Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Simply Couldn't Go Faster Than 30 mph

A great photo of our fam taken just before Tarrah and the girls left last week.

Read this plaque from the Fern Hill Palace (and old palace in Ooty) carefully: "The marriage of His Highness Sri Brijendra Sawthi Brijendra Singh Sahib Bahadur Bahadur Jung Maharaja of Bharatpur and Princess Srijayachanadammmmmammmiarbr of Mysore."

I am wondering what it will be like to write the blog from this side of the world. “This” being Minnesota, USA. Will I sound different? Will I be a bit less raw? Will I be more raw? Who knows. Let us not be in suspense any longer.

My little girls, Sydney and Jovie, are my heroes. They traveled with graciousness and endurance. I, on the other hand, found myself having total underarm body odor at hour number two of our journey. Great start Tarrah. Let me refresh you on our itinerary. We had an eight hour drive from Ooty to Bangalore. Then a nine hour flight from Bangalore to Frankfurt. Then we jumped the puddle from Frankfurt to Chicago. Then a wee baby flight from Chicago to Minneapolis. We then got whisked away in my parent’s minivan and traveled up to Bemidji for the last four hour leg of our journey. Sweet. I wish someone would have paid me a dollar for every time that I had to go through some sort of security. I would be able to buy many a latte. Frankfurt won the prize in security. They also won the best pilot speech. When we were on the tarmac, taking off, the pilot got on the speaker and said, "Ladies and gentleman, there is going to be a slight delay, engine number one is not starting automatically, so we are going to have to manually start it. The mechanics are on their way over, but don't worry, this is the only time we are going to need to start it..." Awesome.

The girls just might be enjoying their time with Grandpa.

I mean commooonnnn! Does it get any cuter?

It must have been done before, but if not, I must recommend that someone produces a documentary about a day in the life of an airport. When I was in O'Hare, I missed my flight. Because of the delay in Frankfurt, I arrived in Chicago a little late. I had 20 minutes to try to get through passport control, transfer my luggage, move down four terminals, re-check-in, and go through 12 security check points. Needless to say, I didn't even try... So, I spent about five hours in O'Hare, just sitting or following the girls. And the emotions observed, when one is delayed or missed a flight, is a bit overwhelming. In the short hours I was there, I watched one couple melt down because they couldn't get a connecting flight to L.A., so they could get there other plane to Korea to get their adoptive daughter; another person had an autistic child that was sick at home and needed her; one missed a day of canoeing in the Boundary Waters because of the delay. All the while I was become delirious with tiredness and just started to go into some sort of standing coma. When the time came for us to get on the plane to Minneapolis, both girls were out cold on the floor and you should have seen the circus act of me trying to get them onto the plane. I was trying to look all breezy, like I had everything under control. One can only imagine how ridiculous I actually looked.

Jayson and I have chatted a few times. I hear sounds of our normal life in the background and am sheepishly thankful that I am here. This past week at my parent’s has been great. My parents rolling out the red carpet, my friend Sarah and her daughter Shiloh coming up for a sweet visit, three trips to the grocery store, a few meals spent with extended family, and simply just being. There are things that are hard about here (and likewise in India), but currently I feel like I have just taken five pound weights off my legs and arms and I am now walking a little lighter.

Am I feeling any sort of "culture shock"? I guess in small ways. Like I had to set the cruise control on the van. Not because I was worried about going too fast, but because I simply couldn't go faster than 30 mph on my own, because that is as about as fast I ever go in India. I could have kissed the county license center gentleman for renewing my license in a mere 10 minutes. I think when our friend Ryan got his driver’s license in India, it took him about eight hours. I also feel quite happy about the rules of driving. Blinkers are used, lanes are observed, and there are actually speed limits. Hallelujah! I also feel like I am a little slower when I am going about my business in town. I think deliberate would be a good word. And where are all the people?

Hi everyone. That was your word from America, here’s a word from the flip-side of the globe. How am I? Well, I thought nights to myself would be fantastic, but I’m finding they’re not for me; time with just two kids is great in that we’re playing lots of “bigger kid” games and laughing together a lot; but tiring in that I don’t have anyone to say, “Tag, you’re it”; and the house is far too clean, I feel the need to spill apple juice, dump out all the Polly Pockets, and throw the kid’s clothes all over the floor in order to feel more normal. We can’t wait to get home to see so many of you - after, of course, giving monster hugs to and spending time with Tarrah, Syd, and Jov. We’ll be home soon!

One more reason Tarrah and I make a good team...someone else to take the photo.