“Sh*t, only two Tim Tams left,” Azri went as he ate his second (or was it third?) piece of salted caramel and vanilla biscuit. “Should have brought more from Melbourne!”
I’m a fan of Arnott’s Tim Tam too, especially when it collaborated with Messina to make the special flavours. But I don’t love it enough to be sad just because I’m about to finish one whole pack by myself and I don’t get to eat it anymore. (Hah yes, we only brought over one pack and my dear husband had eaten all except the two pieces at two sittings.)
“You think India got sell Tim Tam?”
“No, don’t think so.”
Unsatisfied with my answer, Azri went on to Google and this was what he got:
“Can I buy?”
“Are you f*cking serious? It’s almost 50 bucks!”
Azri made a sad face. I rolled my eyes.
We changed topic.
(I think he’s still sad, so my lovely friends from Melbourne, you know what to do, haha!)
Anyway, I find it hard to believe that we’ve moved from Melbourne to Kolkata just a month ago! Time whizzed by and I’m proud to say that I’ve referred to this city as home already 🙂
Funny how I initially struggled for two days straight to come to terms that I now live in a developing city. They were a couple of extremely horrible days (i.e. see here) – I can’t remember the last time I felt that kind of shitty feeling prior to this.
Thankfully, come day three, I knew that I needed to shake off the negativity and be back to my normal state of contentment. So, I did what I do best – Reflect consciously.
The mental exercise I did involved three questions, and it’s actually applicable to various difficult circumstances. They helped me well, and who knows, they may help you when you feel stuck or pushed out of your comfort zone too 🙂
1. What are the reasons for you to be here?
When I asked myself this, I reminded myself that I have the option to not be in Kolkata, and be back in Singapore to be with family and friends. Nobody forced me to be here. I could pack my luggage and easily fly back home the next day. Heck, I could fly out even that night! But do I want to? Do I want to leave Azri here and maintain a long distance relationship? Do I think that I am even capable of a long distance relationship? What exactly are my priorities?
So there I went, refreshing my memory that I chose to be with Azri and I chose to be here. The accountability shifted things back into perspective.
2. What are the life quotes that keep you going?
Michael Kimmel’s “Privilege is invisible to those who have it” has been my favourite life quote ever since I learned about it in university. In times of despair, I forgot these words. But remembering it again immediately forced me to be more self-aware of my situation and position in society.
Not many have the opportunity to live abroad, what more in India. They are bounded (by choice, financial means, etc.) to not experience the different environment and culture, get to know unique people, and broaden their horizons, like I can. And this is the privilege that I must always be grateful for.
While reading other travelers’ blogs, I came across a quote by Samuel Johnson: “All travel has its advantages. If the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own. And if fortune carries him to worse, he may learn to enjoy it.” This also helped me reset my thinking to assess my living conditions in a more positive manner, which brought me to the third question.
3. What can you learn by being here?
One thing that I’ve learnt for sure is that my apartment living condition is very important to me. I’m a messy person (Azri swears by this) but apparently, I’ve got my limits on how untidy a place can be, hah! We’ve cleaned up the apartment to
my Azri’s (higher) standards and decorated it with our personal things to make it cozy. It’s a happy place to be now 🙂
Another thing that this place had taught me is that I love vada and dosa made by locals. I enjoy the ones in Singapore, but I didn’t know that I could eat them weekly without getting sick of them. Such an awesome enlightenment for my tongue and tummy! Easy on the wallet too!
Of course, there are more skills and knowledge to be picked up when living here – I’ve shared some in past posts, and I’m sure I’ll add more in future…
Till then, namaste!