Wednesday, November 18, 2009

See you in the sub-continent!

I wrote a post yesterday listing reasons I want to be back in India right now. It was satirical and a bit much for this blog, so I posted it on my other blog instead. Still, since this is the India blog, I feel I should include some version here. So, here are some things I miss about India. Some of them I miss a little, some of them I miss a lot. Some of them, I ache for.

1. Jasmine in my hair. Oh, how I miss having fresh flowers in my hair! I still use a sort of coconut-oil in my hair now (no really, I do. the humidity in VA totally warrants it), but still I miss the way the cool blossoms would sometimes fall to the side of my braid and brush against my neck. I miss the moments when a breeze would catch me from the side and envelope me in the smell of fresh flowers hanging from my own hair. There was something so feminine about wearing jasmine. It totally made up for the sweat and dust and gunny-sacks for clothing.

2. Gunnysack clothing. Ah the churdidars! No, they were not a great fit for my figure (obviously whoever invented them was totally flat chested and had no hips), but oh were they comfortable! It was like wearing pajamas all day. Especially the 100% cotton ones. Also, I could get away with so much more color in my wardrobe in India. I was actually pretty conservative there, and in retrospect I wish I would have purchased more flamboyant churdidar sets. Something in bright orange with green stripes. Yeah. Only in India.

3. Temples. Do I really need to explain this one? Is there anyone out there who doesn't understand the desire to sit in holy places? Religion is my drug of choice, any brand, any time.

4. Me. I miss me in India. I miss the way I could look at myself and think "Hey Cathlin, let's go have an adventure, eh? Cuz you're awesome. So. Totally. Amazing." And I meant it. I loved me. I loved the tan-lines on my feet that looked so white it was cartoonish, my crooked fingers, my hiccup-laugh, my witch hair. I loved it all, accepted it all, lived in it all. I've lost that, somehow. Amidst all the hot showers and clean sheets I've lost the joy of being me.

5. Fear. It's been a long time since I've seriously thought "So this is how it ends for me?" and I miss that. I miss walking through the jungle alone at night, on my way home from an interview, trying not to jump at every sound, seeing mad elephants and evil cobras in every shadow, not looking down for signs of the scorpions I would later see smashed on the road in daylight. Riding home on the back of a motorcycle with a total stranger, unable to hold onto anything for support (It's totally not PC to hold on to a strange man, no matter how fast he is driving). The sinking feeling that comes when I realize I'm totally alone and suddenly, totally lost.

6. Maaza! Ah, Maaza! You were the very nectar of the gods for me. How many gallons of your sweet mango flavored glory did I wallow in on the hard days, revel in on the good ones? Want to know the secret to my heart? Find me a way to get Maaza in the states. Seriously. I'll totally have your children in return.

7. Faces. So many faces. It is neither easier nor harder to love people when you don't speak the same language. "My name is? My name is?" "Which Country!?!" "You...Obama!!!" Yes. Me, Obama.

8. Rickshaw rides. Because, really, when it comes to near-death experiences, nothing beats the fun of an auto rickshaw in rush-hour.

9. Michael Moments. I can't really think of a better name for the type of experience I'm thinking of. Those times when it hits you, suddenly, that you are in India. You are standing in a bus thronged with total strangers with Tamil songs blasting over the speakers and your translator holding your hand, grinning at your wide-eyed excitement. You have three colors of powder caked on your forehead, your feet are so dirty they look like you are wearing gray-brown socks. You are plastered against five different women, the smell of incense, spices, fruit, and other human beings bombards you from every side shouting "INDIA INDIA INDIA" until you are no longer sure where India ends and you begin. I haven't explained that well. I can't. You really want to know? Come visit me in India. I'll be there in 2011.

Oh, and if you are in the mood for some ubber-sarcastic Cathlin, I'm giving in to my inner demons and posting that original rant here. Warning: Contains inappropriate references and high levels of man-hating sarcasm. In other words, if you don't know me well and love me, don't read the following.

I'm going back to India. Here's why:
1. I don't have to worry about dating in India. What's that you say? I don't have to worry about dating in America either? Shut up and get off my blog. Of course I frigging do. I'm Mormon. I go to a singles ward. The universe will open up and swallow me whole if I don't. Also my sister will keep badgering me about my ovaries if I don't put forth a minimal effort. Seriously. I'd do almost anything to avoid another ovaries chat. I'd even date. But in India, I have more important things to talk about with my family. Like my chances of survival. So yeah, I'm going back to India. Leave my ovaries out of it.
2. Americans are stupid. Don't get me wrong, Indians are stupid too. I just don't identify with Indians. It's less embarrassing for me. I hate Americans. And people. "There is not a bus big enough to run over all of the people that I hate."
3. Idly with chutney. I could totally go for some fermented rice cakes with unbearably hot sauce in the morning. Love myself some early morning indigestion. This morning I ate yet another bowl of boring Special K. Which was awesome, because I pretty much love Special K. What's my point, you ask? What's your point? Did I not just tell you to shut up and get off my blog?
4. Temples. I miss worshiping a woman. I really do. Not that I ever really worshiped her, in fact, a lot of the time I had to have a little prayer first just to let God know He had no reason to be jealous. "I'm just here for the food! I swear!" Plus, the food totally sucked. And I had no idea what anyone was saying to me. But there was less guilt, you know? Like, they could tell me to repent and start dating all they wanted and I'd have no idea what they were talking about. Ovary chats are so much easier to deal with in Tamil, you know?
5. Kicking people. I really miss the opportunity to kick some dude. Granted, it only happened just the once, but still. It rocked. I would totally kick another jerk-melon right now. Also, the melons in India were awesome. Awesome as in they inspired me with awe and disgust. Jackfruit melon? Yeah, pretty sure that came from another planet. A smelly, over-ripe planet where people are stupid but you get to kick them so it's okay. That is why I frigging love Jackfruit.
6. Sweet milk. I hate sweet milk. Sweet milk makes me want to cut out my own tongue and poke my eye out with it. And if I didn't have a tongue or an eye, I'd totally sue some jerk-melon and get a huge settlement for it. Then I'd kick him, and steal his jackfruit.
7. This post would make sense if I were in India.
8. Shut up and get off my blog.


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