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 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 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 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 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 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 fact, they continued to visit daily looking for one and told me how much they were missing them. So thank you to all of'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!