Before I can start my new blog about life in the Netherlands, I must first officially close the door, the one that involves the heart and mind, on Bangalore. Saying goodbye is always hard, and I'm not sure if I have said goodbye properly and sincerely to India. There are so many things that I miss, and so many things that I don't. The contrast of brilliant blue skys and steeples of trash, the colors of the saris and water jugs and the knowledge that those women in their beautiful saris carrying the brilliant colored water jugs do not have running water in their homes, the never ending construction for amazing building sites with the most horrific working conditions…..all these things I have tried to reconcile in my mind and have been determined to only look back upon India "fondly". The truth is not all the memories are wonderful even though so many of them are. I have so many beautiful memories of friends, experiences and fun times but I must also give myself "permission" to accept that there are some culture differences in India that will forever haunt me. I have to find a way to be okay with that so that I can look back and do so consistently with peace of mind…..because you see, sometimes I don't want to look back, and when I do I always try to focus on the positive, the good things, the good people we encountered, the people whom touched our lives and hearts but sometimes whether I want to or not, it's not always the good stuff and the good people and the good experiences that come to mind. I think in order for me to say goodbye properly, I need to be okay with the fact that it was good AND bad. It was at times awesome and not so awesome, fun, difficult and always exhausting. I learned great life lessons and I will forever be grateful for the experiences but I accept that it's going to take a long time to totally process my time there. My heart hurts sometimes over India, but I'm looking forward to the day when I can just look back and take the good with the bad and not feel so torn every time I re-visit those memories in my mind. One thing is for certain. I never want to forget India. With that, here are some pictures I took on our last days there. They are random and you might wonder why would I take certain pictures of such mundane things…but every pictures was just a small insight to life in India for the 2 years and 8 months that we were there. Goodbye Bangalore, India. Goodbye for good this time, goodbye forever, but know that you will live always and forever in my heart, mind and soul. You helped shape me to who I am today, ever evolving as we are, I thank you for the good in me that I found there, the strength of character that I developed, the compassion, understanding and empathy that I always believed I had but will now forever utilize and carry forward. Goodbye and thank you. Sincerely, Cynthia
We're sitting in the living area of our hotel apartment on our last morning in Houston. You see we head to Amsterdam today. At 3:40pm exactly.
We came to Houston to pack another crate to send along to The Netherlands, to take additional comforts of home that John's company allows us, and also to see our family and partake in Texas sized meals and beverages.
I realized very quickly that though we have left India, it hasn't completely left us. It was almost like breaking up with an old boyfriend….everything we saw and did this last week, I would compare to how the experience might have been in India. Like when we went to a drive thru (Taco Cabana) and received our small drinks…they were the size of large ones in India….yes those are the thoughts that were constantly going in my head, "Wow! These would be large drinks in India", and stuff like, "wow, these roads are so quiet, you would never be able to drive like this in India", negative or positive, it doesn't matter, the fact was everything I did and saw I would compare it to India. John and I have decided to call it, "the India effect", because regardless of the good times and the bad times, India affected us. It has left it's imprint in our hearts and minds forever.
I'm not sure that I ever even want to get over India, even when life was at it's toughest for us there (and believe me you can only see the poverty, trash and injustices so long) because there were so many positives as well. It's going to take me a very long time to process my time there. I don't really care to put it in a box and look at it right now, the experience is all too vivid and near for me to do anything with it other than compare my new experiences it to it at this time.
But I really don't want to do that either. We are soooooo excited about our new adventures and I want to quit comparing everything to what we just left, rather I want to experience without comparing to life in India and the US. I want this new "lover" in my life to be that….brand new with no expectations good or bad and to welcome each new day with an openness of mind and heart.
That being said, think we're finally going to burn our FRRO papers and make some smokes over the fire, lol. well maybe not today but soon. That is one thing that we won't be able to help but compare and be gleeful about, no more FRRO visits or DOCUMENTS TO SHOW EVER AGAIN, YIPPEE!!!!!!!!!
I will of course be blogging about new adventure in Amsterdam, going to figure out how to link this old blog to the new one, hope you'll keep reading because I know there are some interesting time ahead.
Houston to Amsterdam…..we'll see you soon!
Today was hard. Actually today is tomorrow (Tuesday morning 3:52 a.m) and I'm talking about Monday, day 1 with the packers at our home getting us packed up and moved out of our home in Bangalore.
I woke up early, around 4:30 a.m. which has been the norm for me since I returned from my trip the US, and did all the prep work that I could do before the movers arrived and before John and Bruce woke up. Not only have I been waking up super early but I have also been going to sleep most nights at about 8:00 pm, which is so unlike me. So waking up early I was not tired at all, just anxious about all that lay ahead.
Move day. We have been looking forward to this day for awhile now. What I did not realize was how sad I was going to feel. I kind of shut down. I had done all the prep work and I left the "supervising" of the move to John. It's like my mind just needed to not focus on "the move" and just think on anything else "but the move", because to actually think on it was making me kind of crumble on the inside. Luckily for me, I made a new friend who is a newbie to India and she and her sweet daughter Lily came over and kept us company, brought us lunch and wine, Krissy made me laugh and Lily played with Bruce, it was a perfect day. Except that the move was going on…..totally unexpected feelings were rushing in and I was not prepared.
At 5:00pm, the movers called it a day and headed out planning to return tomorrow (today), we also decided to call it a day and get ready to leave for our hotel. The movers left and soon so did our lovely company. Our suitcases packed and ready to go I kept stalling.
The things I didn't want to face I guess were staring me in the face. I was not ready to leave. I wanted to spend just one more night in our home. One more evening on the rooftop under the stars, enjoying the breeze, the smell of lemongrass from the mosquito repellent incense that we burn, a bottle of wine with John. You see leaving to the hotel meant tthis is it. This is where the real goodbyes start, the forever goodbyes.
Saying goodbye FOREVER to one of our favorite persons, was going to happen very soon. "Big Uncle", as we call him but his real name is Yogandre who "came with the house", walked us out to the car and though we are returning tomorrow, looked like he was about to break into tears. I did. What my mind tried so hard to not to face, my heart finally accepted. When we say goodbye to our staff, we will be saying goodbye forever. I know we will never see them again. Friends that we have made, our life long friends I know we will see again, but the people in our lives that contributed to do our everyday well being and saw to our daily needs, we will never see again. None of them have computers, and most don't know how to read and write in English. Even Big Uncle who we have seen almost everyday for the past almost 3 years, most of our conversations have always been a mix of speaking and hand signals. How in the world will we be able to keep in touch? I'm so blessed that Krissy my new friend hired Lokesh our driver, I think through him we might be able to keep tabs on Big Uncle, and even Lakshimi. Maybe.
It's hard to explain what someone like Big Uncle has meant to us. What he means to Bruce. My heart was breaking for him and for Bruce because they have a bond, Bruce really sees him as a big Uncle, someone who gives him unconditional love and who was his constant playmate learning basketball, American football, baseball, cricket and who even helped him to ride his bike. Bruce was 3 years old when we arrived and he's 6 now……Yogandre has truly been his devoted big uncle.
While all this was playing in my mind, all I wanted to do was turn around and go back inside "my house'. Go back inside, and spend one more night there. Spend one last evening on the roof. Under the stars enjoying the breeze and the smell of the lemongrass scented mosquito repellent incense. I regret falling asleep early this past week. Didn't spend enough time enjoying our last days there as tired and busy as I was. Just wanted one more night there, to wake up, and all would be the same for just one more night. Don't understand it myself. Ready for the move and yet not ready? Fickle me.
When we got to the hotel John told me that as the movers were packing our living room, Big Uncle grabbed a framed picture of me and Bruce and John that we took in the desert in Dubai. He begged John for the picture and John of course agreed that he could have it.
As I once again tried not to dissolve into tears, I realized a piece of us will always be with him. Just like a part of him will be with us, be with Bruce always, in our memories, in our hearts, not just in pictures but the imprint of what we all leave behind within each other.
Does that make sense?
Going to try to sleep now. But not looking forward to day 2 of the move. It's official, forever goodbyes suck.
It's getting real. Sold our car today and was the last day with our driver Lokesh who has been with us for over a year and a half….I didn't realize that when John said we would start with our new Shell appointed driver today that that meant me too!
Hard to explain the relationship between me and my driver. We are lucky that we have only had two drivers during our almost 3 years here, and both were very good experiences although our first driver quit unexpectedly to pursue a personal dream (we were sad to see him leave, but happy he was pursuing his goals). Back to the relationship with my driver. I depend on him daily, and sometimes resent the dependency that I have on him, but here in India, when you choose not to drive, your driver will be the most important "staff" member in your life. Not only does he get you and your family to and fro to every place you need to be, (work, school, stores, friends homes, i.e. basically anytime you need to leave your home) he is also privy to our conversations, to our moods, to every thing that is going on in our lives. He's also a huge source of information and I've been seriously shocked at alot of things he knows before we do (murder of a prominent man in our neighborhood, the pilates class was moving out of Whitefield building-he knew before my pilates instructor!) and I could go on and on and on…..
So being told that today was my last day with my driver (to be fair john told me this yesterday only my jet lagged mind didn't compute) was like telling me that I was losing my right hand. That is pretty much how it felt. And believe me that was a surprise to me too, because for some reason, though I knew we were going to sell our car, and start saying goodbye to our staff members, I wasn't mentally prepared for it to happen so soon. And certainly wasn't prepared to start the goodbyes with our driver.
Lokesh has seen me laugh, he's seen me cry, he's seen me in rages. He's heard me sing he's seen me dance in the car. He's seen me with make up with no makeup, at my best and at my worst. He was my driver, plain and simple, good days and bad, he was there right along with me (with us) in the thick of it.
He worked for our family but he reported to me on a daily basic because it is I who manage our home and who will decide the agenda of each day's outing after he drops the hubs and kid off to work and school, to him I was always "Madame" and basically he knew it was me he had to do a good job for or he'd be out of one.
But you see he's been more than just a driver to us. He's been an unofficial second baby sitter to Bruce when I just needed to pop into a store for a few seconds, he's taken Bruce out for McDonald's on those days that I just didn't want to get in the car. He was instrumental in helping us teach Bruce how to ride a bike, and he played basketball, cricket, whatever games Bruce wanted to play when John was working and other kids weren't around and I was busy doing other things. He seems to know when I need him to let me just space out in the car and not be bothered. He also knows my favorite songs on the radio and will turn up the volume when one comes on. Every day on our outings he opens my door though I constantly tell him it's not necessary I secretly like that he remains chivalrous. I can't remember the last time I had to carry anything heavy to the car….he always anticipates when I am about to leave a store and heads me off to carry the bags.. Those things have been really pleasant and helpful to me as I struggle with my back issues. I truly realized how much I depended on him to know our schedule, to get us wherever we needed to be on time and safely, to be around and help with whatever needed doing along with his driving role. His role was so varied and so vast that I don' think I could sit here and list off all the things he did for us while under our employ.
I can tell you that I haven't always loved having a driver. Sometimes his breathing or his good morning salutations got on my nerves. But then again sometimes John's does too. There were so many times when I just wanted to jump in the car and drive, BY MYSELF. But he was intuitive and knew my moods and would gage the radio volume and chit chat accordingly. That was sooooo important to me cuz as much as I like to chat, I don't always want to. John never wants to talk in the morning and isn't much of a talker. Our driver knew that and never pushed it with him. I know John appreciated that too.
I like to believe that i have always been kind and generous but there are times when I know I have also been a pain in the ass to work for.
I remember when I first got here and went shopping at Hypercity for the first time I was amazed at how many western women I saw "married to Indian men". All around me were women who were obviously foreigners accompanied by Indian men, when it finally dawned on me, with my Indian driver right next to me pushing my grocery cart, that those men were their drivers, not their husbands. Yes, this one is a little slow times, and in the beginning I had no clue how important the role of our driver would play in our lives, had no idea at the time how the whole "driver/madam relationship" would evolve. Clueless of how valuable he was going to be in our daily lives. In the beginning it was Shankar, and he was a really good guy and good driver and set the bar high as he was a really good driver to have our first year here. From the start of year two till now it's been Lokesh. Had no idea how much I would rely on the ease of our relationship and the lack of having to give him directions or even name the places we were going, mostly when I would direct him to in the mornings, my directions began with, "do you remember when we met with my blonde friend Beth and we went to that coffee place in Karamangala?" He would answer, "yes, yes, Costa coffee, okay madam" and would rattle off how long it would take in traffic that day. Seriously, I don't know that I ever used to names of the locations we were going to, cuz all I would have to say is, "okay, going to get groceries at that store that has the stairs that do down, or need to go to that store where I bought the good cheese, and so on and so on. Truthfully, I don't know how he kept all that info stored in his head. It was a kind of just weird way we had of communicating and it worked for us. So imagine how I felt when boom, car sold, my driver gone.
The goodbye was kind of awkward too. Indian men don't hug women here, or at least not in public and especially women who are not their wives. I'm a hugger and though i felt like a hug was in order, I restrained myself because well you just don't do that here. Gifts were given and we made plans for him to come by one more time before he starts his new job and before we leave. Hugs were given between he and Bruce. Lots of them. More to come I'm sure when he visits tomorrow.
I began the beginning of this post yesterday (my Tuesday) and I'm finishing this Thursday morning at 4:22 a.m., (yes having trouble sleeping). So as of time of this post, I have spent one full day without Lokesh and instead with the company appointed "rental car & driver. And boy do I miss Lokesh. The new driver although nice and a capable driver doesn't speak English as well as Lokesh and trying to get us to our normal every day places with me the one giving directions was complicated and frustrating. Who am I kidding even if he would have been exceptional, I probably would have found fault in him because he's really not "my driver".
I dread finishing up the week without "my driver" Lokesh, but am comforted in the knowledge that we were able to secure a good job for him with a nice "new family" who have recently arrived in Bangalore. I hope the experience he has had with us will help him with his new family and that they will be happy with him too.
More than anything I sincerely hope that working with our family was a good experience for him, and that when he thinks on us he will do so fondly.
Yup. The countdown is on, and this is really happening. Nine more days left in India. The goodbyes continue…
So….it's our last ten (10) daysin India. Way too many emotions swirling around in my mind and heart, but before I let myself analyze those feelings too much (yes, I have more than one feeling on leaving India) let me first write about the past 3 weeks!
Usually when we vacation in summer we go to exotic places and there is usually a beach involved, this time I spent three weeks in the US and more than half of that time in Pittsburgh, PA. Say wut? Pittsburgh you ask?
Yes, and it was so amazing.. In short, Pittsburgh rocks! Who knew? I sure as heck didn't.
The only feeling that ever came to mind when I thought of Pittsburgh was resentment as any loyal "Luv ya blue fan" will tell you, Pittsburgh is the town that robbed the Houston Oilers of a Super Bowl berth in 1980. Yes, that still chaps my ass and gets me all choked up on when you see football legends tv specials about that particular game, and the way the city of Houston rallied around their team and coach who LOST that infamous game. Remember that speech? Jeez, will there even be another coach as awesome as Bum Philips? Will Houston ever have a team as beloved as the Houston Oilers? (Yes, I'm a Houston, Texans fan but not even close to the fan I once was of the Houston Oilers). Here's the link, go ahead, if you're a football fan, I dare you not to get all choked up after seeing this; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGKXLfFlAB4
Anyway, when my daughter Victoria told me she was moving to Pittsburgh, the only advise I gave her, or rather demanded of her was "you'd better not become a Steeler fan!" I am laughing to myself as I write that because that was seriously the only thing I said to her after congratulations on the promotion, "do not become a Steeler fan!'….bad Mom:(
I had no idea that I would fall in love with the city and hope to someday return. Putting it simply, Pittsburgh is beautiful and quaint and full of history. The architecture of the homes, the buildings, the museums (so many things to do!) and so darn easy to get around by taxi, buses, WALKING…and the weather, and the people, oh my goodness they were so nice! And boy were they loyal to their sports teams there. Almost every person you saw was wearing some kind of jersey or t-shirt supporting one of their local teams. It was soooo, I don't know electric? Definitely fun and people watching there was incredible. Yes, I know the winter wasn't upon us yet, and according to my daughter the winters there are pretty harsh, but in late July, all I could think of is that I couldn't wait to return next year for another visit. To Pittsburgh? Yeah…I know I was dumbfounded and still am. But since I'm so short on time these days, and writing at 5:37 a.m. Tuesday morning because I am jet lagged, let me just end this post with some pics of my fantastic visit and I would also like to add that I purchased my new camera a Panasonic-Lumic G6 specifically because I couldn't bear not to try and capture the scenic beauty that is Pittsburgh. I didn't get my camera till my last 24 hours there, and it took me almost all of that time to just figure out the basics (thanks Ryan!) so some of the pics includes one I took from my HTC mobile, but here is a view of Pittsburgh through my eyes and let me tell you, though I 'll never be a Steerlers fan, I can't wait to someday go back and enjoy a football game with my daughter if she stays through another football season. Thank you Victoria for being brave enough to move to a city that your Momma only ever knocked during football seasons and for showing me a whole new part of the US that I never even thought to visit before and giving me a new outlook on "Steeler" territory. I loved it!
Bruce and I arrived in the US on Tuesday, July 15. I wrote this post early the next morning, though I was exhausted and excited to be in the US, I was still feeling light hearted and in good spirits. The latest news regarding another Malaysian airline flight with tragic circumstances has made me uneasy and sad. But I did this write this, and well, decided to share how I was feeling earlier in the week.
I yield to cows….girl you're not in India anymore...
So, I am back in the good ole USA. Couldn't wait to return for a brief visit to hang with my kiddos and friends and to take care of some very important red tape that I need to handle before we can get our visas for Amsterdam.
It's been exactly 2 years and 7 months since I have been behind the wheel of a car. In India I have a driver and truly, I have missed driving. Missed just getting in the car and taking us where we need to go. You might imagine how I was day dreaming about driving again. I couldn't wait, imagined myself driving a teeny bit over the speed limit like i used to, my tunes playing on the radio, dancing and bopping along while I drove …had it all pictured in my head how awesome it was going to be to drive again.
Well, the reality was a different scene all together. I can admit that I looked more like a granny on the road than the speed racer I used to be. White knuckled and peering thru the windshield just praying that I'd get us to my friend's home in one piece. I can't even imagine what I looked like to my fellow drivers. Didn't even turn up the radio until we hit 610 West traffic. Then and only then did I turn up the tunes and relax. This, when traffic was not moving, at a standstill and moving at a very slow pace. THIS is when I started smiling and bopping to the songs on the radio…..I found myself enjoying a traffic jam! WTF?
Let's face it, I'm used to being a passenger in a vehicle that yields to cows. Traffic in India "snails along", it moves slowly, it's chaotic because of the lack of road rules and because of the variety of "vehicles" on the roads like rickshaws, cows and donkey's pulling carts, people pulling carts, motorcycles in the masses, huge buses..and again, no road rules really to speak of. It takes forever and is frustrating and interesting at the same time, but basically, "getting somewhere quickly" in Bangalore is a term we never hear or use. It's just impossible. So imagine my surprise when I was truly surprised that life in the fast lane IS really fast.
I forgot that in the "real world", you're yielding to 18 wheelers (a crash i've already survived-his fault not mine) cars who are going too fast and you'd better yield or play a game of chicken of who's going to back off even if you have the right of way…...the zooming in and out of lanes by those who just refuse to drive at a normal and safe speed, woe….I never thought I'd say this…..but yesterday during my first driving experience in a couple of years…..I truly missed yielding to cows.
A road trip to Austin in on the agenda today. I know I can do this. I've done this road trip many times before. So why am I so nervous?
BEcause yielding to cows and rickshaws etc is alot safer and more palatable to me these days than those crazy ass 18 wheelers and road ragers that's why!
I'm smirking and giggling to myself right now. I am used to a slower pace. We yield to cows (okay my DRIVER does), and today I am missing the slow pace of driving, no being driven around and not worrying about being hit at a fast pace of a big vehicle. Funny how time and experiences change you, who knew?
Wish me luck friends, I'll need it…and if you see me on the road today…..don't worry I'll yield.
They say it takes a village. Or in our case it took two guys from a village and a Dad from a big city. All three guys taught Bruce how to ride a bike with no training wheels. Yay Bruce! We started on Wednesday when John decided to take the day off from work. It was just John and I trying to convince Bruce to get on the bike and not be afraid to fall. Bruce was heavily padded but did not trust us to hold onto the bike while he learned how to balance it. Very soon Lokesh and Yogandra (Big Uncle) joined in the training lesson and lucky me got to take a back seat and watch the men do their thing. About an hour after it started to monsoon.....really heavy rain, and the first bike riding with no training wheels came to a halt. It's okay though John had let go of the bike when Bruce was pedaling and he balanced on the bike perfectly until he realized John wasn't holding onto him, but he realized that he could do it and just needed practice. We were all sad that the lesson had to end because of the rain but the good news was that Bruce was no longer afraid.
On Thursday, Bruce decided he couldn't wait for Daddy to get home so we asked Lokesh and Big Uncle to help again with the bike training. They jumped right in and took over and I got to rest from my perch in the window in my room and cheered them along as they helped Bruce gain his confidence and balance on the bike. When John got home yesterday evening it was raining so he didn't get to see the progress Bruce had made that day, but was happy to know that Bruce was no longer scared.
That brings us to today, Friday, Bruce's morning lesson started early and he surprised all of us by just jumping on the bike and going. He discovered he liked going fast and soon he was leaving everyone in his wake, lol. He couldn't wait till his Dad got home so he could show him his new awesome riding skills.
When John got home, the first thing he did was ask Bruce if he wanted to practice riding his bike to which Bruce quickly responded by showing him he no longer needed the practice as he is very capable of riding his bike like a "big boy" now.
Yesterday I hesitated letting Lokesh and Big Uncle teach Bruce without John because I thought it might deprive John of a special bonding time with his son...but what I realized very quickly was that the bonding time did occur, but with all ALL of us. It reaffirmed what I already knew about our "staff" here. That even though we are the employers and they the employees, we have become a family unit. Lokesh and Big Uncle were so excited to be included in teaching Bruce to ride his bike and got just as much joy as we did seeing Bruce master bike riding. We all clapped and cheered him on, we all felt his pride and his sense of accomplishment and we were all just really happy to be a part of this special moment in Bruce's life.
These are the moments, just some of the precious moments that will forever bind us to India, and I know someday Bruce will cherish these memories too.
Yeah, that was my theme song and Day 4 of the GM diet. Which was surprisingly easier than I thought would be. Come on, only bananas, milk, and water for one full day? Who in their right mind would think that would be easy or fun? If you think that was bad, Day 1 was even worse! Meal plan for Day 1 was fruits and water. All you could eat, but fruit only. I don't know how I got through that day. The first day was the worst for me. I like watermelon, apples and pineapple when I'm in the mood. I'm not usually in the mood. Luckily for me I decided to start this diet while in Malaysia so my beautiful friend Moira reintroduced me to her favorite fruits such as dragon fruit (loved), and papaya (remembered after tasting it that I don't like papaya), anyway, I struggled massively on day one and truly didn't think I would make it, thought the diet would end before it even started. I was wrong. Made it through day one even though that first night my body craved anything and everything BUT fruit….
Day 2 was a different story. I woke up NOT hungry. My cravings were gone too. Couldn't believe it. Menu plan for day two was all veggies and water. As much as you could eat whenever you wanted to eat, all day but veggies only. This was much easier for me. Oh! The best part of day two was the first thing you got to eat in the morning was a boiled or baked potato with one little smack of butter. After that no more potatoes but any other veggies you wanted. I think I had roast veggies for snacks, lunch and dinner that night and it was delicious.
Oops. I forgot. Some dear friends were also visiting Kuala Lumpur that we hadn't seen in over two years and the hubby makes really gorgeous gin and tonics. Yes I was on a diet but how could I resist Warren's G&T's? I couldn't. Had two. Figured hey, half the drink was sort of water wasn't it? Drank tons of water after to try and flush out of my system. Went to bed scared that I had sabotaged my diet but eh, it was a good day.
Day 3. Fruit and veggies and in my case, more of Warren's G&T's when they visited later on the day. Couldn't be helped. I only had one this time though. Again, did my best to drink an enormous amounts of water after to flush it out.
So you might be wondering, did you weigh yourself? Had you lost any weight at this point? Yes and yes. But not near what I had hoped and of course was disappointed stepping on the scale. The weird thing was I was "feeling" lighter and even looking smaller. The weight was coming off somehow but the scale wasn't reflecting.
Day 4. The banana day. I HATED this day. I don't love bananas. My friend's housekeeper made me a banana smoothie for breakfast and I realized immediately that was the only way for me to survive banana day.
Day 5 of the GM diet is called feast day. You could have beef (or any kind of lean meats) and tomatoes. I had a burger that day for lunch (no bread) and then again at dinner. Ha! Yum.
Day 6 honestly, don't even remember the diet for that day and this was just a couple of days ago, i think it was just veggies again, was so busy NOT being hungry and not craving anything special i just don't remember.
Day 7 was one cup of brown rice, veggies and fruit juices. Easy peazy, no mac and cheesy! Sorry but it was Saturday in KL and as far as I know, probably my last Saturday in Malaysia for years to come….so we went out to my favorite Mexican restaurant in KL, Las Carretas and yes, I cheated. Had beef fajitas (no tortillas) and instead of the brown rice, had spanish rice and ate chips and guacamole. I didn't feel guilty at all though. Had alcoholic beverages this evening too, (last Saturday night in KL, was out with the girls). I figured I would just dance off the calories and boy did I give it a go that night! Haha great evening but I paid for it yesterday. Hangovers at this age are no bueno.
Even with the occasional cheating (G&T's and Day 7 Mexican food) I ended up losing 6 lbs! Hey man, would have probably lost more had I not cheated with the but 5 lbs was my real goal and 6 was the icing on the cake.
Yesterday was Sunday and I let myself enjoy that the diet was over on Day 8, but found that all the usual "bad" stuff didn't sound appealing and didn't even taste that good after the first bite.
So today, Monday after my seven days on this GM diet, I look and feel great, and my body isn't craving sodas, or sweets or breads or most things that I usually just want to eat. As I write this "review"of the GM diet I am drinking a fruit smoothie and washing it down with a tall glass of water. This is "HUGE" for me. I usually don't do fruit willingly. I do now, and I'm actually quite happy about it.
This diet worked for me. I'd recommend it in a heartbeat.
Happy Monday y'all, have a great week! Me? I'm going clothes shopping today, win!
Before I start yapping about our "big news" I want to ask if any of you have heard of "snuggle walking"…
We returned to Singapore last week to have Bruce's tonsils and adenoids removed. I'm sure there is a medical term for it but it escapes me at the moment. Anyway, Bruce had the surgery, we spent the night at the hospital, were given meds for his pain and instructions on his after care, blah blah blah.
On the day after he was released from the hospital, he asked if he could have a new Lego set. As he had been in the hospital and had been such a trooper, we said yes of course he could have a new Lego set, and asked which kind he had in mind. Bruce quickly responded,"I'll pick it out", we of course were worried about him being out and about and reminded him that he was still recovering from his surgery and was maybe not ready to head to a big mall even if it was only a walk across the street. Without missing a beat Bruce said "that's okay Daddy we can snuggle walk, you know, snuggle together while we walk? Look I'll show you how". He did and they proceeded to head out to Paragon mall and purchase the Star Wars AT-AT Lego set. John says they snuggle walked all the way there and back! Snuggle walking….little does Bruce know that his Daddy and I have lot of experience snuggle walking, lol we just never had a name for it.
Now to our big news! Our time in India is coming to an end. Mixed emotions about it, happy? Yes! Sad? Yes. Excited about our new adventure, absolutely! Sad you wonder? Me too. You see India and I have had a love hate relationship. Sometimes I love it, a lot of times I hate it. And there are times I love to hate it especially when I'm with other expats and we complain about the most comedic things! Conflicted emotions because although I know I am ready to leave, I am sad to leave behind friends, staff, the interesting scenery, the "never knowing what is going to happen today" adrenaline that comes when I wake up every morning. There is no where else in the world like India and though I am ready to leave it behind I wish that I had done better while I was here. I wish I could have seen and done more, wish that I had been able to overcome my fears (never did try any street food though sometimes I really wanted to) and then wish I wouldn't have become so jaded while I was here (stories for another time). Frankly I get a big fat "F" as in fail for my time in Bangalore. t's been over two and a half years now, and the thoughts that keep going through my head are, I can't wait to leave but I wish I had been able to do more. You come here thinking you're going to be the next Mother Theresa and instead you wake up and realize you've become more like Archie Bunker. That's the sad truth in my case.
India has changed me in ways that I don't think you could understand unless you have lived here. Visiting for a week or two, just doesn't count, living here, you come to truly appreciate the small things in life and take the biggest pleasures in people and things that are good and beautiful. When people who have so much less than you can find a reason to smile, you best believe your priorities need a good straightening out and so do you.
So much more I could say and should have written about had I been more consistent with my blog postings…..sorry about that.
We're leaving India soon. The main question people who I am leaving have asked are "would I come back for a visit?" Sure, leaving behind some wonderful people, life long friends that I will miss and I would love to come back to see. "Would I want to live here again?" No. I wouldn't. "If I could go back in time, would I change things and miss this experience?" Never (and believe me we had some rough ones here), but I would never trade this experience for anything and know that I am a much affected person, very different from the person I was before I experienced India, and can whole heartedly say I am "happy" that India "experienced me too".
Will write more as our days come to an end here, I anticipate more crazy days ahead, as you never know what to expect in this very chaotic place.
Wow. Has it really been two months since my last post? Time passes quickly, especially here in India. I still don't understand that. My days seem to fly by and when I look at the calendar another month has always passed and I'm wondering to myself "how did that happen?". Oh well, neither here nor there, lets get back to "now". The months of January and February have been all about our little guy. In January, once school was back in session, Bruce would come home from school bouncing around to a song that he would sing barely loud enough for me to hear. Finally, he asked me to "find the fox song on iTunes" that they were going to perform at the opening ceremony of Sports Day at his school. All I had to go by were the lyrics that he knew, "what does the fox say", and it turned out it was also the name of the song, yay! So found the song, watched the youtube video, then bought it on iTunes. Gotta admit the song is quite catchy and makes you want to get up and dance, which all us parents did at Sports day when the song and dance was finally performed!
Next up in the month of Feb was Bruce's birthday! Can't believe our little guy turned 6 years old this year…..6 years old. Again, wow. Where does the time go?
So much going on these days, not enough time to write as much as I would like, but hope these pictures will tell the tale of the past two months, what we are already calling "2014-the year of Bruce", lol. Enjoy!
Our little fox! Getting ready to sing and dance for us:)
BRUCE AND NOAH….BESTIES