Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The end of an era

I've only been home for a couple of days and it feels very strange.  Everything is very familiar but also very alien and I no longer feel like some sort of celebrity that has to be greeted every time I walk down the street.

I haven't done very much yet, complete exhaustion hitting me as soon as I got to the safety of home.  On my first morning I went for a walk to try to get a bit of exercise after spending far too much time sitting around on trains, in planes or just waiting for things to happen.  Apart from feeling very cold after the extreme heat of Delhi and grappling with the discomfort of wearing walking boots after 9 months of wearing only flip flops on my feet, it was lovely.  There were vivid splashes of colour with bluebells, primroses, cowslips and apple trees among the bright greens of an English spring and the sky was a bright blue with wispy clouds and a morning moon showing.

A friend I made in India asked me what I missed and what I was looking forward to experiencing again when I returned home.  What I really missed was my family and friends of course but now I'm home I'm realising how many other things I missed as well.  The huge choice of products available in the market and shops is bewildering and it's hard to choose what to buy.  The cleanliness of both towns and countryside, litter not being a problem here.  The constant supply of electricity.  Knowing that it's safe to drink water that's come straight from the tap.  Broadband!

Yesterday I had a lovely lunch of French bread with 4 different sorts of locally made cheese (delicious) and dinner of roast pork (again, locally produced) with proper crackling, roast potatoes and parsnips freshly dug from my garden that afternoon, wilted spinach and steamed calabrese.  Today I had a bacon sandwich for breakfast, fresh, local asparagus for lunch and dinner will be a salad of fresh, mixed leaves, local tomatoes and cold meat.  Yes, I've missed the variety of foods we can get here and am relishing the different flavours and textures.

It seems strangely quiet here.  I have not heard a single horn since I left Delhi.  There are a few dog barks but not the howling that the feral dogs of India use to communicate with each other in the evenings. I drove today for the first time since my return.  I had felt a bit apprehensive about getting into the drivers seat again but it was less nerve-wracking than trying to cross roads in Delhi. 

The thing that I am really not looking foward to is getting back to work.  I don't yet know what I will be doing or where but the prospect of going back to work in the commercial world is not appealing and there are many other people looking for jobs as well so the competition for the good jobs is high.  That will be my next big adventure.  In the meantime, I will bring this blog to a close and say how much I will miss the friends I made out in India and the generosity of so many strangers.  I hope to be back sometime soon!

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing tale, you must be just exhausted and appreciating all the small comforts normally taken for granted.
    And remember if you fancy VSO for softies, Uganda is the place to come - English speaking, lovely climate, fresh and lush, gentle polite people.