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You’re leaving India?

The dialogue when I tell someone that we are moving goes sometimes like this ::

Them :  You’re moving?  But I thought you guys were here for like, a l-o-n-g time?

Me : We have been here for a long time.  Three years!

Them : But, you’re like the most settled person I know in Delhi.  You can’t leave yet … what about [insert the things I’ve been involved with since moving to Delhi]?

Me : Well, those things existed before I got here, and they sure will continue after I leave!  The couple of things that I created myself or with others will either find new owners or will change a bit with someone else taking over.

Them : But I thought you were here at least until your biggest little graduated from high school?  He’s staying here for Senior Year right?

Me : No, he’s going with us.

Them : That’s so hard.  I can’t imagine doing that.  Are you really ready to go?  I think you’ll get bored.  It’s just so … normal there.  No culture, no vibrancy.  Just normal!!

You're leaving India and other questions about expat life

I’m struggling a bit with the fact that I am allowing myself to feel judged during these conversations.

I’m going to be honest in this post and admit to you that I find myself either feeling :

1.  Guilty.  Guilty, because to those that feel stuck here in Delhi, Singapore is like winning a lottery ticket.

2.  Defensive.  Defensive as I explain to people that the Husb will still be working the majority of the time here in Delhi, while the kids and I relocate.  I don’t owe the details of our situation to anyone, yet I find myself instantly wanting to go on the defensive.

3.  Angry.  I get pretty angry when I feel like I am being judged because we are “already leaving” — as if I owed it to someone or anyone to stay a set period of time.  No one scoffs at the embassy folks who are leaving at the end of their 2 year post.  No one pshaws at the hospitality folks who have finished their 3 year contract and knew they were leaving in May.

4.  Confronted.  I am allowing myself to feel like a traitor when approached with comments like “but you didn’t finish x, y, z” — as if I am abandoning ship before the time is right.

5.  Inadequate.  As if I am not strong enough to eek out another year or two in Delhi.

My catch phrase that I’m beginning to get tired of hearing myself say is “No one is giving me any gold stars for staying in Delhi!”

(I’m sure I’ll have more to say on the subject, but for now will leave this post as is … raw and written on the spot)




Dentistry in Delhi

We have appointment cards that list out just the start of what culminated in a summer-long process of right-siding the kids’ dentistry portion of their medical care.

We had one horrible experience with dentistry in Delhi, whereby a tooth was extracted without enough novocaine (I won’t retell the story, for it will make my hair stand on end, and I’ve told it enough times that I should be numb to it already, no pun intended).

Somewhere in late spring of this year, we had some painful nights with our middle little. I received recommendations from a varied group of friends and ended up with a solid decision to see a specific dentist in Delhi.  The office listened to my concerns about our previous horrid experience and prescribed a relaxant medicine for him to take so that he would be a bit loosie-goosie during upcoming treatments and off we went.

The first job was to do a checkup for both littles.  Against my better judgment, I did not insist on x-rays, and instead relied on the Dentist’s suggestion that the tried and true process of using an explorer tool to see if there are any “sticky” points would determine whether they had cavities.

Hooray!  No cavities for the littlest little, and just a couple of easy ones for the middle kid.  We rescheduled for another appointment, dosed with the relaxant on the day of that appointment, cavities drilled and filled and off we went.  Fairly painless appointment, both physically and mentally, and we all went home feeling a bit triumphant!

Simultaneously, we also had the biggest little undergo an exam, whereby 5-6 cavities were found, but with no urgency demonstrated by the Dentist, we decided to save the fillings for when we were stateside.

Fast forward to our first dental experience in Florida.  We walked in, assuming we had just a checkup for the two littles, and one (maybe two) appointments for the Big Kid.

Sucker punch to the gut as New Dentist described all that was wrong with my children’s mouths.  Namely 16 cavities (two of which were going to need root canals) for the Big Kid, 11 (I think I remember that right?) for the middle little and 6 for the littlest.

Sucker punch.

Not only that, but because of some nutrition gaps during the last three years, the littlest had decay on her ADULT teeth that were popping up as she lost a couple of baby teeth.

As I silently cursed the Delhi Dentist under my breath, I made appointment after appointment for my children, realizing that the first 3-4 weeks of their vacation would now be interspersed with uncontrollable slobber, pricks to the insides of their cheeks and “no drinking or eating until 6pm”.

Besides the fact that I felt a failure of a mother, to have not been more diligent with their dental care while in Delhi, I also felt deeply disappointed in the office to begin with.  This office comes as one of the most highly regarded offices in the expat community, and is recommended by most embassy personnel.  There is even a picture of a previous United States Ambassador and the family with said Dentist hanging in the office.

Are their little mouths ok now?  Sure.  They got most of the emergency work taken care of while in Florida and we will get the rest done in a couple of weeks after life settles down in Singapore.

When you are seeking care – whether medical or dental – do your research.
Go with your gut and if that gut tells you that you need more digging around, or another consultation, or x-rays, god forbid, request and demand it.

If you see a doctor and do not feel that your child has gotten the best care, do not pass GO, see someone else.  Get a second opinion.

[I’m closing comments because there’s really nothing to say, except for me to know that I shared the information … and hope that you take it to heart to always put your needs and those of your family, above any nervousness or fear of not knowing as much as a doctor.]

Why is there no time change in India?

Facebook status updates scrolled by one by one … everyone complaining in some form or fashion about the time change. 

I haven’t set my clocks back … or forward for that matter in over four years.  A bit strange, right?  It’s not that I’m refusing to run with the pack, it’s just that both India and Singapore do not recognize the time changes. So why is there no time change in India?

Wool Craft by Lis Dingjan

Image credit : Lis Dingjan

Singapore’s reasons are simply because they sit too close to the equator for the extra hour to make any difference.  There are no changes of the seasons (wah), and the beginning of daylight stays the same (virtually) 365 days a year.

As far as India’s logic and reasoning goes, the government created IST after their independence in 1947.  Calcutta and Mumbai kept their original local time (stubborn much?)  until 1955.  The India Standard Time is UTC +5:30 (that extra half hour is such a pain in the butt!).

Because India is such a wide country (1,200 miles – which is just under half of the east-to-west distance of the United States)), the sun rises two hours earlier in the east than it does in the west.  It has been proposed in the past that the country be split into different time zones to conserve energy, but because that would mean a return to the British time zones, the suggestion was not adopted.

The ONLY location in India now who follows a time zone separate from IST is in Assam.  Tea Time in the gardens/fields are one hour ahead of the rest of the country.

I’m happy enough to not have to worry about the time change, but if it meant having the fall chill moving in, I might concede … for just a season.