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2008 – A Year in Review, Chapter 4: Superman V – The Rise of the Comb-over

4 January 2009

Okay kids – let’s flip our Transmogrifier upside-down (or right-side up, depending on how you choose to look at it) and take a short trip (it is Sunday, after all) back to …

– May 2008 –

In May, I finally found a permanent home. As grateful as I was for J.’s generosity (and I really, really am grateful), I knew I needed to have my own space where I could truly let the clutter fly. Throughout April, my new flatmates and I spent weeks negotiating with our landlord Superman, so nicknamed by N. first because his real name sounds a little like Superman and second because he could have easily flown away with that wing of a comb-over that seemed permanently dislodged from the top of his noggin and was often wafting above one ear in the breeze from any nearby ceiling fan. Our perseverance proved to be his kryptonite, though, and finally, on 10 May, he allowed us to move into the Penthouse.

Finally, I had my own room and space within which to fully nurture my hermit tendencies. Especially since culture shock had started to claw its way from my stomach (I became incredibly bored with the food options at this time) and into my mind.

Mike arrived for his first visit to India soon afterward and joined our little commune for a few weeks. Although I was no longer alone, he actually did little to force me out of my cave. Instead we spent a ridiculous amount of time watching Season 3 of Battlestar Galactica and enjoying the air conditioning, since May is the height of South India summer.

A picture of one of the rare times Mike and I were outside during his visit. It's the middle of the night because the moon doesn't burn like the sun does. Plus, we're vampires.

A photo of one of the few times Mike and I were outside during his visit. It's the middle of the night because the moon doesn't burn like the sun. Plus, we're vampires.

These events give me the one piece of advice I wish to share with anyone moving overseas: Do NOT go home or have someone visit you around the 2-1/2- to 3-month mark. This time is about when culture shock hits hard, and it’s not easy to shake it, even more so if you have someone from home around to remind you why the place you’re from is way awesomer than the place you are.

Don’t get me wrong – I was sooooo happy to have Mike visit, but when he left that first time, culture shock and homesickness teamed up to jump me like a band of roving toughs in a dark alley on a moonless night. Ouch.

I credit an elephant under my window and my new flatmate Ana with her friendship and infernal perkiness (just kidding, Ana!) for helping me escape without too vicious a beating.

And then I moved onto June and learning to love India again.

Tomorrow: Chapter 5: It’s a Dangerous Business, Going Out Your Door

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