That’s a camel. 3.5 years ago, I took a picture of him in the middle of the desert about 15km from the Pakistani border. I believe I took this photo after he dragged me through the sand as I clung to his big pink nylon leash, desperate not to lose him, and with him, my tour guide’s sole source of income.
Why is this at all relevant?
This morning I had a hard time waking up.
See, I woke up at 2am last night with worst chest pains of my entire life. In my half-asleep, half-rational state, I actually wondered if I having the world’s youngest, weirdest heart attack.
I’d heard pregnancy can give you heartburn, even if you’ve never had it before. But I’m not gonna lie, at 2:30am, I webmd’d heartburn and chest pains and heart attacks anyway.
It took awhile, but after convincing myself that I wasn’t going to die from acid reflux, downing a glass of milk, tossing and turning a gajillin times, and briefly considering a late night pilates workout, I finally fell back asleep around 4:30am.
This is all great practice for when Thumper arrives so I’m not complaining (much). But the upshot of the whole ordeal was that when Chris started scrolling through his email messages at 6:50am and came across the email that we’d been waiting for, I think I rolled over and said something like, “you read it first and tell me about it in ten minutes zkhfhafaaaaaaa.”
Which is sort of like telling my husband not to spend half a Saturday afternoon looking up reviews of the new ipad 2, it wasn’t going to happen.
So we peered into the screen of his little crackberry and there it was:
New Delhi, August 2012.
The camel makes so much more sense now right?
A cushy western European tour it is not, nor was it ranked high on our list. We’ve both lived in India before and were hoping to experience something a little different.
And in this case, we aren’t just returning to India, we are returning to the city where Chris went to high school. His parents were Foreign Service stationed in New Delhi for nearly 5 years.
So that’s a little weird. Rather than going off to some new exotic location, we’re going to a city where Chris has literally already lived in the existing housing pool. He remembers hanging out as a teenager at half the restaurants on the CLO’s recommended restaurant list. He still remembers learning all sorts of Hindi swear words from the rickshaw drivers and going to movies with 25 cent popcorn at the Embassy. I can’t help but wonder what a strange feeling it will be for him to return to the city of his youth as a grown man with a job and a young family. To see everything that’s changed and everything that hasn’t.
On the plus side though, we do like India, we know India, we know there are lots of things we enjoy about India. We consistently say that, while India is really tough, we still like it more than we’ve liked China so far.
At least half of Chris’ assignment sounds supposedly fantastic, we think (hope) his CDO probably did him a really solid one there and we’re grateful. As for me, my own professional network in India is quite possibly larger than my network in the U.S. these days.
Plus, rather than struggling through Chinese all day, I’ll be able to speak a lot English with some Hindi thrown in. Just getting out and walking around is always something of a struggle in India, but in many ways I’m more comfortable with it than I am here. The pollution is still pretty bad but I think, if I had my pick, I’d take Delhi’s car exhaust and cow dung over China’s weird chemicals and industrial solvents any day.
So yea, after a sort of stunned half hour of “what the….” this morning, we are cautiously, optimistically, New Delhi-bound.
Now its your turn, where are you all headed next?