Monday, 5 March 2012

An Event of Some Importance

I'm a bit on edge at the moment. This is partly because of work deadlines but mostly because of what's happening on Wednesday: my mum is coming to visit.

Of course I'm looking forward to seeing her. My mum and I get on very well and spending time with her is always fun. But I have to admit I'm more than a little bit nervous about how she's going to react to India.

My mum's traveled quite a lot, especially for someone of her generation who didn't have access to cheap international travel until relatively late in life. She's been to New Zealand, Australia, the USA, Oman, Korea, and a clutch of European countries. But I can safely say she's never been anywhere quite like India before.

Of course it's every son's job to be overprotective of his mother, so I've done my best to prepare her for the most obvious challenges. Most particularly the roads - she's not a big fan of bad driving at the best of times, so I have advised her just to pretend she's on a beach whenever she's sitting in the car, and that she can't see or hear anything but the sea, the sand and the sky (a technique I've employed myself when the honking and the crazy manoeuvres get too much). And I'm in the happy position of being able to provide a driver for her, so she won't need to worry about getting about. But of course that's not stopping me fretting about how she'll manage the food, the crowds, the heat (it's warming up very quickly) and the poverty.

As if India alone weren't enough of a culture shock, she is arriving the day before Holi, the festival of colours, which habitually involves people pelting each other with coloured paints, water cannons and water balloons. I've asked a couple of Indian friends if we are likely to be particularly targeted as foreigners. They all just sniggered.

So I'm quite nervous. I am really excited that she has this opportunity to visit India, something that not many people do at this point in their life, and I really want her to enjoy it. But I think realistically that it's going to be a challenging trip for her as well as (I hope) an exciting one.

I'm probably not giving her enough credit. After all this is a woman who survived both the two year old me and the 16 year old me, and she deserves an award for the latter alone. But like I said, it's my job to be overprotective. She's got an hour and a half massage booked for the first day in the country (she's flying economy class via Helsinki, so I think she'll need it).

Anyway, the impending Maternal Visit has prompted me to do some stuff around the house that I've been meaning to do for about six months - like connect up the gas to my hob and actually put my pictures up on the walls (in my defence, both required the services of a local handyman and it's not always easy to know how to find such services here. Though it's not much of a defence as mostly it's down to my procrastination). So my flat is looking a little bit more like a home now, with a few touches from home that are so important when you relocate:

So, a visit from my mum has once again been the major impetus behind me getting my lodgings in a respectable order. Some things never change, no matter how far you travel.


carvaka said...

whatever her reaction will be it won't be a shrug followed by "india? it was ok. "


Chris said...

Haha! No indeed!