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November 2003
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January 2004

5 Crazy Adults in a Confined Space

Drinking tea whose ingredients I borrowed from the Shatabdi Express. This tea has crossed much of Asia and the entire Pacific Ocean. I kept it in the pocket of my vest. It tastes pretty good sitting at my sister's computer table looking out a rare Vancouver Island snowfall.

There are five so called 'grown ups' currently inhabitating this house. Three are here temporarily - myself, my wife, and my brother in law's mother. My sister and brother in law, these two are here a little less temporarily. They are renting this house untlil April.

One of my primary motivations is visiting was to be of some help, take some of the burden off the less temporary dwellers of this house. I am not entirely sure how well this is working. My Sister and brother in law are so used to the frenetic pace of their lives, they can't and probably shouldn't slow down. And we, who are visiting, are each trying to take tasks on. The extra energy our task searching is creating in the house, I am not sure if thats creating a 'calmer' atmosphere. Plus, we are all certainly quirky and wonderfully crazy people.

I did make breakfast today and even washed some dishes after the meal. And its soooo great to be with my family in Nanaimo.


My Niece has Pneumonia

This evening, I had one of the most difficult and one of the most beautiful experiences I have had in some time. My lovely, amazing, cute as the world's cutest button niece, all of 2 years old, is in the hospital with Pneumonia. Imagine. My sister and brother in law took her into the hospital on Christmas eve because she had not been eating at all really for more than a couple of days. The doctors said that my niece, Cella, had to be admitted to the hospital. I am not sure if my sister and brother in law knew what to do with a Christmas day spent in the hospital. By the sounds of it, they did really well. So did my 4 yeat old nephew.

This evening, we visited Cella who was bundled up on her Mom's lap watching TV in her room at the hospital. It was really hard and emotional to see the youngest member of our family with an IV tube in her arm and an Oxygen tube around her face. Marsha started crying at first (and hid herself from Cella for a while). But then something wonderful happened. Cella's grandmother, Betsy, was with us and started trying to get Cella to engage and play a little. A success! And then Cella opened up some presents we brought her. And she got a little more lively. Then Marsha sang for her and Betsy danced for her. And more smiles and laughter.

We together created joy tonight and it was good.

I am so hoping that our little one comes home real soon.


Merry Christmas

This is a different, yet still wonderful, Christmas. My parents are in India. My sister, brother in law, niece and nephew are in Nanaimo. And we are off to a day with my in laws and that branch of the family. Although I miss those who I am not with greatly, I am thankful that we have such wonderful people to share the day with. I wish everyone the happiest of days and, if you are not having a happy day, don't stress. I, for one, am thinking very fondly of you.


I had been in India

Coming home was a bit of a shock...When we first got into Vancouver Airport, Arjun asked me what I thought about being in Vancouver Airport. I said that it was so sterile...Then in the cab on the way to the apt, I couldn't help but notice no one is beeping, there are no cows to swerve around, the cab has to stop at every red light which is on the corner of every block, there just isn't the amount of human, animal or wheeled traffic to contend with, there is no one creating lanes where none exist, there is no beeping....Later on in the weekend, my friend noticed that I wasn't freaking out about her driving on the busy Vancouver roads...She also commented that I was being so patient while she Christmas shopped...There's no haggling, the salespeople speak my language, everything is so nicely laid out and easy to see, there's no pressure to buy or look at anything that isn't appealing, it's easy to find the shop that sells what I want...In other words, I had been in India....


Now We are Really Home

Sitting here in our wonderful apartment overlooking Kamloops, getting things organized, tidied, put away, and so on and so forth. I am sitting on my desk chair in front of my desk that I haven't sat at for almost 4 months.

I am so in love with my wife. That is wonderful. Being together in India, joined at the hip, being a team really strengthened our friendship and our comfort with each other. And it continues to develop in interesting ways.

I guess this blog needs to change now. We are no longer in India, but I think, once and for all, I have caught the blogging bug. I have resisted for quite a long time, probably two years but I don't remember exactly. And now, I need to jump in with both feet and write and share and figure things out. Online to share with whoever wants to read.

I am insanely looking forward to this.


Arjun - Missing India in Vancouver

Well, here we are. I am a little more alert now than I was in Bangkok airport. And sitting in the same Internet Cafe I was in the day before we left Canada, I can't help missing the every day excitement of life in India. Yes, we were only visitors. But, as visitors, our senses were almost invariably super alive. Every hour posed some new adventure or challenge. We were treated like movie stars (often wonderful, but not always a great thing).

I have been to India many times in the past but this trip has to be the highlight. We traveled to 16 different towns, all over the country. We got to experience the Indian railways many times. We encountered the legendary warmth of Indians. And we also dealt with a lot of the typical challenges that travelers face - the extreme humidity and heat, pushy shopkeepers and autorickshaw drivers, stomach problems, deciding whether to give to beggars.

We were really pleased to meet many wonderful people from all over the world travelling in India. The times we spent swapping 'horror stories' and tips on the best things to do were invaluable support - we realized that we were not alone and, in fact, had some really good people as company.

I want to end this post by thanking some people who are extremely important to us. Our family in India, and by this we include our adopted families. I think you all know who you are. You hosted us, you advised us, you cared. And one of the saddest things for me right now is that we are again, for the time being, so far away.


Busy at a Weird hour at Bangkok Airport

Arjun here...a little to tired to make any substantial post about what this whole India trip meant. Maybe, I will be bold enoughto try this at a later date soon. What amazes me now is that we have been in Bangkok airport for the last three hours (from 3:30 am local) and this part we are in now has been HOPPING. Frank Sinatra may have said that New York is the city that never sleeps, but I would put in a strong vote also for the transit lounge in Terminal 1 of Bangkok Int'l airport. Now, if we can just get the China airline people to give us boarding passes for our flight to Tapei, all would be really peachy.


Gone

It is with mixed emotions that I have left India...On the one hand, I'm sad to say goodbye to new friends and a place that I really started to enjoy...On the other hand, I'm happy to get home to my (our) own bed and to process everything that I've seen, done and experienced.

The one thing that has made India so wonderful are the people...In the end that's what a place is all about anyways...There were so many people we met while moving from place to place but more importantly there were friends and family who so kindly hosted us for meals or overnights...

I would like to mention everyone here...but I'm very very tired and am afraid I might miss someone...

It is here that I would like to thank everyone for their very generous hospitality and kindness...

I am already planning my next trip to India...In the meantime, I will do my best to keep in touch with as many people as possible...and look forward to the next time we can meet....