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cultural adjustments

I am thoroughly back in the U.S., though India still haunts my dreams. More disconcerting is the way it haunts my habit patterns. I get a slight thrill from brushing my teeth with tap water (and it feels weird not to be paranoid about accidentally drinking water in the shower) and I still don't feel comfortable eating uncooked green vegetables. I keep thinking that it will be easy to get clothes made, altered, or mended. And life with out cheap trains, auto-rickshaws, and restaurant food (never mind beer!) is a difficult adjustment. It is always a surprise to have hot water available with out having to switch on the hot water heater a half hour in advance and I am still not used to outlets not having switches on them.

Human relations are other strange cultural differences I keep pondering. I know that many people are frustrated with the way India treats its women (worse than cows) but somehow I never saw this side of the country. I always found people to be friendly and polite. While there were a few whistles or comments, I am so adept at ignoring them I rarely noticed without some one else's commentary. Despite my obliviousness, I still felt that in India I possessed a rock star quality. People were happy to speak with me and I always felt beautiful. Here I am so ordinary it seems only the lonely and the freaks see me. Not that I am crying for attention, so far I enjoy being anonymous. It is just interesting to go from being a novelty to a nobody. However, I worry I will catch the habit and not only judge myself as a nobody but start seeing other people that way too. While I know that dangerous people exist, so it is wise to be cautious, I also know that you can make friends in the strangest places.

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