1. Shop, shop and shop and Pack, pack, pack – buy gifts/chocolates for the loved ones in India (even if we get almost everything in India :D). Then pack every single thing for kids (especially young ones) – medicines, shower gel, milk formulas, mosquito patches (again we get most of it in India)
2. Get stressed and lose several nights’ sleep over thinking about how to cope in Indian weather, cleanliness or lack of it and surviving without helper.
3. Simultaneously, get (over)excited by thinking about meeting relatives, eating all sorts of street and home food and shopping.
4. Then arrives the D-day to finally catch the flight and arrive in India. The moment I step out of the airport, I start complaining about the heat (as if SG is Swiss), dirty streets etc.
5. I keep using SINGlish laced with lah, alamak and ayyo with everyone and like to see their puzzled faces 😀
6. Get panic over kids activities and give them hand sanitizer and wet wipes at every moment. (They don’t even bother about it! and keep jumping, dancing and enjoying themselves)
7. Constantly do conversion from SGD to INR for every single product
8. Relish the taste of Pavbhaji, Pani Puri, Dhoklas and pst pst over how we don’t get this exact taste in SG.
9. Buy as many Indian goodies as possible (back-breaking and bag-breaking!!)..kurtis, junk jewels, dabeli masala, fry-n-eat pani puri packets, readymade meetha paan…anything and everything..
10. Talking very loudly and animatedly with family, relatives and catching up for all lost time..
11. Admire the changing face of India – swanky malls, awesome restaurants offering every food on earth, broad roads, construction of condo projects, metro..All look like Singapore..
12. At the same time, not-liking certain sites like garbage thrown carelessly, underprivileged kids and women selling items at traffic signals, pathetic condition of stray animals, high level of air pollution, eve-teasing 🙁
13. When time to return to Singapore, feel happy thinking of going back to the safe, clean Singapura and feel very sad thinking of leaving the love of family behind..
All the above feelings I go through every time I visit India..and yet what remains finally are the tears rolling down my cheeks while saying bye, bye, see you soon to my family, friends and country.
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are solely personal in nature and no intention to hurt any sentiments of anyone.