I have been visiting Melbourne, which is home, for the past few weeks. I still have a couple of weeks to go before returning to Mumbai, but as I sit here on a cold, rainy day I am thinking of all the things that I have really missed here.
Some that I knew I was missing and other things that I had forgotten all about:
- Driving: Despite the possibility of road rage, I have really missed driving. It isn’t so much actually being behind the wheel, but rather the feeling of driving of freedom that you get when travelling at 100km an hour down a highway. In Mumbai I spend so much time in traffic being suffocated with gasoline fumes, that there is little pleasure being on the road.
- Singing whilst driving: Yes this is related to the point above. Adding to the feeling of freedom is turning the radio up and just belting out an old classic at the top of my voice where no one else can hear me. It is such fun and a great stress reliever as well.
- Drinking water from the tap: The thought of just opening a tap and drinking water straight from it was just a distant memory for me after 2 years living in India. How will I ever go back?
- Liquorice: I realise to many people this will be an obscure one, but I just love liquorice and have found it very hard to find any (and definitely not good) ones in India. There is some imported liquorice which is overly priced and lacking in quality. Here I am gorging on the freshest liquorice, savouring every bite.
- Avocado: Despite being a tropical country, I have found nice avocados really hard to find in India. They sell them in the gourmet grocery stores, but they just don’t have the smooth, creamy consistency that is found in Australia. So every morning begins with some avocado spread on toast.
- Cold, rainy days: Whilst the weather can be a bit of a downer, there is something lovely after being forced to spend a day curled up in front of a heater. It has been particularly brisk the past few days, and I have been enjoying the chilled weather.
- Cafe culture: Mumbai is currently flooded with cafe chains, but it doesn’t seem to have a real laid-back cafe culture yet. I have been enjoying it here in Melbourne, with smooth soy lattes (yes I am one of those people!), reading the paper over brunch or sneaking in a couple of hours of work with my laptop, I have spent some time becoming re-acquainted with Melbourne’s cafe culture.
- Secret Bars: Hidden amongst the back streets and lane-ways of the CBD, are non-descript doors where Melbourne’s nightlife lives. Searching for a bar the other night I walked down a back lane, and was just about to give up until I decided to push a door with no sign, against the wishes of my friend. Behind it was this fabulous new bar, of course there was, this is Melbourne after all!
- Space: India has taught me to rein in my love of personal space, and now Melbourne has reminded me just how lovely it is to sit in a train carriage and be all alone. How I will ever return to a crowded Mumbai local, I don’t know!
There are many other things I have found myself missing, not the least of which is enjoying my family and friends. For those of you who have left home to live somewhere else, what have you missed?