Day 4 in New Zealand

Yes, yes I do realize that it’s been a pretty long break and I have been away for almost a month. A lot has been changing in my life; you know being married, changing countries (continents…), getting adjusted, accepted, and acclimatized, being jet lagged, fighting fears, doubts; and finally, finally actually living with The Cool Guy.  Overall it’s been a coming-to-terms kind of experience for me so far. And with this I rest my case, while hoping to be excused for my absence.

I spent awesome 20-days with the rest of my in-laws in Singapore, enroute to New Zealand, while the husband slogged away at work here. What I did in Singapore and how much fun I had is definitely a matter of another post.  And by the way, I am awful at skirting around with a camera in hand, clicking pictures, stopping by a moment to capture memories and all. Ya, ya I know it a rather touristy thing to do. But I just didn’t. Stop whining now please!

It’s just my 4th day in New Zealand today, and I am already writing this post. Not bad, eh? There are things I should be doing; cooking, cleaning, unpacking, exploring, setting up the new home… but I have been guilty and miserable throughout the last month for my disappearing act on wordpress. My conscious kept gnawing at me for being away for so long. So I thought, let’s just first get guilt out of my way. So here I am.

As soon as I set my foot on the soil of NZ, I was greeted by cool, fresh breeze saying hello to me and I fell in love with this place instantly. You know how sometimes we get these premonitions, and before we actually experience something, we already know that we are going to love it. This was one such feeling. TCG was about 5 minutes late to the airport, and just when I started panicking and digging for coins (yes with all that luggage its annoying to dig for small things like coins) to call him, I saw him. A feeling of relief washed over me. I know there was nothing to panic or worry about, but just a day before that, he had been kidding about cabbing it up alone and coming home on my own. And for a moment, I thought that he was not kidding after all.

Wellington, which is where we live, is a hilly city. It’s so picture perfect that it seems unreal. Small, separate, beautiful wooden houses (mostly white) cocooned in the folds of the mountain. It’s cool, breezy and sunny at the same time…just the perfect concoction for someone who has lived in hot, humid weather all her life. People in general are very nice, warm and approachable. Strangers smile at you, wave at you and greet you with a customary “Morning Mate”. And I wouldn’t be mentioning this point at all if it was just one freak incident. Almost everyone who passes by you, smiles at you and greets you.

First day just passed away catching up, resting and lapping up the awesome view that we have from the balcony. Day 2 and Day 3 I was alone. What could we do, a guy has to earn his living! So while the TCG was away at work, I was freaking out in this big house all by myself. That we live in a separate house in middle of the hills and not an apartment (where it’s at least comforting to know that you have neighbors just the next door), added to the fear. I busied myself unpacking, cooking and cleaning and diverting my thoughts. I was almost successful in keeping those unwelcome thoughts at bay. And at 4.30, I walk down these hills to meet TCG below his office at 5. We walk around a bit (which IMHO is the best way to explore a city) and walk back home, which is quite literally an uphill task.

Now, Wellington is a very windy city. Very windy. WINDY. Early morning on Day 3, when it was still dark, we could constantly hear the whistling sounds of the wind. It was scary, just like it is in those scary movies. And there are no fans in the houses here. So no comfort from the slow droning sound of the fan either. There is just pin drop silence. You can actually hear the low humming of the crickets. Every little sound also sounds more amplified.  And it is pitch dark at nights. Since TCG was around at night, I was just about holding up. But during day, when he left for work, the loud noise of wind was just too much to ignore. They were rattling the windows up and for someone who is as uninitiated as I am, it was all a bit spooky (ssshhh…I don’t even want to say it loud and admit to my fear).

If you feel I am exaggerating, check this one random video out. There are many more on Youtube.

Windy City Wellington

Crazy, right? But, I will get used to it soon, won’t I? I am brave that way 😛

So that’s all from me today. Talk soon again.

A very new beginning…

Ambivalence. This is one word that perfectly describes my state of mind right now. Two completely conflicting set of emotions have parked themselves in my mind. On one hand is extreme happiness for starting a very new and radically different life with The Cool Guy (TCG) that the husband is, and juxtaposed are the feelings of sadness and nostalgia for leaving the old and “comforting” behind.

But who said dealing with change is easy? And bigger the change, more difficult it gets to adapt. Because that means coming out of your comfort zone and pushing your boundaries to adapt better to the change. But change is the best thing that can happen to anyone, right? And we always emerge better and stonger. Flowing water is never stagnant.

Like you know, I am born and brought up in Mumbai. Mumbai is the world I know and Mumbai is where the schooling, the college, the job, the friends and the life happened. And sadly, I haven’t travelled internationally at all yet. But The Cool Guy (TCG) that I am married to lives away. Very, very far away from Mumbai. Over 6000 Miles away. About a day away. In New Zealand. Yes, that far. And I am set to join him there very soon. The Visa is in my hands.

But I am a bundle of nerves. It’s a different world. DIFFERENT in capitals. If it was the US or some swanky city in Europe I was shifting to, I would probably have been less nervous. After all, they couldn’t have been very different from Mumbai. A metro is a metro after all. Speedy, crazy, thrilling, offering demanding and satisfying jobs and a stressful lifestyle as a byproduct. Not very different from the life I am used to in Mumbai. I am used to the speed, the craze, the stress, the long serpentine queues, the pollution, the dust, the heat and everything Mumbai. In NZ, life is comparatively slow. There is no rush to get anywhere. People actually “live”, rather than just exist from one day to another.  TCG says that people smile at each other for no reason. (Try smiling at a stranger here in Mumabi.  If you know what I mean.) There is no pollution. Its silent, its serene, its beautiful, its calm, its relaxing. And it is postcard picture perfect. TCG sends me such scenic pictures everyday. Unreal they seem, but real they are. Also, people leave offices by 5. They have a perfect work-life balance. (Try leaving your office at 5 in Mumbai!) What could be possibly wrong with such a life, you’d ask? Nothing I say. Only that I am not used to this slowness, this freshness, this natural beauty, this serenity, this silence or even this balanced work-life for that matter. I am used to the din, the restlessness, the craze, the speed, the hop-skip-jump lifestyle and the accompanying stress that my very metro life in Mumbai offers.

Hence, NZ makes me a little nervous. What if I unable to cope? What if I don’t adjust to the very cold climate? What if I don’t make new friends? What if I don’t get a good job? What if I want to suddenly eat chaat, that we eat off the streets here in Mumbai? I live in a big family here. What if I get too lonely there? That NZ is very very far away doesn’t help either. On a whim, I can hardly come back to Mumbai, just to surprise my family or check on them. I don’t even want to think how many of my friends’ weddings I will be missing.  Sigh!

But, at the same time, I am very excited. To start my life afresh with TCG. He has assured me over and over that everything will be fine and he will try to make this transition as smooth as possible. That he will even cook for me, and clean and do all those erstwhile ‘female’ jobs. I am excited about our new house and about doing it they way we want, the new city, the new country, the new friends (whenever that happens), the road trips, the nature, the beauty, about wearing beautiful winter clothes which I never got a chance to wear hear in Mumbai, and about simply enjoying the marital bliss.

So, I have my fingers crossed. I am really hoping that I won’t cry too much and won’t miss Mumbai a lot.  I am sure I am going to miss my family, food and friends (in that order) terribly and there can’t be a replacement. But I am hoping TCG will fill that void. I will also try and be nice and adjusting and not irritate the hell out of my husband.

Side note: I will have more time to blog and read now. Something I haven’t been able to do as much as I’d like. Yay! May be I will do a whole new category on the new life. Maybe not. Let’s see how it goes. But you can wish me luck.