Ok, I just have to say it once and then hopefully I can put it out of my mind forever: there are a great many Russian babushkas and their male equivalents running around Goan beaches in very, very tiny string bikinis and speedos.
I never thought I’d experience such culture shock over someone else’s beachwear choices but, there you go. I am likely an unsophisticated prude who probably wears too many scarves and turtlenecks.
Goa was lovely. The setting was lovely. The company was fantastic. The sunsets were beautiful. The fish curry was excellent. I could have done without the 9:30pm start to the Christmas Eve dinner and the Goan cover band playing the Beach Boys in an apparent attempt to distract my toddler from his exhaustion and starvation, but whatever. We got through it.
I was more homesick than usual this year for some reason. Perhaps it was the collision of the holidays hitting at the same time as the 5-months-at-Post doldrums or perhaps it was simply that this was the fourth Christmas I’ve spent away from my family and the traditions I used to love so much. I’m hoping next year to insert a little more Christmas magic and festive spirit back into the season for us. I remember gleaning so much joy and security as a young kid from my family’s holiday rituals and would love for Will to be able to have that too, especially now as he insists on growing up into even more of a bonafide “kid” on us everyday and shedding all of his oh-so-two-weeks-ago babyhood ways as fast as he can.
Just please tell me I get to keep those cheeks for at least a little bit longer. Oh and the snuggles. There are now words for how much we love our cuddly, snuggly, chubby-cheeked little man.
We had high hopes for relaxing on the beach and watching Will run around in the surf, but forgot to take into account Will’s recent distaste for all granular dirt particles—like, say sand. In the end, he spent most of the vacation in my arms. Oh well, maybe next year.
It’s interesting comparing how we feel coming home after a vacation to Delhi instead of Chengdu. For the first time in our foreign service career, we’ve realized that we actually enjoy coming home as much or even more than we enjoy going away. Goa was beautiful but after a few days we were more than ready to come home to our house and our coffee and our markets and friends and everything we’ve grown to like about living here. As the events of the last few weeks indicate, this place is a far, far cry from perfect, but it still feels more like home than anywhere we’ve been since we lived in D.C. At least, perhaps, until that bid list comes out again next fall.
Last year I made a huge to-do list in January of things I wanted to do in 2012. I read through that list today and was surprised to find how many items I could actually cross off that list. It felt really good to see that, in between all of the moving and traveling and upheaval, we actually accomplished quite a bit and had a lot of fun.
I don’t think I’ll do a to-do list for 2013, with bidding coming up again this year and without any huge international moves to ground our calendar, the year feels like too much of a blank canvas to attach a to-do list to it. Instead, I might try a letter, like Natasha over at La Vie Overseas did.
How about you? How was your Christmas and are you setting any resolutions?