In my last post I was a little a lot emotional about leaving my kids for a two-week trip to India. I'm still beating myself up about this missing them a lot. But, I'm here and I want to enjoy this amazing trip with my sister. So, let me tell you a little about the fun we've been having!
Our first week was spent almost entirely in Ahemdabad, a dry state...that's right: NO alcohol at any restaurant or hotel but tons of great places to eat and gather. I notice that there seems to be so much going on at night here and it turns out that is because the crime rate is extremely low.
There are no clubs per se, only a couple of "discothèques" probably because alcohol is not the focus of the night life. That's not to say people don't drink. Our hosts pulled out a bottle of wine for dinner this evening but we politely refused because we know that it is way more valuable to them in their 'dry' state then it would be to us if we drank just to be social.
This part of the visit has been so much fun in large part to my cousin's daughter, a 20-something college student who knows just where to go and what to do... and we're making the most of it! She's been whisking us around driving through some mind-boggling conditions with wandering people, cars, animals and children to avoid. She seamlessly manages to get us from point A to point B and when we think we're in the middle of nowhere, we step into yet another trendy hotspot with great food and fashionable patrons; this is not the India I remember visiting as a girl. Has it changed that much or did my parents just have no clue where to go?
Thanks to technology, we're using Viber to call home for free, Whattsup to text home for free and the iphone to do it all with our cellular service turned off to avoid roaming costs. I can Skype the kids every day and they seem to be doing well and keeping busy. Last weekend was fun for them with a neighborhood fall festival and then an evening with one of our family friends, Usha, who often spends time with us.
Usha is an artist so she loves doing crafts with them and they stayed busy reading and playing with her while my husband went to celebrate a 40th birthday with a good friend in the neighborhood. He was the only dateless spouse at the celebration but apparently the company was good enough so he didn't mind. Besides, he said, all the women ended up at one end of the table anyway. I used to think that only happened with my parents, you know...the women all ending up apart from the men...now I see it's a universal phenomenon!
I miss my family but am glad that they seem to be doing well, and it's definitely nice to hear their voices every day.
On the professional side, there is a baking manufacturing facility that we are visiting tomorrow so I'm very excited to see what type of products they use and offer here. My cousins have been keeping up with my interests to they have scouted out some great places for us to visit. Apparently where we are going, vehicles cannot visit because of the crowded streets. I'm curious to see what it's all about!