It’s been two months since I packed my entire Indian life into three green suitcases, lugged them through Abu Dhabi, endured a 15-hour flight with no functioning entertainment system and moved back into the house I grew up in outside Chicago.
So, at the risk of sounding overly sentimental, here is a brief list of things I miss:
Rickshaws: I don’t actually miss the rickety deathtraps themselves or their occasionally awful drivers, but I do miss the convenience. In Bombay, I could find a rickshaw at literally any hour—and I’ve tried. In my currently suburban existence, it’s next to impossible to get anywhere without a private car or a bike—of which I have neither.
Street Food: Specifically, the dabeli walla outside Khar Station and the coconut stand near Khar Gymkhana. After buying some heinous canned coconut water at the grocery store, I’ve given up trying to find a replacement until I’m back in a tropical country. Sorry Chicago, you get zero points for coconuts.
Small shops: While it’s great that I can find 20 different kinds of Greek yogurt at my local grocery store (read: warehouse-sized megamart), who needs 20 different kinds of Greek yogurt? And can somebody please explain what on earth Icelandic yogurt is? I miss the days when I could walk down the street, ask the guy behind the counter for dahi (yogurt) and be done with it.
My apartment: Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents, my little brother and our house. I do not love sharing a bathroom with my little brother, the suburban location (though it was great as a kid) or the freezing temperatures the rest of my family loves. I miss waking up to palm trees, the giant window in the living room and the shine of the newly cleaned marble floor.
That being said, there are things I love about being back in the States. I love being able to take a 30-minute hot shower if I want, I love being able to text friends just because I want to, I love hanging out with our new puppy, and I’m really excited to start the next step in my career—even though it’s taking a little longer than I’d like to get to that step.