Friday, August 2, 2013

Prepping to Be an NRI

Almost immediately after being approved for the visa both hubby and I began to think of all the preparations we had to make to finalize everything. I started making a list in my head of everything we needed to discuss. We didn't want to wait a long time for him to come to live with me and so time was of the essence. A few concerns of mine were:
  • Getting his international driver's license. This would allow him to drive here for a year with his Indian driver's license. That would give me time to teach him without having to wait for all of his documents to come to us. 
  • Going through his possessions. Hubby loves clothes and it wasn't reasonable nor economical to bring all of them with him. Most of his clothing wasn't geared toward the American climate nor our fashion landscape. He would need to narrow down a lot of what he was bringing. Of course, you can't tell his dad that lol. Part of his dad's celebrations included going out to buy him new clothes. Hubby is going to have to change his dress habits some to fit in with American customs, laws and regulations - not wearing open-toed sandals to work for example.
  • Cleaning out what was left of my closet there. I too had to get rid of some of the things left behind or have him bring them to me. 
This is one of the first pics of his suitcases. Of course, they got rearranged several times before the final packing. It's full of my stuff lol.

I was also very concerned with how hubby was going to manage leaving his family behind. He is very close to his family and also the only son left at home. His brother is not there. That only leaves his young cousin, Ashu, to do all of the running for the household. It's going to be an empty and quiet home once he's gone.

MIL started making all his favorite foods for every meal. Hubby was worried how she was going to miss him when he left. They spent a lot of time together every day and now there won't be anyone to fill that void for her. Ashu and Kitty leave for school early in the mornings and don't sit and talk to her like he did. I'm not quite sure how MIL will manage her time.

Needless to say, the mood in his home became both excited, yet somber. His leaving was like the elephant in the room, on everyone's mind but no one wanted to talk about how it affected them. They only wanted to share their happiness. Hubby didn't sleep for a few nights with all that was going through his mind. For so long he wanted this visa so we could share our lives together without me getting sick and now that he had it, he was concerned about how he would adjust to life here and without his parents.

He's not the type to embrace changes lol. He deals with them but always goes in apprehensive about what they mean to him. I kept reassuring him he would be fine. I know him quite well and I knew coming here would make him happy. There is a lot here for him to love and a lot of the things we take for granted here in America are things he would be grateful to have. I didn't see him having any trouble adapting to the comforts of American living. I did worry about how much he was going to miss his mom.

I teased hubby a lot about having him come here to do my dishes for me while I worked. No, I'm not bringing him in to be my slave but I did twist a few things to tell him he was going to have to take on the house roles since I was the one working. After all, in India the man works and the woman cares for the home. So I would pick on him that since our roles were reversed he could do all the laundry hahahaha. He knew I was joking and picked right back at me. It was fun to think about these things without the anxiety of wondering how he would fare when faced with all the differences in life here.

See, he's used to having his food cooked for him, his laundry done, his room cleaned and his sheets changed by someone else. In the US, we do all of those chores ourselves, whether man or woman doesn't matter. The majority here do not have dish maids, laundry maids, house maids or even someone to send the clothes to for pressing. We do it all on our own. I think this is going to be the biggest shock for him to face.

We will see how it plays out.

While all this was going through my head, I did take the time to check the status of his passport. Somehow I was still a little scared to believe this visa thing was real. I had heard stories of people being approved then being put into additional processing so I was reluctant to get too excited just yet. I went to the tracking website and it was utterly useless. It says "track your passport" but when you get to the page there is nothing there about tracking.

I put my stealthy skills to work and went to check our "visa progress" at the Department of State's website and that is where I got lucky. 2 days after our interview that page promptly displayed that his visa had been issued, printed and put into his passport. It told us that his passport was in transit to the pickup destination. It was then and only then that I felt confident this was all real and we were going to finally be together again.

For more help with NRI matters, visit Authentic Journeys: How Can I Adjust to American Life!


  1. Amelia @ chai a cup of lifeAugust 2, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    Hey nice to hear your news. I do understand with so much help in India one can get easily used to it. Good luck with getting your husband to do the housework!

  2. Thank you. I need all the luck I can get.