Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Testing 123....Testing 123....My 4 Month Update

I had this long post typed up about the challenges I've faced, or realized I'm facing, in the last month or so. It was kind of angry sounding so I hit save and now that I think about it, it doesn't belong on my blog. I could think of something much more educated to post. I didn't start this blog with the intention of being so negative but it seems I'm becoming more and more so. I'm not happy with myself or my behavior lately at all. So instead of posting my over-emotional rant I'm going to post this one.

The cold, hard truth is that India has been testing me in every way possible for these 4 months. I can't say the time has flew by and I can't say it's dragging slowly. Actually I have lost track of timing and I'm finding it difficult to keep up with days anymore. I'm not sure if this is progress forward (as in I'm getting used to the Punjabi way/timing) or backwards (as if depression is setting in and I no longer care).

Usually I'm a very objective person. I've always had the ability to treat everyone fairly/equally and to see both sides of the coin so to speak. It's rare for me to judge anyone because I know I don't understand their circumstances or what they think and feel. I know it's not my place to judge anyone, especially since I'm far from being good, great and least of all perfect. India is really testing that though. I'm having trouble thinking that people here do anything other than try to benefit themselves. Things only seem important if it's important to them and everyone and everything else can wait. I know in reality that is not true but I often feel that way these days.

I know for a fact that no one here does anything just for the purpose of being annoying or asserting their authority. I know in reality they are not selfish ppl at all. They are very far from it, but there are things they do that just frustrate me so much and that make me think they are selfish. Obviously, I continue to be confused and I have trouble figuring ppl out.

My patience has been well tested over and over again. Sometimes I pass the test, others I fail. It depends on how much stress I'm under when the test comes. Some things take minutes, some take weeks. A few things I manage not to even care when they happen finally but others cause me so much stress to wait for. I'm working hard on this. In America, everyone remarked about how patient I always was but maybe I was only patient because nothing ever pushed me like Indian standard timing does.

My ability to reason has been tested the most. I've astonished myself a time or two by my own irrational behavior. Sometimes I don't know what I'm asking for or what I want I just know I want something and I'm going to die if I don't get it. Sometimes I know I'm asking for something I can't have but I ask anyway and then when I don't get it, I get upset more. I really don't like myself some days and try as I may, I can't seem to hold it all back for long. Unlike gas, these emotions are not always better out than in.

My health has been tested. My tolerance for food, grease, heat and smells has been tested. All the times I've gotten sick my sense of smell has been so heightened I actually thought I was pregnant twice. I can smell things I didn't know existed and almost every smell is nauseating. I've stopped breathing a few times and had to force myself to breathe again or remove myself from the room. (The breathing thing is one of my stress habits and is not new now that I'm in India.) Foods that I loved previously I can't eat because the smell is so strong now I literally get nauseous.

These days I feel as if my sanity is being tested. I really feel like throwing things, breaking things, screaming or whatever else I can do to get some of the stress out of my body. Only thing is, if I start screaming the family will freak out not knowing what is wrong and I don't think they would get that sometimes ppl just need to do that. I don't have anything disposable to throw or break. Maybe I should buy some water balloons. And I wonder how pissed the ppl in the street would be to get blasted just because I'm angry and a little nutty right now? I'm not sure I care, but it's nice to fantasize about it.

I'm really very emotional today. I've gotten sick again. Same thing as before. I think it's from where I cleaned the shower the other day. It was nice to know the shower was finally clean but this has been getting worse ever since. I'm on meds and have now added Liv-52 for my liver and Vitamin C. I'm getting a lot better but being sick here just makes me mean, grumpy and frustrated. It makes me a monster I don't even recognize. The sadness, the body aches, and all that comes with it is just scary and overwhelming. I'm barely sleeping and it takes what little appetite I have away so then I get weak. It's like a never ending vicious cycle.

I wonder how much India thinks I can take before I snap completely. I know I'm getting close.

I think I mentioned before having installed our new AC in hubby's parents room. We did so for economical reasons. Our room is hot even in the winter and the heat just won't go out no matter what we do. Well, being in the most used room in the house has been testing me even more. I can't get my work done like I need to which adds more stress to me. Someone is always running in and out and messing with stuff. The room is always a mess (it's mine and hubby's stuff but we have nowhere to put it and it can't be upstairs because we're using it), that adds more stress. I feel a lot of guilt that his dad won't come in the room except for dinner and leaves the room whenever I enter. It's so hot outside and he goes and sits in the heat.

I shouldn't carry all this guilt but I was raised that parents take respect over children. I still feel like this is their room and not mine. It's a territorial issue I guess. I feel out of place so much in this room. I feel trapped by the circumstances here and it's making me miserable. So today we are moving the AC. I am dead certain that paying the extra expenses on the light bill is much better than sacrificing my sanity, happiness and daily mood. Moving it also means I won't have to smell everything being cooked in the kitchen and be too sick to eat it by the time it gets ready.

So for month 4, India is testing me to see what I'm made of. Right now it's not looking like sugar and spice and everything nice.


  1. I echo the first half of this post.

    My blog is turning into mad ramblings of a miserable person & I know that it is not me.

    I don't know how much other people can understand how my writing is to be therapeutic. My written thoughts flow better, they are no longer scattered nonsense of a scattered mind.

    Sometimes it is f*cking hard to be an adult and see the good in things.

    Sometimes it is good to have a good yell, or type a nice rant (and sometimes delete it like I just did) and find the calm within the storm...

    I am struggling with mindsets right now, I will admit that.

    What I will do however, is share a blog I wrote a little while ago.


    Sometimes perspective is helpful, sometimes it isn't...

    I hope that we both can move beyond this stuff very soon!

  2. Oh we will, once you and I get to go make fun of some ppl and be rude, inconsiderate, white girls at some local establishments. >:D

    It will feel good to give back a little of what has been dished I'm sure lol. If nothing else, laughter is the best medicine and we will get enough of that to last a while.

  3. If it's any consolation, what you're both going through is perfectly normal. During my first year in Mumbai I had a blog that I kept private, and all I did was rant on it. Some days I got so fed up, I'd take sleeping medication and just put myself to sleep for the day so I didn't have to deal with everything. I used to think of myself as sane and patient too, and India turned me into an unrecognisable monster! It's like a rollercoaster but eventually you do find some balance and understanding. It took me a year to get over the worst of it, the huge culture shock and getting irritated with everyone's behaviour. I just realised I had to start letting it go, or completely lost my sanity. So don't be too hard on yourselves. India is almost the complete opposite of what we're used to, and it's much harder for us dealing with India than say Indians dealing with the west. At least Indians can recognise that the west operates with efficiency and punctuality, even if it lacks warmth. We can recognise that India is disorganised and untimely etc.... but still we're left frustrated and clueless about when anything will happen, or won't happen. It really takes some getting used to.

    --Sharell :-)

  4. Thanks Sharell, you're so right and I'm working on the habit of letting some things go but after a while they build up and then the monster emerges lol. I'm determined India won't break me. I'm going to face this place head on and take the hits as they come. I'm not sure how I lost touch with your blog but a while back I actually got a lot of inspiration from you. I'm pretty sure I frequented your blog last year while contemplating this move. Your post about why are you moving to India helped me make sure this was the right decision. Thanks for your comment!

  5. I really am enjoying your blog and particularly admire this last comment you made, " I'm determined India won't break me. I'm going to face this place head on and take the hits as they come." That's the spirit! You WILL get through it, and your determination will help you focus to solve the issues you must face to make this new place your "home".
    Some of what you have described having to deal with has, frankly, scared me. It makes me wonder what on earth I am getting myself into when my move comes. But that comment really put a smile on my face. As the boxers do, bob and weave, and keep arms up :-)

  6. Thanks so much Noelle. It can be a little scary facing some of this but thankfully now that you're reading you can prepare more than I did lol. I packed so many things and that space could have been put to better use with things that would truly make me comfortable and make this transition easier. I didn't think enough about those things so now I have my parents sending me care packages.

    I highly recommend to anyone moving to India to focus less on the clothes and shoes and more on the favorite snacks, etc. Do your research about the things that you are accustomed to and the differences between our lifestyle and theirs. While I can't say for sure what will matter to you I can offer some thought provoking questions.

    Do you wear special earrings? Here you're mainly getting 16 gauge heavy earrings and in America everything is 18 or 20 gauge and very lightweight. You will need to stretch your ear holes or bring plenty with you.

    When you're having a horrific day, what's the only thing that makes you feel better? Now, chocolate is widely available here and I've seen skittles and regular Lay's. Other than that I haven't found a lot of American candies or snacks. If you simply must have tic tacs, etc then bring plenty with you.

    Do your lips dry out easily? I brought a ton of my own chapstick (I'm picky lol - I only wear Avon) because I knew that wasn't here. I have found my lips dry out much more here than they did in America so this was quite a blessing to have plenty with me.

    Yes, you can learn to like all new things. However, having some comfort from home is very important and will make adjustment much easier. And besides, there are plenty of clothing stores here and there's no sense in turning down shopping if you don't pack enough clothes lol.