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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Reunited

It’s been more than a week since I got back to Delhi and things have been so hectic that I haven’t had a chance to blog. But let me tell you, being back has been wonderful! This was the longest I had ever been apart from my husband and my daughter and being together these last few days has made me appreciate even more the fact that I was posted in Delhi. It wasn’t a given and it’s such a relief. We were apart for Halloween and that was hard. I sent costumes and candy and Paul and Nia appreciated those but it wasn’t the same. I hope we never have to be apart like that - not very likely in this career, I know but a girl can hope, right?

So we have been busy reconnecting and doing the things we missed out on for two months, like hanging out around the house:

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Enjoying the nice weather in India  (picture below courtesy of the lovely Dani from HotPot):

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Spotting elephants in the neighborhood:

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Celebrating Indian culture and customs  - in the picture to the left below the kids are making rangoli, decorative designs, made using colored sand, rice, flour, flower petals, etc. to welcome Hindu deities, luck and prosperity into the home on important Hindu festivals such as Diwali. Our driver brought colored sand and patterns for the kids, otherwise rangoli are usually made by hand as is the case in the design to the right. It was made by people who clearly know what they are doing – their gorgeous peacock rangoli won this year’s embassy rangoli competition:

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I also started work in the best way possible – with an awesome party for Diwali, at which Paul and I got to wear our brand new Indian outfits. I know I look scary in that picture but such is life... Chutney and I had landed from the US after our 20-hour sleepless journey at 1 a.m. that morning. We made it home by 3 a.m. and I managed to get a couple of hours of shuteye before I had to get up and get ready for my first day at work. I was lucky it was a short day due to Diwali followed by a 4-day weekend (for Veterans’ Day and Diwali).

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I am still getting used to being back at work. The jetlag is now gone but it’s still an adjustment after being in training for two months and home with the kids for two years prior to that. It’s great though and I am not complaining. On the contrary, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to serve my country and be with my family.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Very Close Call

I had a couple of farewells with friends today. The second one was a potluck, so I needed to go to the store and get something. I was in Falls Church, so I went to the Safeway there. Max was with me. I had to use the bathroom. Max had just woken up from a nap and was being all cute and silly and we ended up laughing out loud in the bathroom. I must have been distracted. We went back into the store and went about our business. About 15 minutes later I realized that my purse was missing. Oh.My.Stars! I had forgotten it in the bathroom. I was gasping for air. I was having a major panic attack. I ran back to the bathroom. No purse! I was  practically in tears and pulling my hair out because without that purse I was a nobody in a whole lot of doodo0.

Why? Because as luck would have it, I had just gone to the ATM and gotten quite a lot of cash for my trip back to India. My driver’s license, social security card, Max’s and my regular and diplomatic passports with our precious Indian visas in them, my phone, my Kindle and the keys to my apartment were also in that missing purse. The worst feeling ever!!!

I don’t know how I got myself to the Customer Service desk but there I was telling the lady at the counter that I left my purse in the bathroom but it wasn’t there anymore. “You sure did,” she said nonchalantly and gave me back my purse with absolutely everything in it, after confirming my identity. I just sat there for a few seconds blinking stupidly. I wasn’t dreaming. That was indeed my purse and nothing was missing. I was so happy, I was speechless!  I did ultimately thank the woman. Profusely!

Now, of course, I know better than that and should have been paying attention. I am usually pretty good about stuff like that. Not this time apparently, so that was my wake up call.  Hopefully, this will be a reminder for you as well to be more alert and aware and not do what I did.

But I was also thinking that perhaps not all hope is lost. For humanity, that is. Because the person who found my purse didn’t have to turn it in. They could have totally taken advantage of my stupidity airheadedness and made me pay for it through my nose. Because think about it. It took me a good two weeks to get just my diplomatic passport and visa. There was no way I was going to depart for India on time, had that person not decided to do the right thing. Hell, there was no easy way for me to prove who I was under the circumstances or do pretty much anything quickly. Needless to say, I am eternally grateful to that person. Whoever you are, you awesome stranger person, you are my hero and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Trick or Treat!

We had a split Halloween this year. Half of us celebrated here in the US and the rest – in India. It was a little sad to be so far away from Her Cuteness (who is quickly turning into Her Attitude these days) and my husband on Halloween. It was just not the same without them but we did try. Chutney was a pirate. He didn’t love the costume, especially the hat. I barely got him to tolerate it long enough to snap a couple of pictures.

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He also did not understand the Trick or Treating thing. We went Trick or Treating in our apartment building where the people who wanted to participate had signed up and we had a list of apartments handing out candy. Max wanted to go in and hang out at every apartment that we went to. I had to chase him and get him out every time. He didn’t like the idea of putting his candy in a bag. He would also take candy from one candy dish and deposit it in the candy dish of the next people on our list. He was very confused. I tried to explain/demonstrate but I must have done a poor job because he was having none of it. Finally, I decided to just go home and hand out candy instead. But then he’d go out with me every time the doorbell rang, get candy with the rest of the kids, wave good-bye and start heading to the elevators. So I had to chase him and bring him back a bunch of times. Fun times! I think he really needs his sister to show him the Halloween ropes next year.

In other news, I got my Indian visa early and had my pack out yesterday. I tried to but could not get a waiver for my mandatory class, so I have to take it early next week. No biggie, right? Except my in-home daycare provider (aka my Mom) is going back to Bulgaria tomorrow and I couldn’t reschedule her flight without paying another hefty penalty fee, so I had no one to watch Chutney when I am in class next week. Fortunately, I was able to get him in as a drop-in child at the FSI Daycare just for those two days, so we are in good shape. I was also able to get tickets to go back to India for the day after my class is done, so I should be in Delhi, happily jetlagged, by next Friday. Luckily, next weekend is a four-day weekend for the US Embassy because of Diwali, India’s Festival of Lights.

Needless to say, we can’t wait! Is it next Friday yet?

 
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