Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Top 10 Guilty Pleasures that Aren't Destroyed by Cultural Boundaries

In America there was very little (or so I thought) that I would have called a guilty pleasure. Moving to India and having to hunt for some part of home to cling to has changed my mind. So for my girls in the US or other countries contemplating moving to India, or those who already have moved here, I want to highlight some things you can take with you that won't overload your suitcase. These things can help alleviate some of your culture shock and make you feel more at home in your new surroundings.

1. Fox Crime!! Okay, so that's a really general one but they don't keep the same shows on long term. Right now Criminal Minds, my all time favorite show (Damnit...Reid is sexy with that overly genius mind of his) has been playing and I don't miss an episode. Hubby doesn't understand it so he surfs the net but I get my fix and it makes me super happy. As a bonus it's 0 calories, takes up a whole hour of my uneventful day and gets my adrenaline pumping so I'm ready to get some real work done....which is writing about criminal justice!

2. Ice - From what I've seen most Punjabis are not big on ice. I on the other hand LOVE my ice water. Yes, I have been told numerous times since I got here that it's bad for me to drink it that way. I just can't help myself. It feels so refreshing and I swear the flavor changes somewhat when it's frozen. It kept me from going into heat overload this summer as well. If I got to hot, I put that frozen water on my face, neck, etc.

3. Decorating My Room - After having moved so many times in my life I know for a fact that I hate solid white walls. The walls here aren't white but they were still solid colored. I also learned from all those moves that there are countless ways you can decorate without ruining the paint on the walls (for renters) and creative ways to decorate without nails. I took full advantage of that and immediately upon arrival started making this room my own. Hubby and I are always scouting out new things that can dress up our room. He loves having the decorations and we've even managed to sway MIL and FIL towards working on their room too.

4. Apple iPod nano 8 GB Purple (5th Generation) OLD MODEL - I have a shiny purple one just like this!! Bet you had already guessed it's color lol. Anyway, I get it out and listen while I cook or ride on the back of the motorcycle (it drowns out all the noisy *beep beep* sounds). I get my groove on and sing and dance like no one is looking. Of course, FIL once called out to MIL about if a professional singer had come into the house so I guess I'm not so bad lol. I've drawn an audience a time or two without realizing it...Indians can be quite sneaky hahaha.

5. Kitchen tools - Before coming i had received the advice of bringing my own knives because US knives are not the same as those created here. I definitely understand now as India has not moved into the ergonomics spectrum. I packed a santoku knife and two different size hand held food choppers. All cut really well and keep me from experiencing too much fatigue on my wrists. All the tools I brought fit in one shoebox and I had extra space for other small items in my suitcase.

6. Sunglasses - I have a thing for blingy sunglasses. I had that long before meeting hubby. I like the ones from Fossil that have all the sparkles on the side. Being concerned I would find good sunglasses like that in India I brought several pair with me. A very worthwhile investment in space because I have yet to find anything like that here for less than $100 US and I only spent about $8 a pair on mine at the outlet centers.

7. My favorite brand of shampoo. Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly Shampoo For A Tousled Look, 23.7-Ounce Bottles (Pack Of 3)  They sell it here so I can get it with minimal trouble and the price is not as inflated as most American goods. Now my hair stays soft and silky just like in the US and I smell like fruit. I have not had much success with finding an Indian shampoo that didn't dry my hair too much or make it feel dull. I have very fine hair and the products for the thicker Indian strands don't work for me at all. I think it would be quite bothersome to have my hair always feeling and looking shabby.

8. The Bedroom Door Lock - Maybe this should be my number one because I thoroughly enjoy this one. I come from a very small and quiet town. It's been difficult to get use to all the noise and busy lifestyle that permeates Indian cities. I can close and lock my door and spend as many hours in my room as I want and most of the noise is muted. I don't get interrupted very often and I can just have some peace and quiet.

9. Ice Cream - What society doesn't love ice cream? I wasn't crazy about it in the US but there is something good about the sweet, cold treat. Recently I discovered a vanilla ice cream coated in raspberry sherbet popsicle that was heavenly. In the US I liked orange creamsicles and this was like that, only in raspberry. One small win for India and whoever came up with that flavor! Oh...and there is also a Baskin Robbins at Alpha One where I get to indulge in Pralines and Cream (my all time favorite flavor) in a waffle cone.

10. Girliness - A girl is expected to act and look like a girl no matter where she goes. I have my nail polish, make up, fabulous clothes and all the other stuff in the closet for those days I want to use them. I don't use them all every day but I can be as girly as I want and no one complains. I even brought my own gold glitter eyeliner (yes, I know it's a bad thing) with me so I can sparkle when I can't find enough sparkly things to wear with my outfit. Life is better when you sparkle!

And you know what....despite doing all those things including spending the extra rupees - I don't feel one bit guilty!!


  1. Thank you! I need to get some updated pics because we've done a lot more to it now.

  2. Hehehehe my kids and I love Criminal Minds!  We love Reid too. :-)  Love your room and those birds.

  3. I'm drooling just thinking about this!! Hot chocolate is perfect for cool weather. Thanks!

  4. Don't know whether you've already tried this, but look for a Nirula's and order their hot chocolate fudge sundae. Their ice cream is okay but combine it with their hot chocolate fudge then it's absolutely divine!