Signs of settling in

When you no longer peer through shop windows on your way to work. When you no longer need to ask where the aisle for baking soda is in a supermarket. When you can text as you walk and look up at exactly the point where you need to cross a road. When you can tell one cheese from the other without having to read the name on the label. When you know which washing liquid is only for hand washing clothes and which one you can use in a washing machine. When the frequently visited coffee shop barista knows what coffee you will order. When he also knows what kind of pastries you like and tell you when he has a fresh batch on offer. When you see the shopkeeper from across the street and wave good morning even though you don’t even know his name. When you have at least three “favourite” restaurants on your list of places you like. When you know which of the three café’s near work has better latte vs better cappuccino. When you don’t hate ironing or doing dishes anymore because you just don’t let it pile up in the first place! When you don’t need music in the house to keep you company. The sounds of the street and the building are enough. And when you know which of those sounds is the lift, the garbage truck, the street washing truck and a pigeon flapping near your open window.
It struck me today that for the last few days I simply don’t use my iTunes playlist as something I simply can not live without. I like that. I am not the kind of person who is always surrounded by the sounds from a speaker or a television set. For 18 months in Mumbai I lived without a tv. I didn’t miss it. I don’t miss it here either. I was amazed at my capacity to sleep with music playing when I first moved here but now I can’t do it anymore. I am back to being normal me! Lolest (as Muna would say!)
And you know what is the best sign of having settled in? Using a quintessential Italian coffee maker to strain adrak wali chai! Hahaha… well I did and it worked. When in need you improvise. I did and I frankly now don’t think I need to go find that strainer afterall.
And on that note, I will take my fevered self to bed for now. And that’s the last sign of having settled in. Everytime I transplant myself to a new place I go through a bout hair fall, skin breaking out and then a nasty flu within the first few weeks. Always. It’s like the body reacting to and then finally accepting the new air, water etc etc etc blah blah blah… And that last bit is happening now! So ciao on that note. Hopefully I will wake up fever less and bright and shiney tomorrow.
And guess what. I came down with this on my birthday. What are the damn chances of that happening? In my case fairly high… Gggrrrrr


Moving moving moving...

Literally! That’s what yours truly has been busy with for the last two weeks.
First from temporary apartment to new pretty one on the Saturday before last. Then trips to IKEA just at the outskirts of the city and the Coop (supermarket) over a mile away to get the usual suspects a house needs to become home; bin bags, dustbins, laundry baskets, cleaning supplies, perfumed candles, fleece blankets, cushions, bath mats, flower vase, salad bowl, ice trays, fruit bowl, various kitchen items like little plastic boxes, coffee maker etc etc etc etc etc blah blah blah blah… you get the drift I am sure.

So now that it is all in place I can breathe a sigh of relief. Cooking my first dinner tonight! Grilled chicken. Yay!

Oh! So the moving bit isn’t over yet by the way. I left the land under the Tuscan sun for the first time last weekend. Took Friday off and went to the very north of Italy to get my first view of the Dolomites. Can not thank my dear friend Phil enough for having me over, booking my tickets, coming to pick me up from the nearest town, taking me for lunch to an absolutely awesome place (its off all tourist maps and a local secret!) then hiking in the mountains, fresh grilled trout for dinner and then back to the heat and crowds of Florence on Sunday night. I cannot wait to go back to the mountains. I cant thank his mum and dad enough either for having me over in their cottage and treating me to that awesome fresh fish and proving to me yet again that sometime language ceases to be of consequence. Such amazingly sweet people. And guess what! As usual I had to do something silly. I meant to take chocolates and ended up taking pudding mix from Lindt for Phil’s mum. I didn’t know Lindt did pudding mix…. Oh dear! Some things don’t change do they?

So a weekend of moving houses. Then a weekend of moving through the beautiful Italian landscape. The mountains is where I could just stay and never leave. Sigh… and then a Monday night spent arranging the house back to order. Phew! Can’t wait for next Monday. The last of my 20’s will begin.

These last few days have left me with a deep deep realization. To use Phil’s phrase I feel like I am “straddling two separate worlds.” A life back home, a life I make every time I am far far away and everything in between including my parent’s tireless quest to find me a man and the freaks I have to tolerate in the bargain (mostly a few pictures and a biodata and the most recent case a phone call with the most self important man! Aaarrgghhh!!!). But like dad said yesterday, “living dreams isn’t easy but I know you will be fine.” It all makes sense. In a weird way totally disconnected yet connected statements from two separate conversations and two people living in two entirely separate worlds.

And guess what, I just realized I never really changed my oven’s settings to ‘grill’ from ‘preheat’. Oh well! I guess it will be bread and cheese for dinner and the chicken will be had with salad for lunch tomorrow. Like I always say, when it me the chances of something totally silly happening are fairly high…

And on that note, ciao.
I will be back soon J