Thursday, March 29, 2012

WARNING - wordy post ahead, get your coffee!

WHEW! Its been 3 months and a day since I posted! That's a new record and one that should immediately disqualify me as a blogger worth my weight in salt!!!!


But no one has done that yet, so here I am.....and don't say I didn't warn you, but this is going to be one long post!


In 5 days we leave for Seattle from Bangalore. Almost exactly 6 years ago, we bid farewell to Seattle to come to Hyderabad......
........never thinking in our wildest dreams that 6 years later we would be working our way backwards.


We came here to India for a reason, and that was to take care of my in-laws. Both my husband and I are glad we did, glad we spent the last 5-6 years with them. We knew the weather would be unbearable, the traffic horrendous, the civic sense completely lacking, laziness and inefficiency rampant, politicians corrupt to the core...but we were coming here for a purpose, and reminding ourselves of that seemed to help tolerate all this over the past few years. But things have a way of turning out and suddenly last year we found ourselves in a position we just could not ignore....we no longer had the responsibility of looking after anyone, an old colleague of my husband wanted him to come work for him in Seattle, my son and son-in-law were in DC, my parents here were still in good health....and almost as easily as we made the decision in 2005 to return to India.....last November we made the easy decision of moving back to the US. The logistics of a trans-continental move never worried us...we'd done it once, we'd do it again!!!


As many of you know, where we go, our dogs go, and vice versa. The first thing I did way back in November after we made the momentous decision to move back, was to find out the quarantine rules for bringing dogs into the US. If there was even a one day quarantine, I was willing to give the whole idea up. Irrational I know, but I was sticking to it. And I was thrilled to find out that as long as they were vaccinated with all the proper shots and all the proper documentation, they could breeze right into the country. 
(On a side note: I plan to write a long detailed post on this process to help others in the same situation, cos I researched so much on the web, but could not find one comprehensive article on it. So folks with pooches - stay tuned). 

So now 4 months later, armed with vaccination reports, health certificates, doggie passports, quarantine no-objection-certificates, acclimation certificates and micro chip numbers, Lucy and Junglee are ready for Seattle!!!!
Am I ready for Seattle? I would be completely dishonest if I said I am sad at leaving Hyderabad. I have often compared India to a rough blanket.....it keeps you warm but irritates you. I have tried to adopt the "chalta hai" attitude (for non-Indians, its the "oh its alright" attitude), but that always eluded me. I have fought with all my neighbors...for burning leaves outside my window, for having carpentry work done late at night, for dumping trash on the street, for blocking my driveway with their chauffeur driven cars...! But I have enjoyed the hospitality of fellow Indians....total strangers crowding around you to help you in an emergency, people completely incapable of admitting they don't know the way to a place when you stop and ask, and giving you wrong directions instead, being able to borrow sugar and rice from my maid when I run out of it, having manicures and pedicures and haircuts at home, having almost everything brought to your home, the amazing food, watching people get knocked out of their motorbikes on the road and then getting up, brushing themselves off, shrugging and continuing on...only in India will this happen!

But I am so ready for Seattle. The 23 years I spent there were not for nothing.....I have some of my best friends there, I love the diversity of the population, I love the organic "Birkenstock" vibe, I love Seafair and the Space Needle and the ugly EMP, I love Starbucks, and nothing beats Seattle in the summertime. So I am thrilled to be heading back. 


The past couple of months has been an absolute frenzied whirlpool of planning, organizing, decision making, sorting, buying, selling, negotiating, late night scanning and e mailing, hair pulling and teeth gnashing....in no particular order!


And at the end of it, in addition to many new grey hairs, this is what we have...a house that is sold (after soooo much paperwork)  in Hyderabad......
another house that is bought in Seattle (yes, you read right, we bought a house online AND unseen.....for a week straight we were up from 2am to 5 am signing, scanning and emailing purchase agreements to our agent in Seattle)!!!
a 40' container of our precious cargo on its way (as I write) to the US of A......
2 doggies trying to adapt to their new homes........big plastic crates...... 
A living room that went from this.....
to this.....
As sorry as I am to leave this house, which was a labor of love for my husband and me, I am excited to start life anew. A new house is like a blank canvas.....so its waiting for me to add my brush strokes to it and make it a home. People have asked me over the last couple of months how I can even leave my home? And I say, its easy - after all what makes it a home are the people (and pooches) who live in it, and the things of beauty I surround myself with. And thanks to efficient airlines, lack of quarantine laws, moving companies and the Internet, I am able to take everything I need to make my house in Seattle a home. A house is just the physical thing that "holds" the things I love in one place. 

So speaking of things I love, what better excuse to buy some lovely Indian linens and furniture than a move to the US??? So very wisely, when my husband was immersed in some sort of excruciatingly painful bank work or real estate transaction which had his complete attention, I would brazenly suggest we should buy this or that...you know...cos we'll never find something in Seattle for this price!!! And almost always his answer - cos he was so preoccupied - would be "yes"!!! I won't list all the things I bought - you'll get to see them in pics after I settle down, but I just had to show you just a couple of beauties.......

This amazing 80 year old vintage wooden salt container from Preethi of Indyakaleidoscope....
and this absolutely lovely Katran chair I bought 3 days ago from Sahil and Sarthak , which got delivered as the packers were packing! 
So now the dust has all settled - literally and figuratively, the dogs are somewhat happy in their crates, (one is, one isn't), 4 large suitcases are packed with enough things to keep us going for 2 months till our container arrives, and our hearts and minds are filled with lots of cherished happy memories in this home and we look forward with great excitement and anticipation to returning back to another home.

Before I sign off for a week or so, I must thank all those loyal and faithful readers who didn't abandon S and S when there was no post forthcoming....in fact, they continued to visit daily looking for one and told me how much they were missing them. So thank you to all of you....it's because of that, that I am able to muster up the strength (at 10.15pm tonite at the tail end of 3 very exhausting days) to write this post  I promised I would before I left India.

And one last request from you all...please pool together your collective chi and good wishes and energies....and hope my 2 little babies, Lucy and Junglee, make it well across the seas in the cargo cabin below the aircraft :(, and emerge from their crates at Seatac airport, with wet noses and wagging tails!!! 

I'll be back blogging, hopefully at my usual pace, once I settle in Seattle! Now off I go to do my final packing....bye!

28 comments:

Anu Gummaraju said...

All the fun in the world your way, Kamini, as you go and conquer - again - in Seattle :). Whether from Hyd or Seattle, am sure your enthu and charm will extend... Your blog posts will be much awaited, as always!

Emreen said...

Wish you a Happy and safe journey , Kamini !!! Waiting for your next post !!!

Heidi said...

What a great post! You have such a vibrant, positive outlook... it's no wonder you can bop around the world and make a good home wherever you land.

Wishing you and your husband and your poochies the best trip, a safe landing, and a great sleep once you're un-jet-lagged. :)

Designwali said...

welcome back to the blog world! i wish you a safe journey back home and i'm sure you and your family will only hae fabulous adventures ahead!

jyoti kumar said...

Hey kamini, I am definitely going to miss the gorgeous pictures of your house but all my warmest wishes and big thumbs-up for your smooth and successful move.I am not new here, I cannot finish my day without visiting your FAB blog once a day since more than two years...dying to see your posts via USA...by the way your new house looks like a perfect one for you...lovely design and delightful colours.

Anu@My Dream Canvas said...

Wow!! Pat yourself on the back, you desrve it!! Congrats again to both of you on your move here. Looking forward to more posts and more than that getting to know you better in person. hugs Anu

Shobha Shivakumar said...

Hi Kamini this is my first visit to your S & S blog and I'm in love with your blog.We may not be friends but few of my thoughts are in resonance with your thoughts...:)).Will come back to read your blog.Travel safe and c u soon.....:))

Shobha Shivakumar said...

Hi Kamini this is my first visit to your S & S blog and I'm in love with your blog.We may not be friends but few of my thoughts are in resonance with your thoughts...:)).Will come back to read your blog.Travel safe and c u soon.....:))

Kamini said...

Thank you all, I already feel reassured!
Shobha - any friend of S & S, is a friend of mine. Welcome to my blog.

GB said...

Oh K, welcome back dear friend. Best of luck, best of luck, best of luck......and hope we'll see you here at S&S soon enough.

Special hugs to Junglee and Lucy....they'll be just fine.

Sudha said...

wishing u all a very very safe and happy move to ur old-new home...take care and hope to meet you soon :)

Once Upon A Tea Time said...

Good luck, Kamini! Sending tons of good wishes your way and hope you will visit once you are here :)

Richa said...

welcome back to the ugly emp! and the doggie journey post will definitely be so useful.
Wish you both and your pooches a safe journey. i cant imagine my needy pom in cargo.. he will be put on a diet to shed some weight before we plan a trip.
Take care, all the very best and see you soon!

Roshni said...

Awesome! So excited and looking forward to all your future posts! Oh, you Hyderabad house is so much better looking than the Seattle one...but that is because, as you rightly pointed out, the latter has not received your creative touch yet!! Wishing you all the best for a safe journey!!

Vinita said...

Wow what a lovely post. I am just amazed at how you got things done so quickly. Making the decision and then working on it is huge. But as you said,adjusting in India is getting tougher and tougher. There are too many problems to deal with which you really don't have to. It is like "rough blanket" giving you the warmth.

Have a safe and happy journey. Your pooches are blessed too and all of you will be in my prayers so that you make a safe landing.

purplehomes said...

a very beautiful post...I wish you the very best for your new life and new home and a safe journey.

Gayatri said...

Good luck with the move. Hoping and waiting to read about your creative touches to your house in Seattle.
Gayatri

Vasudha Narasimhan said...

Hey Kamini...Happy Journey....Safe flight:)

brinda nilesh said...

so nice to hear from u !!
mixed emotions actually...!!
i'am looking forward to reading ur blogposts about ur new life/home and on the other hand i would really miss the feel of ur hyderabad home!!
hats off to ur practical outlook and wish u and ur family a safe journey!!

Swathi said...

All the best Kamini.
Have a safe trip
Bad we could not meet here,but maybe someday in Seattle at Anu's place.
Love
Swathi

Hema N said...

Lovely post and nice to see you back! Good luck with your move and can't wait to see you transforming your seattle house into a home :)

shell said...

Good luck with the move Kamini.
The new house looks awesome.

shruthi said...

Hello Kamini,

This is my first visit to your blog and I am totally in love with it. I really enjoyed all your articles and looking forward for more. Have a nice trip!!!

hyd said...

Pretty…
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Shalini said...

Bon Voyage and looking forward to seeing you back up and posting once you're settled.

I've done several transcontinental moves too, although with less luggage and furniture!

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Passion Cooking said...

I am an ardent follower of your blog. Your blog is so lovely with so much of inspiring and informative ideas. I never left a comment so far which is not at all fair on my part. My day won't complete without visiting your blog . I missed visiting your blog so much when we were on cruise recently. I am looking forward to your posts once you are completely settled in Seattle.

Wish you the Very Best!

Sound Horn Please said...

How did I miss this post?! I'm SO glad Gagan linked to it in her post today. It was a thoroughly enjoyable read!