Upon returning to the western world after three months living in India, all of a sudden everything is put into perspective again and I can finally see the differences as if in a sort of reverse culture shock. First of all, summer here is awesome, I am not completely saturated with sweat 24/7 and can leave my sweat rag at home! Also being able to wear as little as I want and nobody seems to care let alone stop and stare!
I remember once leaving an air conditioned mall in Ahmedabad and saying to my friend “where is that hot exhaust fan blowing from?” turns out it was just the humidity slapping me in the face. You dont get that here, and the beaches are clean and birds chirp instead of screaching death stares at you. I also don’t need to guzzle 3 litres of water a day just to maintain hydration. Life just seems so easy here.
The one thing that I could not understand upon returning was how on earth did they manage to keep the streets so clean!?! I suppose I took the clean streets in Barcelona for granted before, but it is not possible to sweep the streets in India with any sort of sweeping vehicle due to the unlevel ground and all the people occupying them day and night. People do constantly clean the area around the entrance to their home or shop in India, but with all the blowing dust and garbage it doesnt take long to return – just imagine what it would be like if they didnt do this! However Barcelona is lucky enough to have a time when the streets are empty and people have a home to go to or are at least awake to move out of the way when the street cleaner comes through to wash away the nastiness from that day.
Another thing that I never expected to do after moving back was feeling a connection with anyone that looks remotely Indian or ends a sentence in a foreign language with “hai” or “accha”. When I hear these words I automatically think that I can understand their language and am instant friends, although I doubt they feel this way. Maybe I am just more open to them now and have since made friends (with middle easter or Indian) people that I never spoke to before like the guys that sell beer on the beach!
My time in India already feels like forever ago even though it hasn’t been that long, I am starting to forget the Indian customs as my head tightens back on to my nech and I revert back to my old habits and who I was before I left. I do hope that some of what I learned and experienced will stick with me or at least able to be summoned when needed – like writing my friend’s names in Hindi as a party trick!