Glad to meet you!

It is Sunday morning and I can’t sleep anymore due to the fact that my stomach is hurting. I have lactose intolerance and have to take pills before every Chai otherwise I get stomach ache. Yesterday I drank a big Chai and took only one pill and that is the result of it. Sunday morning 6:00 am and my stomach is still hurting.
Today is my last day here in Mysore and with the host family. My data volume is empty so you will probably read this next week, but this doesn’t matter, because next week it will still matter what I am going to tell you now.img_1333

I told you that my host family is poor and next month the eldest son will marry a beautiful women. So the family tried to save money during the last year, but unfortunately they only saved 1000 Rupees, which is about 13€. A wedding costs about 100.000 – 200.000 Rupees (a small one with 400-700 guess) and so my family lend money from their friends. Unfortunately one friend stepped back and so the money for the dinner and I think for the ball room as well is missing. Big troubles here at home! Furthermore one of my German host brothers was ill (and lazy) during the last two weeks. He hasn’t left his room and hasn’t joint us for the meals. Eating together is very important for the Indians so thank you little German troublemaker 😀 My host mother calls him still ‘The Patient’ and today we are laughing about it, but last week was kind of challenging.
I recognized that something is “wrong” due to the fact that the whole family came around and slept here. There were no longer Mary, George and Nissika in the house. All of the three sons came by with their wife’s and kids and even the daughter who is living next to us, was spending her whole days here.
Just imagine all these people in the little house. They were sleeping on the ground with nothing else than one tiny blanket. And David (one of the sons) cooked every day for us. They were all helping Mary and had big discussions and talks during the afternoon. Luckily they were sharing their thoughts and sorrows with Cas and me by the end of this week and we talked with “The Patient”. So everything is getting to normalize now and Mary is praying for someone who comes by with the lacking money.

What happened here during the last week was amazing for me to see. Experiencing and seeing such a family solidarity was great and another example which shows me how close Indian families are. And even their friends came by and tried to help.
I would drive crazy while living together with my sisters and my parents in two rooms. I love my family so much, but I still need privacy. But here it is different. Indians are living so close together (in the meaning of space and heart). They care about another and when there is trouble you will find everyone around in one place.

img_1586This situation got me thinking about me and you… how often are we annoyed due to the fact that the guy in the coffee shop used 1.5% milk instead of 3.5%. Or think about all the annoyed faces in the tube or bus when it’s getting crowded. Or when you are going to a restaurant and they tell you to wait for another 15 minutes. And here my favorite example: Waiting in line in the supermarket while the old lady in front of you counts every Cent twice and in the end 2 Cents are missing and she will pay with Card. I am betting that you will find lot of annoyed and bored faces in the line behind her.
Here in India it seems so ridiculous that we are putting so much of our energy in these nonsense situations. While leaving the supermarket you will probably think: “Are they kidding me. I just wanted to pay my gum and it took me 4 minutes!” Or while leaving the coffee shop with the wrong type of milk: “I won’t come back here. These fools ruined my day. What it the problem with correct listening? It is their damn job to serve me whatever I ordered!”
Ok maybe it it a bit extreme, but I want to make one thing clear: These problems are all luxury ones and compared to India they mean nothing. Next time when you are waisting your energy on those little unimportant things try one thing: Close your eyes and breath deeply. Watch the situation from above without judgement. You are standing in line with lot of other people. The lady in the front row needs time for paying, but that is ok. Everyone needs time for something. Use the moment to breath deeply that is healthy and we forget it while rushing through the day. So thank you old lady for giving me this little breathe-moment 🙂
And if you don’t want to breathe turn to your back. Have you noticed the nice bag of the girl behind you? Turn to her and say it out loud. Or just smile to a stranger. You will get the smile back, I promise this to you and receiving a smile while standing in line and waiting is great!
And for the coffee shop: You never know what the person in front of you experienced today. Maybe the guy who put the wrong milk in your coffee has some troubles at home. So be gentle with him, because you know those days when everything seems too heavy on your shoulders. Or he has met the women of his dreams and now he is thinking about 1437 ways to ask her out for a date. Smile to him and say: “Thanks for the coffee. The 3.5% milk won’t kill me and maybe there it is a reason why you serve me this today. I wish you a good day and a beautiful break in which you can enjoy one of your coffees which are tasting so good that I am coming here two times per week 🙂 And to yourself you can say this: “I am thankful for today, because I am enjoying a hot coffee which smells so good. I have the money to buy it and I could probably pay for the two guys behind me, too. I am blessed with health and welfare and with this situation which gives me the opportunity to hold on and be thankful for a short time.” And now you know why the guy served you the wrong milk 😉 It was just a sign which showed you that you have everything you need in your life and should be thankful from time to time.

I try the same. I am thankful for every challenge Mary gave to me. Of course I struggled in the beginning and I know that there will be days on my trip where I will struggle a lot more. But I will come over it, grow and learn.

And by the way: I am so so thankful for Cas! I know her for 4 weeks, but it feels like we were close friends since forever. First stop on my journey and I met her. How beautiful is this (?!) to meet someone in India who feels so close to you. We were sharing everything during the last weeks and we were the perfect partners in crime when trouble came around or just the fact that Mary locked the door from the outside during the first nights. It was like sleeping with my best buddy in the Women jail 😀img_1549

There will be tears tonight when she is taking the bus to the airport and I am driving to Hampi. In her I found one really good friend and I know that this friendship will last. So thank you for Cas and for every single moment I shared with her. Finding new friends is the best thing during such a trip and I take it as a sign that I met her right in the beginning – I am not alone and there are friends everywhere in the world. You just need to open your eyes and say Hi.
Yours Kristin

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