I had a first visit this morning. How cool is that? S. came to see me in my new office. S. has been my hairdresser for many years until she decided to move to India (yes, you read correctly, India as in THE India in Asia) to live with the guy she loves and with the child they had together. Losing her as a hairdresser was hard on me and actually I had a difficult time finding another person who got along with my hair! On the other hand, I was very happy for her as she is very happy with her new life.
Her child is two years old now and she came to visit familiy and friends for a couple of weeks. I felt so honored to be part of the people she wanted to meet. We had no friendship outside of her salon but somehow it always felt like one. Apparently, the feeling was mutual.
So, S. was my first visit.
She didn't have much time but we did catch up a bit. She told me about her Indian life. You know, while I was listening to her stories, I couldn't stop thinking that we, by we I mean people in the Western World, should stop complaining. Immediately stop complaining.
Wanna hear an example?
Well, for instance, she has to walk for about 3 hours to do grocery shopping (and take the kids from the neighborhood with her for them to help her carrying the food). Or she starts cooking at 10 am in order to be sure that lunch is ready on time. And sometimes the gas stove isn't working so she cooks ... with wood. She assures me that her day goes by very fast. Doubtlessly!
I already hear some of you saying that not ALL of India is that way. I agree. Her husband lives in a very rural area where there are not many facilities. I am certain there are other parts of India where life is similar to the one we have here. Although, India is India. Everybody who has been traveling there is always saying that. It's special, it's poor, it's beautiful.
During my Yellowstone trip this summer I met this Indian family (do you remember?) and the lady actually told me to NEVER BUT NEVER come to India. I first thought she was joking but she wasn't. When I asked why I shouldn't come as many of my friend had told me how beautiful it was, she just shook her head, looking at me as she wanted to ask: what kind of people do YOU know? and said: Too much dirt. You don't like it. And that was it for our discussion!
India is strong - in any way. I am preparing another "The Other's World" story (will be published next week) and this person will also tell you about India.
S. leaves Europe in a couple of days and she said that I could visit her anytime (she and her husband are thinking about moving to Goa to facilitate their life). I don't know if I'm ready for India. I am thinking about traveling to Asia this winter (first time for me - or almost the first time - another one of these long stories). I've been thinking about Angkor Wat for some time now. Maybe I will be ready for India later on?
Anyhow, I was happy to see S. and her child in good health and happy! What a great first visitor!