Our new normal

|Author: Henk|

When my fellow GCIL colleague Jaspreet invited me to a formal Punjabi celebration poolside at a local hotel, I had no idea what to expect. So naturally, the night of, myself and three other male members of the program put on our brand new pastel colored kurta’s (traditional male Indian shirts) we had recently bought at a nearby mall. Feeling cultured in our new clothes, we proudly strutted into the yard area of the hotel only to promptly notice hardly anyone was wearing this traditional Indian garment, and most in fact were wearing western style collared shirts. Perplexed at our wardrobe misplay we held our heads high and entered the venue. Instead of the quiet, formal, religious themed event I had presumed we were attending, we found a blaring outdoor dance floor full of Hindu and Sikh locals absolutely raging. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It was, for lack of a better word, very lit. This was my scene. The night carried us well past midnight and into a packed indoor dance floor with blaring Indian music. Time flew by as we followed the lead of sweaty strangers showing us how they got down. The music was very different than what I was used to, as were the numerous men, outfitted in religious turbans, doing the running man.

Looking back on this evening many aspects were not what I was particularly used to. In fact, reflecting on these first two weeks in Bangalore, different and unexpected has become the norm. Some things are different in a shocking way; for example, farm animals eating garbage off the street, or mass quantities of raw sewage flowing feet from an arterial. Other things are different in a most pleasant way, such as the warmth and kindness of strangers on display that night at the party. This introduction to Bangalore has been packed full of experiences that are quite different, but I’ve slowly begun to fully embrace different rather than resisting it. I may have to just accept that it will be a couple months before I get my hands on a cold Fuji apple. Different can be rough. Overall though, it’s been an absolute blast and I’m looking forward to every new moment as I adjust to our new normal.

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