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A Little Touch of India

5 July 2008

No blog about ex-pat living in India would be complete without the post about illness. Since I’m cranky because all my ex-pat friends are at the beach while I’m stuck at home, I decided today is the day to write that post. Plus I need to find a way to stop myself from watching hours of So You Think You Can Dance videos on YouTube, which is how I’ve wasted half the day already. (Dang you, YouTube, and your evil brain-sucking ways!)

If my time in India were divided in a pie chart according to how I’ve physically felt during that time, the slice labeled “Fine” would require one of those arrows used for the really small pieces that are too infinitesimal to support writing. Heck, since I’m too sick to do anything else today, here is that pie chart:

How I feel in India

How I Feel in India

Now I’m not going to go into detail because you just don’t need that, but I do want to say it’s amazing how much of my life here is taken up in analyzing how I feel at any given time. I rarely if ever feel too sick to go to work, but am I too sick to go out? Too ill to eat Indian food? Too blah to interact with other people like a reasonable human being? (Lately, the answer to this last question has invariably been yes.)

A big reason for this analyzing is because other people always want to know. If you’ve had a touch-of-India lately, everyone asks immediately upon seeing you, “How are you feeling?” Don’t try to get away with a simple “fine”; no, you must present the gory details. While Mike was visiting, he was a little off for about half a day, most likely due to jet lag and the heat, nothing serious, and definitely not touch-of-India (and I hope he forgives me for bringing this up, but I’m trying to prove a point). People asked where he was, and I just said, “He’s getting some rest” or “He’s just a little under the weather.” When he reappeared later, he was grilled for details. From people’s reaction, you’d think he’d swallowed a hand grenade, and everyone was waiting for his insides to blow up. That’s the way it is around here.

It never ceases to amaze me how intimately we all talk about our various illnesses here, even if we’ve only known each other a couple weeks. I think I’ve shared more about vomiting here than I ever did with Mike through our nine years of marriage or even with my own mother when I was a child. And then there’s that note of glee in people’s voices as they recount their personal horror stories. “Remember that time that So-and-so crawled into my room in the middle of the night because she was too sick to stand and didn’t want to die alone?”

Ah, good times, good times…


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