment that I am an American IN India. I'm not stupid, I knew this lol. I'm talking about having an Aha! moment. That kind of moment that seems to snap you out of whatever mindset you were in and open your eyes to a new way of seeing/thinking/doing things.

All the things I already knew seem to be so much more clear now than they were. As if I finally woke up, I now can say that I am an American, there is no reason for me to give up being American or my American views and ways. However, I am in India and therefore must make alterations/accommodations to some things in order to continue to be happy and productive.

Now, I'm a little ashamed to admit it but, I've been a big baby for a while. I got this crappy attitude that I wasn't going to eat anything Indian and that I needed American stuff. I've complained if hubby turned the tv onto anything not in English while I was in the room sometimes. I've even created a scene over petty things I knew were not an issue. I think you already have the picture if you've read much of my blog. To make matters worse, I knew I was doing it all in protest and not because I don't like Indian food or because I don't understand enough Punjabi. I did it because I'm out of my comfort zone and I wasn't prepared for it.

Normally we choose to step out of our comfort zone but I hadn't made myself ready for how far outside I was going by moving to India. I hadn't evaluated so many things in my life to really know how much this country was going to be different. Little things I took for granted there became big things when I got here. Even if I didn't think they were a big deal here, I still sometimes made them a big deal because it was the only way I could get my frustration out.

Last night hubby and I were having another discussion. He said something about being scared of doing something he had never done before and without even thinking I chimed in "If you never face your fears you won't ever get anywhere in life." That reminded me how I too had faced so many fears in getting here and in our relationship altogether. It was like a smack in my own face. How the hell does a stubborn, strong-willed woman go through all the significant life challenges I've been through and then turn into a sniveling little brat? Hmph. Well I'm not going to take it anymore.

This sniveling little brat has gotten the slap on the face she needed. I'm ready to be strong-willed and roll with the punches again. Bring it on India! Bring it on!


  1. Your frustration is completely understandable. It's understandable to search for familiar foods / tv shows / etc because we are comfortable with familiar things. I've been living here since the end of last December and there are times when I've yelled at people due to sheer frustration, be it taxi drivers who were taking me for a ride (to increase the fare) or Vodafone employees who just wouldn't cancel my account.
    It's tough working here too--people work really long hours at a snail pace. If you finish your work early and go home then people assume that you're not working hard enough. And it's HOT. I really miss central AC--the little individual ac units can only cool so much.

    Do take care of yourself though! The germs here are super germs and we're not as immune to them as the local population. Make sure you're drinking bottled water only.

  2. Thanks Kay. I read on your blog the other day about the super germs and it prompted me to run out for the Vitamin C. A girl needs all the help she can get lol. I do only drink bottled water and occasionally purchased drinks like juice. And those are imported lol, not made in India.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. lol! Indeed, bring it on! So you were right in your comment at
    cultural adjustment, you're in the "everything is awful" stage but almost moving on to the next stage, the "everything is ok" stage. Do you appreciate a handful of good things about India now?

    I remembered when I was at this 2nd stage of cultural adjustment in thailand, I used to hate listening to the radio whenever I'm in a taxi because of too much Kah-kah-kah-. Everytime a woman says a word, there follows a kah. It was so irritating for me. But now, when I hear the women say "kah" it sounds very sweet to my ears.

    Once you pass the culture shock stage, it's funny to look back :)

    offbeat marriage

  5. Yeah I do see that Gleenn. There are things I like about India and things I miss from home. I am working towards embracing both. It will help me appreciate my own culture more as well as Indian culture. I will just be glad when I'm done with all the physical adjustments lol.

  6. Moving from a western country to India is traumatizing. I've been there. I live in my third continent now, so I've twice now moved to completely different cultures. It is really hard on many levels. It also helps to be open towards those that surround you. They usually don't understand that this is challenging for you on just about every single level of your being. I'll be hard for about a year and then get gradually easier. Good luck.

  7. Bless your heart for doing this twice lol! I appreciate the kind words and the hopeful outlook. I'm slowly figuring it all out and Rohit and I are really good at communicating and getting our feelings out so that helps a lot. I don't think I would want to start over in another country any time soon lol.

  8. Big Whiny Baby....been there, done that! ;) At one point, I was making my husband drive me almost an hour away just so I could get KRAFT Mayo and Mac and Cheese! I pitched a huge fit one night when Papa John's told me that they no longer delivered to my area. I cried over not having 24/7 shops like 7-Eleven to fix my late night Chocolate cravings! I pouted, I yelled, I cried and then did it all over again. YOU ARE NOT ALONE and not at all out place in feeling this way. Everyone goes through it when moving to a place that is just so vastly different then what you are used to. It took me a while before I finally realized that I CAN have those things, I just had to be a bit patient to get them...I was no longer in the "get it now" place I grew up with. But there are trade off' the Kirana guy who delivers whatever you want whenever you want so you don't have to go for it or shop owners who know you and will let you pay on your next visit should you be short of cash. Stay sane girly, it does get better with time. HUGS!

  9. Thanks! Lol, I resisted posting details of my tantrums because I know they are silly. My husband gets frustrated but eventually we laugh together over them. I'm just so glad that this phase is mostly over. I still find myself getting a little attitude sometimes but I'm able to work through it at the moment before it becomes a tantrum. And I'm able to warn him when I think one is coming so he can take me somewhere to keep it from happening. I don't want to be that way at all lol. Thank God Indian men are so accommodating and actually work hard to keep us happy. I'm quite certain most cultures would not put up with these crazed fits lmao.