Several people have asked me what I will miss upon my departure from the US. I set out to develop a Top 5 list, and conversely, a Top 5 list of items I will not miss upon leaving. Here is what came to mind:
Top 5 things I will miss:
1. Live Music. Growing up with a father in a band and musically inclined siblings and friends, many a night has been spent in local watering holes enjoying the sounds of a live band. It's a great opportunity to hear a friend's interpretation of a song or something completely original and of course a great gathering of people.
2. Organized Traffic Flow. Give it up to the City/County/State planners in this country and the State Patrol as well I guess. We have a delectable traffic system. Roads are well maintained and orderly. Drivers respect their fellow commuters and for the most part obey traffic laws.
3. Adult Size Beverages. For those of you that followed my blog from last fall, you'll recall me pining away for a Venti anything. I'm a gulper and the free refill is my friend, as well as the super sized fountain Coke, the Big Gulp, and the Mega Buddy. When ordering food at a drive through, my standard comment is "give me the biggest bucket of Coke you have."
4. Shoes. Indeed they sell shoes in India, however finding them in my size is not the easiest of tasks. I don't have abnormally large feet, just abnormally larger then most Indians. Shoe shopping can be a bit of an embarrassing feat (pun intended) when I have to straight away ask for the biggest size they have which is followed by the clerk coming out of the back room dusting off a box they clearly got by accident and handing it to me with a smirk.
5. Music. Yes it always comes back to Music. This time, I mean the music I can find on my favorite FM station. American Music. Hindi music, with it's overdone male vibrato and Mini Mouse-esque female crooners is headache inducing at best. I've been diligently loading up my ipod in preparation.
So there you have it, my friends. For those curious about what I will miss.
And now, onto the items I won't miss.
Top 5 things I will NOT miss
1. Snow. Enough said.
2. Price of Produce. We are very fortunate in this country to have produce flown in year round from all over the world, but we sure pay for it! With India's warm climate, they have year round access to all kinds of wonderful organic fruits and veggies, at wicked low prices. Street vendors are selling everything from oranges, to coconuts, to mangoes on every corner. I'm hoping that's a good incentive for me to get back on and adhere to a better eating regimen.
3. Absence of Bacon. I've never been a pork fan, and browsing through the menu at any local establishment you'll be hard pressed to find a salad, burger, sandwich or wrap sans bacon. Seeing as approx 45% of the population of Hyderabad is Muslim, bacon is scarce and having a menu lacking bacon makes me very happy.
4. Chores. It's common place in India to have a housekeeper and my home will be no exception. I'll have someone coming in daily to do the laundry, dusting, and sweeping, and of course she'll wash the dishes she dirties while cooking my meals. All for price of $20 USD a month!
5. Toilet Paper. It might sound strange, but I will not miss toilet paper. Indians prefer rinsing with water after using the potty and in my experience I feel this is the much cleaner option, and therefore preferred. Certainly I can buy toilet paper there, but each of my washrooms has an attached sprayer to use in place of TP. Not only do I find it cleaner, but environmentally sound as well so it's a win-win.
I'm sure both sides of this list will grow over time but for now, these are the things that come to mind. I hope you enjoyed this preliminary list.