Wednesday 5 May 2010

Tuning into the details

Whilst in a new country, it is quite easy to get involved in the big picture often missing out intricasies. Like today I observed that my foot usually has shades of two colours; wherever the footwear covers, it is the original colour whereas the uncovered places of the foot are darkened by the sun. This colouration has disappeared in Belfast. My foot is even coloured and nice to behold.

There are not many crows here whereas in India there is an abundance of noisy crows that make their presence felt. In Belfast when one opens the windows, there are sometimes magpies but most of the times, there are no birds in the vicinity which is rare in India. Gradually I have adjusted to seeing magpies instead of crows.

The sugar in Belfast is not as sweet as that in India. I always get stared at by people as I empty five-to-six sachets of sugar into my tea or coffee. Even that seems inadequate!!! Moreover no one here prefers sugar in their teas and coffees. India also has another synonym here: Sweet!

Quietness is spread like a shroud. The nosiy, vibrant and resplendent view in India is quite strong in comparison to the low profile and calm Belfast.

I have seen that almost everything I see or experience is compared to India. Now it has almost become a habit to compare. I don't know whether this is done by everyone who visits new places.


  1. It is Susan and you will do it for a while and then less so. How long will you be in Belfast for? It is great to see you recording things like this. Someday, when you are settled into India again, you will look back and remember. You will be glad that you did so:)


  2. Oh!!I'm now in the US and i cant help but compare, from the insignificant paper napkins to cars that zoom on these roads..i have started to enjoy it and to look out for more

  3. Yes,it's obvious to make certain comparisons..

    And now a days even India doesn't have lot fo crows :( diminishing !

  4. Yes, this is done.;) I do it, have done this as long as I can remember, because as long as I can remember, I have lived in new cities, countries and continents.;) To start with, you notice the difference and you find them amusing. Maybe even interesting. Then they start to bug you, as you grow critical. Ultimately you start getting used to them. This is when a culture assimilates you and there is no way back. They say you can live at the most 3 years in a new country. After that, it will be difficult to go back home without problems.;)
    Lovely post, so funny about that sugar.;))

  5. Almost invariably, Susan, when one goes to a new place, there is comparison between the new and especially the place one just came from. I've been moving my entire life, and I still do this. Others tell me they do the same. At a certain time after one has settled in, though, the comparing stops and the learning and appreciating begin. We start to see our new surroundings for what they truly are... no comparisons involved. We need to adapt and fit in, and constantly making comparisons really delays that process. I have known people who have never stopped comparing the old to the new. To say the least, their experience in their new place was not in the least positive.

    I think with your only having been there a couple of weeks, it's normal for you to be making comparisons, still. Besides, it sounds like you're making healthy and positive comparisons, and not comparisons that sound like this: "Oh, we used to be able to just go out and have breakfast every morning. Here, there are no places that serve breakfast. Oh, woe is me. What are we going to do?" How about make breakfast at home? Believe me, I've heard people talk like this throughout their time being in a new country, rather than view their presence in another place as an opportunity from which to learn about another culture. It doesn't sound at all like you're doing this. Rather, you're plunging right in. No problems making small comparisons as long as you're also fascinated by where you are. You are fascinated, Susan! And I am fascinated for you!!!


  6. Ah Let me give you some advice > just enjoy the differences
    I guess someone is a bit homesick?


  7. Susan...... YOU ARE HOME SICK... Come back soon.... I miss you.... :))))

  8. The sugar doesn't taste as sweet
    not many crows do I get to meet
    in the bathroom no place to put a seat
    I miss Chennai and it sweltering heat.

    Sorgame endrallum ada namoorai polla varuma?

  9. Govind:

    I don't miss Chennai. I think about certain bits but not crave for anything. In fact I don't want to return. Life could go on here quite well, I reckon.


    Come back!!!! NOT until my stay is done here.


    I am enjoying the differences and that's why I write about it. Homesick??? Not even a wee bit!

  10. Nevine:

    Of course, it's quite normal I reckon. And yes, I am fascinated to the point that I have learnt that differences make any place so special. The experience is lovely!!!


    Now that sounds interesting: 3 years! but alas! I have only six weeks here :(


    Ah! crows cause so much flutter near my house. They convene round-table meets every hour.

  11. Jeanne:

    I will be here until the first and then leave to London for two days. I am glad even now, you see. Everything is a reason to wonder and be amazed!


    Ah! everyone does that na. That's the spirit of new places.
    Been long eh?

    Joy always :)

  12. Every time I go somewhere new, I compare it to home, and I always find it lacking. Which is funny because when I am home I want to be away, and when I am away I want to be home.

  13. You were in Ireland? How did you like it? Did you get to travel much?

    The Irish countryside is so beautiful, and quite varied. It makes you believe that anything can happen. And you find yourself falling in love with the country!

  14. I am in Ireland now, Ruth. In Belfast rather which is part of UK.

    Anything can happen, yes. I fall in love with everything and that's the problem precisely as I do not want to go back :(

    Joy always.



Related Posts with Thumbnails