I’ve tried not to get too excited, but I think it’s starting to show. It’s less than a week until we fly home to the UK for the first time in 6 months. 6 months. We will have survived, just, 6 months in this incredible country called India. I can’t wait to come home and have a break from the chaos of it all.
I’m looking forward to cool, fresh, clean air. I can’t wait to get off the plane and take in a deep lungful of chilly fresh air. The heat here is stifling at the moment. The air conditioning helps, when there is power of course, but it’s not the same. I want to feel that freshness on my face and that fresh air in my lungs.
I want to walk. Walk on safe pavements with no sudden deep holes, gaps, missing slabs, craters the size of toddlers, trees in the middle and electrical wires hanging down. Just smooth complete pavements. I want to walk across green fields, or walk to friends, walk around town… Just the freedom to walk. Walk without having to have your life survival skills on full alert as you dodge obstacles. Walk along a street because I can without being pestered and hassled. Walk without nearly passing out in the heat. Just enjoy walking for a change.
Peace and Quiet
Before that we will enjoy the quiet. The quiet of the smooth, straight roads. No horns honking, no vehicles weaving in and out, no dangerous loads, no one hanging off the back of vehicles, no bikers without helmets. Just quiet straight, well maintained roads that doesn’t feel like you’re off roading every time you go somewhere.
I want to eat familiar food. Fish and chips, roast dinner, meat generally (which isn’t chicken or mutton!), sausages, bacon butties and a full English breakfast. I can’t wait for that. Zahra’s really missed Innocent Smoothies and red Schloer we discovered recently, although she keeps asking for a hog roast when we get back. Bread (without sugar!), ham sandwiches and sausage rolls. Zahra’s asked to go on a picnic when we’re visiting family in Southport. She’s missed that too.
I want to go to a supermarket and enjoy buying everything in one place and having a familiar selection to choose from. A deli counter. Cheese. Crisps. Ham. Wine. Wine that is decent. Wine that doesn’t cost a mortgage payment. Oh, and Prosecco of course.
I want to enjoy clean public toilets with loo roll and a seat. A public loo that doesn’t stink like a cess pit or look like Noah and the Ark have just sailed through. Sinks that have soap, paper towels and a hand dryer. Not needing to carry tissues, wet wipes and hand sanitising gel everywhere we go. Public loos – I’ll enjoy the fact that they are there. I’ll also enjoy not seeing men urinating everywhere.
I am looking forward to not being ill with Bangalore belly. I’m looking forward to drinking water from a tap and brushing my teeth without the need for a bottle of water. I’m looking forward to not seeing a mosquito and not having to cover myself in insect repellent every single morning. I’m looking forward to not having to put on factor 70 sun cream before I can walk out the door. I’m looking forward to not getting sunburn.
Friends and Family
Most of all though I am really looking forward to seeing friends and family.
Friends who have cared for us in practical ways by sending parcels (absolute lifelines for saving sanity here). We have been overwhelmed by the kindness and thoughtfulness of our friends. Every parcel really does make it feel like Christmas. Friends who are praying for us. Friends who have given moral support when I was struggling. Friends who have Skyped when we were really fed up. Friends who have kept us going when it has been really tough. Wonderful amazing friends.
And of course I am looking forward to seeing my family. My sisters and brother, mum, nephews and nieces and cousins. We’ve got a lot to catch up on and a lot to talk about. As well as passing on all the kind messages from their friends here in India who we have finally had the pleasure of meeting. I can’t wait. I know my little sis is going to squeeze the life out of me when she sees me – they’re always big hugs.
Not long to go now and the suitcases are out. I’m digging around for some warm clothes, shoes (not sandals), socks and woolly hats. We’ll be leaving on Thursday. I can’t wait.