Old photo from Madurai, India in 2007.
Lately I’ve been walking a fine line on this blog, hoping to write about personal experiences that other people can relate to, without delving too deeply into either super-trivial drivel or blatantly unvarnished self-absorption.
And yet, sometimes it’s hard to relate stories from our lives without sharing at least a bare minimum of background information for context.
Especially now that we’re one week away from leaving for India. We have quite a bit of family history in India, so consider this post something like a footnote, providing a bit of context for what would surely otherwise be a pretty confusing series of posts coming up.
So here goes with the asterisks:
* Chris’s parents are retired Foreign Service Officers who served in New Delhi in the early 90′s.
*Which means Chris and his sister attended the American Embassy School way back in the day. Chris is actually a graduate of AES.
*Chris’ sister grew up to be an elementary ed/special education teacher. A really, really amazing one. Previously she was working in Germany. Then, when we all went to Bangkok last January, she went to a job fair where she received offers from schools in such amazing places as Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong and Taiwan…and the American Embassy School in New Delhi.
*She picked New Delhi. She’s there now. We’ll be living literally a 5 minute walk away from one another for the next 2 years.
*Chris’ mother, upon finding out that both her children and her grandson would be in Delhi starting in mid August, promptly booked a long R&R to New Delhi for the month of September. Super cool.
*Now here’s where it gets even more “is this actually happening in real life?” Chris’ dad called us last week to tell us that his organization wants to send him overseas again for a few months of work…in New Delhi…beginning approximately 5 days after we land.
*If you’re keeping track, yes this does in fact mean that Chris’ entire immediate family will be in New Delhi for most of our first 6 weeks at Post.
*Absurdity. Wonderful, wonderful absurdity.
*Before we found out we’d be moving to New Delhi, before he joined the foreign service, before we met at a non-profit organization in D.C., Chris worked on the Hill for 5 years traveling back and forth to India extensively. New Delhi is as close to a “hometown” as he has, not counting Washington D.C.
*Before we found out we’d be moving to New Delhi, before we moved to China, before I worked at Ashoka, I lived in Chennai, India as an intern at a tiny NGO which, thankfully, had no use for my International Development 101-regurgitated ideas. I left India after just a few months, certain that I would never come back.
*The universe has a sense of irony though, and I was back on a plane not 5 months later for a meeting in Goa with a guy I had just started dating. 5 years, 2 jobs and 1 baby later, I’ll land in India for the fourth time next week.
Phew! Ok, so hopefully all of that will come in handy over the next few weeks!
Other, perhaps not so entirely relevant, footnotes:
*Sakuramen in Adam’s Morgan is fantastic. I’ll be dreaming of those chewy curling noodles and kombu broth for months and the staff is made up of some of the sweetest, kindest people I’ve ever met in a restaurant.
*The Hana Japanese grocery store on U Street and 17th Street is still open for business! I don’t know why I was worried, but I really was.
*Hmm, going back over my notes it does appear that we are on a total pre-India, Japanese-food binge. Will I make any friends in Delhi by sharing that we’ll be packing bonito flakes, kewpie mayo, yaki sauce and an ebleskiver pan in our HHE?
How are you all doing? How was your weekend/Monday/Tuesday?
Some more food porn: