The last year saw two major life changing events happen for me - I got married and moved halfway across the world. These events separately are plenty enough for one person to adjust to, I managed to do them together. I've had plenty of familial advice and friendly warnings regarding getting married and moving so far away from home. Analyzing the effects of the two separately is difficult since I moved because I married and one of the reasons marriage was attractive was moving! But not impossible.
First up: Moving
I've read horror stories (relatively) about the adjustments you have to make when you move to another country. Different people, language, culture, behavior and what not. You no longer hear familiar sounds - angry motorists yelling at cows peacefully sleeping in the middle of the road, vegetable vendors hawking 'fresh' tomatoes (which are really leftovers from last week), the neighbor next door fighting with the kaamwaali for the nth time, the screech of brakes as a car tries to avoid children crossing the road, loud honking by the buses till 8 am followed by the sudden silence after everyone leaves.
You can't smell your mom's cooking from the kitchen. You can't just nip down to the corner market if you run out of laundry detergent. People behave weirdly (at least that's how it appears when you're from another country!) and everything works differently. Time zone differences mean you have to coordinate carefully and set up appointments to talk to family and friends. To top it all off, I couldn't cook to save myself, let alone another person.
The thing is, even though I miss my family and friends, it hasn't been that difficult to adjust to life here. Thanks to Google Hangouts, I can video chat with them any time I want, from anywhere. It is so simple even my mom calls me from her Nexus 7. This is a woman who doesn't touch anything on the remote apart from the volume and channel buttons, so yeah it's that easy.
And frankly, I don't miss the chaos of Indian roads. Or having a maid. I always suspected I'd be happier keeping house myself than having to deal with the kaamwaali and boy was I right. I've been watching American sitcoms and comedies for so long I know more about pop culture and trivia than my husband who's lived here for 5 years!
Life here has its own advantages. My apartment is surrounded by trees and I can hear geese and chipmunks in the spring/summer, something that wasn't possible in an eighth floor flat in India. Biking is a wonderful experience now because of sidewalks. My vacation itinerary includes camping and hiking. I've always been an introvert and living so far from home means relatives (not family) don't call as often and even better, cannot just drop in unexpectedly :D
And most importantly, thanks to my husband, I've discovered I have an expert cook inside me just waiting to be unleashed!
To be continued...
To be continued...