10. Momos. Otherwise known as dumplings in the US. They weren't necessarily better than the dumplings you get here but momo's were special in that you could choose from a better variety anywhere that served them. Want chicken? They have it. Want veg? They have it. Ask for dumplings here in the US and you get pork. No other options are available at our local restaurants. Perhaps in bigger cities you can find more options but, not anywhere I've been. Pork is definitely the standard in the southern US.
9. Shopping in the bazaars. I love the aspect of going in, sitting down, receiving top-notch hospitality and then having items brought to you. I also love being able to walk around larger stores and looking through the racks but there's just that extra something special about being able to sit down and say 'I need a yellow suit' and having 10 yellow suits brought out to you. It's so personalized and friendly feeling, it's just unmatched by the normal shopping experience here in the US which can be kind of lonely.
8. Sunday Outings. Hubby and I still do Sunday outings here in the US but he tended to fare better in India with them. They were a lot more fun and relaxing in India. Hubby was much better at dealing with the random idiot there. Here in the US, though no one is bothering him, his anxiety levels are so high it dampens any fun we have. He winds up talking incessantly and I can't hardly get a word in edgewise.
7. Motorcycle rides. It's just not the same here. Here you have to have a helmet, which completely destroys your ability to feel the wind in your hair. I LOVE feeling the wind in my hair. Not only that, but I can't imagine how utterly strange it would be to see someone carrying their purchases between them and the driver of a motorcycle. I miss driving in the rain and getting soaked and pranking my husband while he was driving our motorcycle. I am a naughty passenger and I'm not ashamed to admit it. LOL.
6. Colors. Anywhere you go in India there is plenty of color around you. Even the mundane, daily tasks are typically more colorful than here in the US. You don't see the same patterns and prints nor the same mix of colors on a daily basis. Most people are clad in blue or black, myself included, rather than bright, bold colors.
5. That blasted loud speaker! Call me crazy. I know I complained about it more than once. It blasted music, old ladies crooning and belting out songs they didn't actually know the words to. It was on early in the mornings, it was still on well into the late, late hours of the night. It was one of the most peace-disturbing things in the entire city. Yet, now that I've not heard one in 5 long years, I see the value of sharing your music and your festivities with everyone in ear shot. It was a way of sharing happiness. Something Punjabi's are definitely good at.
4. Going to the temple. We don't live near any temples that I'm aware of. The closest one is about a 90 min drive away. It's not even that impressive as a temple. I'm not complaining, but it's not something that has a lot to offer with the drive being so far. The second closest is about the same distance but involves driving through some sketchy mountain roads. It has more to offer but isn' the easiest drive and not something I would want to make on a weekly basis. Durgiana Mandir, the temple pictured above, is far better than anything we have around here.
3. Having a maid. Hubby has been here 4 years. It has not helped him leave behind some of the cultural things he grew up with. Like having the maid to clean your floor every day. Sometimes I think he forgets that we are the maid. We are the ones who have to sweep and mop the floors. So when he gets a new shirt, the tags get ripped off and thrown on the floor. A habit I've never successfully broken. It's not worth the expense here in the US to hire someone to come sweep my floors every day. I miss the cheap labor aspect of Indian society.
2. Street food vendors. Mind you, I couldn't eat from very many of them but the few that I could eat from, I loved having them come around. The occasional junk food, street fare was nice. No need to find a festival or an expo like you have to hunt for here to get things like this.
1. Veggie Walas!! This is definitely my #1 most missed thing about India. Sure, we have farmers markets here were we can go get fresh produce but the problem is that you have to get up, leave your home and transport yourself there. I just don't feel like it after a long day of work and whatever else is on my agenda. I would almost kill to have a veggie wala here where I live.