So, I will let you in on a little secret. In less than three months, I will be moving to Mumbai (formerly Bombay), where for the next little while I hope to derive travel writing inspiration from the Indian metropolis’ mind-boggling array of sights, scents, and cultures. It shouldn’t be too hard. That is, it shouldn’t be too hard to find inspiration.
I’m not so sure how I will handle living in Mumbai, but I’m sure it will be with a sense of absolute wonder.
It’s pretty cool that my first trip to Asia will be when I actually live there. But, if you don’t mind me giving myself a congratulatory pat on the back, that’s exactly how I first encountered Europe. The first time I went there was when I moved to Germany as an exchange student in 1991.
I certainly had bouts of homesickness then, and I have no idea how I got by without email, the internet, and all that. Germany was a world away from the States back then. I’m sure I’ll experience some serious culture shock in India, but the place itself really doesn’t feel all that far away to me as Germany did then.
One of the reasons I started this blog was to make sure that I had some sort of outlet for my daily observations once I’m in Mumbai. I hope to chronicle the preparations that I take before moving, as well.
So far, I’ve gotten all of my immunizations – hepatitis A & B; rabies 1, 2, & 3; typhoid; tetanus; polio. Malaria pills come later. My body is completely knocked up with chemicals – I think that’s why I’ve been semi-sick over the past week. I hope the pain is worth it.
I really want to prepare for going overseas, but I also want to leave myself open to surprises, i.e., I don’t want to build up expectations one way or the other. People continue to say, “you’ll either love India or hate it.” Nobody said that about Rome when I moved there, but they could have. I have a feeling that I will love some things and hate some things. Isn’t that true of all places?
I start an intensive Hindi class in a couple weeks, and I can’t be more excited. No, I don’t necessarily need to learn Hindi to live in Mumbai, but the opportunity is there. So, why not take it, right?