Saturday, March 10, 2012

Why Am I Always the Last To Know?

It's because I don't speak Punjabi isn't it? Or should I say 'innit' like the British do? Lol. (Sorry, too many reruns of Goodness Gracious Me playing on BBC these days.)

Hubby and I were having a serious conversation over dinner. I know serious sounds like a negative word but I define serious conversation as both of us speaking rationally about difficult topics that can't be avoided. It's not always negative and when I talking about these I don't mean fighting or arguing at all. Just so you guys know. Now where was I.

Okay, so there we are at dinner and this had been weighing on my mind for a while but I had waited to talk about it until I was over this last stomach infection/virus/whatever it was. I'm certain tidbits of this conversation had come out before but we hadn't had a serious discussion yet and it had to be done. I've been leading up to it for a while because I needed to soften the blow. I didn't want anything I said to come as a shock.

When I go home for the summer, my visa will expire while I'm gone. I'm going to get my PIO card but not before I have visited family, etc. Basically it's not number one on my priority list and I haven't been able to force myself to move it closer to the top. So I told hubby that if his visa is going to take a long time I may extend my return ticket and stay in the states much longer than the 3 months we have planned. He still looked a little shocked, though I'm certain I've said this in one of my "omg, India is going to kill me" speeches while I was sick recently. (I'm a terrible sick person in India. I was NEVER like this in the states. I think it's because I've been sick too much here and I've reached my limit but that's not important right now.)

Then I got pretty emotional and told him that when I came here it was with the intention of being part of a happy, well working family system and I feel like I was tricked into believing his family was one of those. He gave me this puzzled look. So then I explained further how I can't spend the rest of my life living in a house with people as rotten as his uncle and aunt and that if his visa doesn't work out this time then we absolutely must either A.) live separately - me in the US - and keep trying or B) move the hell out of this house or C) build or own floor here that is capable of locking the entire family completely out so I can go through whole days without having to hear or see any of them.

Then I thought about it and I couldn't figure out a rational way to work C out. Sure the floor could be built, we already have our own floor and would only need to install a new bathroom and kitchen and then some kind of wall and door that locks so they can go up the steps to our floor and only around the corner to go up the steps to the upper terrace. It seems a little far fetched because then that would mean they are still running up and down past my door and I have to hear them and I can't create the illusion that they aren't here. So C is no longer an option. He didn't seem to keen on A but that was okay because he too had a bombshell to drop on me.

His parents had been planning to purchase another house for a while and were waiting for hubby and BIL to 'set their lives' so the house can be purchased in their names. MIL and FIL's reasoning was that they didn't want to live with Uncle any longer either and this apparently started quite a while back and they've just been waiting on BIL to figure out what is going on with his life as he's awaiting visa status as well. He's apparently already been stashing money aside and once his visa status is set he'll come back and the house hunting will start.

Now, up front I thought okay, if we get another house and I can have a floor where the jerk family doesn't exist then maybe I can manage. (ya'll remember me mentioning I'm slow to grasp some things right?) Then about an hour later it dawned on me 'hell no!' Even with my own kitchen, bath, floor, terrace and no family in sight I can't live here. I'm chalking my earlier agreement up to being blinded by love because hubby still causes me to fall prey to that starry-eyed teenager crap from time to time. You know how it is, where some young girl thinks she can move mountains if it means her man kisses her goodnight every night. Yeah, I'm too old for that now so I'm coming back to reality. And I told him about this while watching TV after dinner.

He chuckled then agreed with me that a shiny new house wouldn't change the city, the filth, the power outages, the craziness and the sickness. Now I can concentrate on how no one told me about this house business. Um hello, Maybe I could have saved myself a ton of anger this past year if I knew we weren't going to live with them forever and I would have gladly added in the $15K I had in my bank account. But not now. I'm leaving. My mind is set and too much has gone on for too long for me to reconsider.


  1. What advice would you give to other women who are considering moving to India for their Indian husbands, and moving in with the inlaws ?

  2. Prepare yourself. Learn as much as you can now about the culture of the family, the neighborhood and the area. Learn from sources outside of your husband. He will know a lot but it's always important to get objective view points. Then prepare yourself for the things you can't learn. People everywhere are hard to adjust to living with. There will be things that will drive you crazy while living with your in-laws that never bothered you before. Plan for how you will deal with these issues. Also, spend some time studying and reading about culture shock. This will help you be ready for the things you don't expect to face. The moving and living part is easy, the mental stress from the culture shock alone can make you feel crazy and angry and more. Then when it comes time to pack, try to think about the little things that make your life good. Skip packing a lot of clothes and books, you can find those here. But if you have a favorite blanket, picture, or other things that make you feel comfortable, pack those instead.

    I would also leave a trusted family member some sort of limited access to your bank account. Then if you need something here, you can have them ship it to you without worrying about who pays. If you need to take care of any banking business they can help you. This has been one of the things I'm most thankful that I did. Just make sure it's a trusted family member.

  3. Kudos to you for surviving an entire year in such a hostile situation. I would have fled a long time ago. It's completely understandable why you'd want to go back for a while. I definitely think you gave living here a lot of effort. There's no way I would have cleaned dishes outside, lived without the constant use of AC in the blistering heat, or gotten used to power outages. Where we live, there're tons of outages as well, but our entire housing community only uses diesel generators for electricity. It's expensive, but hey, I get 24 hour electricity. 
    Maybe Rohit can look for a different job in a different city before you get back? That way you can get away from Amritsar and live away from the family!

  4. Thanks Kay. It's definitely been more than I can tolerate or know how to deal with. I did give Rohit the ultimatum that if his visa doesn't work out and I have to come back and stay that it won't be here in this house or with his family.

  5. Sry but i hav to mention that kristiji -INDIA IS NOT FOR YOU. & plz stop blaming india for ur hell reasons.. as it seems u r a trobouled women...may b thts y u were divorced 1nce...look dear ppl all over world is beutifull in their soul..jst because u cnt adjust which doesnt mean tht all foreigners will hav the prob...its up2 u how find urself in a unknown country...there is still time sis dnt give ur fate any chance to get seperated...& yeah dnt jst live in india but try 2 feel india...u'll love it..m really sry if m harsh.