Monday, December 12, 2011

A Few Thoughts on Floating

Listening to: Stand Up – Ludacris and Shawnna
Mood: Calm – for the minute

We’re closing on 3 months since we left the US. 3 months of exciting/frustrating/exhilarating floating. As I mentioned, our stuff went onto a ship and we stepped on the airplane with 4 large suitcases and 2 carry-ons with what we hoped would be all we needed until our stuff came. All in all, our planning worked out well and we didn’t miss too many things. For the first 2 months, we were staying with my inlaws and were very, very comfortable. After that, we left for our vacation with 2 suitcases with a much condensed version of what we needed, planning to ship the rest of the suitcases after landed and got settled in Bangalore. Who wants to carry 6 suitcases on vacation?? Not me, that’s who.  Vacation was a little more complicated in terms of having stuff. 

Things that we thought were standard (hello hotel hair conditioner) were pretty much nonexistent, leading to meandering trips to find a grocery store. It was indeed an interesting experiment to see how little we would be comfortable living with.  Just as I can confidently state that I am not in any way a minimalist, we also get along fine for the most part with less. Clothes also turned out to be a problem. It’s winter in Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur right now, so we packed all long sleeve shirts, sweaters and pants. Once we landed up in Bangalore, it wasn’t all that cold. We only brought 1 weeks worth of clothes, so I feel like I’m doing laundry ALL. THE. TIME.  After we got here, my husband’s company put us up in a guest house that is kind of like a condo building. There are different apartments with 3 different bedrooms in each that are rented out with a shared kitchen/living area. I’m so thankful they have a washing machine here! I guess it was more of a long term planning fail.  We still don’t have our suitcases and it’s wearing on all of us. The kids don’t have toys to play with and consequently harass me constantly to either watch TV or play video games. I have yet to find any outdoor space to take them to play.

I think overall, the hardest part of floating is the mental aspect of it. It was a lot worse before my husband found a job because we felt like it would never end, even though we knew it would. I’ve tried to be very zen about the whole process and just accept things as they are, but there’s only so much Zen Buddhist a person can be before it makes you crazy. Even now, it’s a struggle for me to find stuff to do and not retreat back into my mind and start missing the friends, the freedom, and the Target.  In my mind, I belong neither here nor there. There’s no community, there’s no identity as of yet, it’s just floating. There’s also the feeling there that we’re drifters. Our stuff has kind of gone off into a mental black hole and the world consists of 6 suitcases, 4 of which we don’t even have right now.

I was teasing my step dad that I’m officially old now because I miss the routine and structure that comes with running a house. In the beginning, it was completely beautiful because I really, really needed a rest after the exhausting previous year and wrapping up our life, but that wore off a lot quicker than I expected. Funny as it sounds, I began craving a bathroom to clean and a kitchen in which to cook my own toast, thank you very much. At least in my mother in law’s house, I had the comfort of knowing them and asking if I wanted something. If I wanted a cup of tea at 12 am, I made one.  The place we are living right now is like a hotel, only better/worse in some ways. Depends how you look at it. There’s a front desk man who knows every time I step out of the house or do laundry. A cook comes every morning to see what I want cooked for the day. The cleaning guys come every afternoon to change the sheets/towels, sweep and dust. It’s like living in someone’s house without it being the comfort of a relative’s. If I want a cup of tea at 12 here, I don’t call and ask for one because I know someone else will have to get up and do it.  

This is a beautiful house, and very comfortable, but it’s not ours. This is the hazard of floating.


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