Friday, May 31, 2013

Another school year is nearly gone............

With kids, the years seem more marked around the school year, than the calendar year.

So we come to the end of 8th and 2nd grade.

I have now lived with a teenager for a whole school year!! It has not been as bad as I envisaged. In fact I'd go as far as to say it's been a good year. The conversation is challenging in a positive way, the opinions interesting, the discussions entertaining....... and having his friends at the dinner table just magnifies the above. The most disconcerting factor is the height - how did we get to being (not necessarily seeing) eye to eye? I always thought I was tall - 5ft 9 1/2inches for a girl is pretty good - but transpires it's only as tall as a 13 year old boy!! The second most disconcerting thing is the food consumption - how can a huge dinner be consumed into that somewhat lean body and hunger be professed maybe twenty minutes later?

The personality is now distinctly his, not a spin off of us. There are facets of his character that are most definitively "Adam", his opinions no longer younger echoes of ours. As we go through all the phases of parenthood and are way nearer to his leaving home than his arrival, I have to say it gets in some ways more interesting  - he knows things I don't, he has ideas that are way out of my box.

And I (not him) almost need him to have a phone. He, is happy without - his friends when they haven't lost them, forgotten to charge them, or simply left them home, are generally phone equipped and he knows my number so he just borrows when he needs and big bonus - knows I can't find him!! And how do his friends get hold of him - simple they call me. "Hi, this is ........, is Adam there?" or text me "Ask Adam 2 call". Not sure I like my new role as Ads' P.A.!!

The parenting issues are changing. Can I please go to bed before him? Do I let him get an auto with his mates? by himself?, walk to the mall by himself? walk and get a haircut by himself? Do I bully him to study even when he says he doesn't need to? and the internet and social networking - how much to try and monitor (his computer prowess is way beyond mine) or not? the list is endless........The balance between independence and safety, treating this inbetweeny as a child or adult.... My aim after all is for an 18 year old to walk out of this house in four plus years time able to look after himself and make a constructive contribution in the world.

We are also moving into a new phase of our lives - we can leave them home alone!  Big guy is pretty  responsible and with the age difference being over 5 years, little guy listens to big guy. They very rarely fight, or at least that I know of!! We have been out as grown-ups way more this year, either planned or spontaneously - can do both.

And the not so little, little guy who will always be my baby........Growing up too! More responsible, more independent and all together easier. He definitely had either delayed toddler years or very premature pre-teen times. I'd say, to date, five to seven, have been to most difficult with Mr knows his own mind, drama king, charmer and player!!

So truly blessed to have them both in our family, so different yet so together.

No longer Vista'ites, we are Ozonies.

The 'hood is no longer Basavanagar but Whitefields.  We are t'other side of Marathalli bridge......

We bid farewell to Adarsh Vista with relatively little drama. Most of our furniture came with us except for one sofa which found a home in the Adarsh Vista club house - if it survived it's high tech journey!!

We had the one night in a mostly packed up house with little to sit on or do. Wills decided the grass was definitely greener....and more comfortable!

The packers were amazing. Nothing lost, broken or  even incomprehensibly labelled. Kids went to school on one bus, home on another. 'Home' not exactly in Will's case. He went round to a friends house for tea, came here having gathered more friends, dropped his bag, went out to play, returned when it was dark.......not even having seen his new bedroom. He has a real posse of cricketers here. In fact 9 of the kids in his class live in this community Though as the IPL has wound to a close the cricket fanaticism among the younger kids may also fade. With Wills it's either no 8 year old home or a bunch of them!!

And Ads...... well "brother from another mother" was already here when Ads got home on day 1 - he'd been helping me put up curtains and shower curtains. He also has friends from school living here or very close by.

We are still getting to grips with the details here - the white goods come with, I just have to be able to make them work!, how to pay the gas?, where and when to get rid of the garbage and how to segregate?, the drink or not to drink? where is our mailbox? and most importantly how to get the ironing guy to come and pick and how to reserve a tennis court!!

Had an interesting week sans internet. Amazing how much one gets done without email and Facebook and how peaceful the world is when you don't know whats going in it!! Though poor blog has been neglected and I think May has the least entries to date.

We are now at the dangerous state where the house is totally livable in but there are things we want to get done to make it perfect leave these a little while, then a little longer and then you've left them so long you get comfortable with the existing and those 'not quite fitting, not quite matching curtains' in the bedroom are still there months or even years later.

What I like best about the new home are the "sit-outs". At Vista as we were on the main drag into the community the little outside space we had was too open and noisy to sit and sup, or was essentially Wills' cricket pitch. Here, we are at the end of a small cul-de-sac and also have more plants, including bananas's - have no idea what or when to do anything with them but for now they look exotic and potentially tasty!

Morning coffee in the air fresh from last night is good!

I love the rains this year. So many weird things happening in the world this year, when the monsoon arrives on schedule it feels comforting, as if there is a rhyme and a reason still.

We are now officially moved in, no more house move related excuses for not getting anything done, and back into the thrust of real life....only two weeks of school left!!!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Local Move

Yep -we are moving, not back to the US as was the original plan this summer but a few miles down the road.

Our exit plan seems to be on hold for a variety factors. Is this a good thing, or a bad thing or does it really matter? Yes, life in the US is undoubtedly easier with it's efficiency and abundant choices but then is 'easy' necessarily what it's all about? I could rationalize the pros and cons, the pluses and minuses of here versus there but in the end we are here, we will be here for sometime longer and for now I am not going to worry about the hows, when and why's but concentrate on the nows which is soon going to be a lot of cardboard boxes.

After helping friend C relocate, recently lived through the OWC pink ele at close corners and now our move ---- I am going to be a little boxed out!!

We are essentially moving to exchange bus 3B for one of the '5' buses. The school bus is an hour each way on a "good" day and as its crosses train tracks, passes major construction projects, winds through villages and stops in another housing complex they are a myriad of reasons why there aren't many 'good' days on bus 3B!!

Bus '5' , of which there are three have a much more straight forward drive and hence many 'good' days on a route of 35 minutes. Simon's commute will about the same as it is from Vista.

Wills is very excited about the move - he has so many friends from school in the new 'hood and there are a lot more open spaces for cricket balls and footie ones to fly without risk of broken windows or angry neighbors. Ads is sort of indifferent - he has friends here and friends there but appreciates the shorter bus journey. He will miss brother from another mother across street (so will I) but now they are older and more independent they can travel - all they need is bit more organization!!

Me, I will miss Vista. I will miss Shubha - even if I don't see her one day, I sort of feel connected as I see her maid, Teqi, her car, her driver, the boys etc. but then how many people are so lucky as to have one of their bff that close for even a couple of years! I will miss so much here and in the environs. The little old guy I buy a lemon from every day I pass as he grins toothlessly from under his turban, as he squats on the gravel near his small pile of yellow fruit.  We have never exchanged a word but wobble and smile at each other to convey all is going well in our vastly different lives. The guy at the fancy shop who when I come in for one sheet of gift wrap tries to sell me a mile of brightly colored bangles or   a years supply of different shaped bindi's. The portly manager at Nilgiris (the grocery store) who will have everything in 'next day ma'am'. I have had a happy life spiraling out from my safe haven at Vista.

I will miss my neighbors, especially those who are now friends but who hopefully I will still see from my new abode.

Currently I am dealing with the outward part of the move, more about our new 'hood when we get there. When we moved in here we bought a huge unit/dresser from a neighbour which as we have more closets in our new bedroom we are selling on. It's new owner has sent a lorry to come and pick up. Just waiting for more man power to come help it down the stairs. The beginning of the 'out' wards move. Though packers don't come until next Wednesday and we move Thursday/Friday next week.

So next Thursday kids will leave home on Bus 3 B and return home on bus 5. Their move completed!!

Over 50,000!!!

Blog has had over 50,000 page views!
How wild is that!

It's been quite an experience. I have met people through it - people who were thinking an assignment to Bangalore was on the cards and on 'googling' to try and work out what it life here would really be like found the blog! On arrival in Bangers and having tracked down the OWC arrive at our weekly coffee morning, introduce themselves to me, knowing a lot more about me than I know about them!!

I have kept in touch with friends/family all over the world, met other 'bloggers', used my posts for the basis of articles published in the Rangoli magazine, embarrassed my boys..tho I try not to!!.......

This week folks from India, US and UK have viewed blog. Nothing unexpected there - but also Russia, Germany, Poland, Canada, France, New Zealand, Australia and Spain...go figure!

During the two plus years my blog has been going I "met" friend G before she came to India. She came, she lived here, she left.!!   The full cycle!

I had always thought if I'd ever reach the giddy heights of 50,000 it would be at the tail end of our time in India and a great time to shut up/put up....whatever the term is.

However it seems we will be here for some time longer and I don't seem to be running out of stuff to say, pictures to onwards and upwards (I hope!!).

And how do you eat your mango?

Chopping up Mangoes for the kids, I was reminded of an old After Eight T.V. advert which was a sort of character study. People sat around a dinner table, the narrator watching how they ate their after dinner mints....the nibbler round the edges, the stuff the whole thin mint in the mouther........and determining what this may or may not portray about their personalities.

And After Eights bring back memories. Those Yuppie (Young Upwardly-mobile Professional Person) dinner parties of the early nineties. G & T's, starter: green salad, main: beef bourguignon with copious red wine, desert: chocolate mouse. Followed by After Eights and coffee from the cafetiere in little espresso cups. Attendees trainee chartered accountants and lawyers working in the "City" (of London). Music: Roxy Music, Bowie, Simply Red etc. That was a long time ago!!

I have seen After Eights here in Bangers - but only at way exorbitant prices. But on my next trip to the UK, I think I'll hunt some out  - I do still have the music to go with!!

Anyway my kids have very different ways of eating their mangoes.

Wills likes his sliced off perpendicularly at either side of the stone and then he eats with a spoon - like eating a boiled egg.

The middle section around the stone is left in one piece and he picks it up by hand and chews and sucks until every last vestige of mango is gone and his hands and face are mango juicy.

Ads meanwhile likes his mango diced hedgehog style. This is one skill I have nearly mastered since being in India. Again mango is sliced perpendicularly either side of the stone. But then the two end pieces are knifed to the skin criss cross style and then the skin inverted and it does look a bit like a sort of hedgehog. Its easy then to cut the pieces off. Ads eats with a fork. 

Two different styles to eat their mangoes -what it says about their very different personalities I need a therapist to decipher!