Saturday, August 23, 2014

Two Years in India, Week 8: "Tourist Guilt"

Another day another rupee. Ok, that'd be a terrible wage... Nothing major to report this week other than learning the hard way this week that drinking tea with dinner will keep my son up all night. Consequentially, I zombied my way through a few days of work. My new boss is very enthusiastic about making improvements to our facilities and processes. He has good ideas and hopefully we can implement most or all of them, but it's been quite a change in the intensity of the work week since he arrived!

Since I don't have much to report on the work front, I do want to briefly talk about a new personal experience I'm going to term "tourist guilt." (Honestly, I stole the concept from a fantastic web series named Masa Off Grid, where he mentions builder's guilt. It's the feeling of guilt you get when you're enjoying something, but have a lot of work you 'should be doing,' in his case: building a house.) Anyway, living overseas for two years is very different than visiting a place on vacation. Deep down I know that, but I still feel like I have to make every day or week count. Maybe that is partially my own fault for tracking each week as one percent of my time here (8% or 1/12 of the way through!). Whatever the reason, the past few weekends we haven't made it out to do any real 'sightseeing' and I've felt kind of guilty - like I'm wasting time or missing an opportunity. It was particularly bad on the three day weekend. It's not completely my fault, since sightseeing with a two year old isn't the easiest thing in the world... but still, it's India! I don't want to leave in two years regretting that I didn't see or experience enough! We'll see how that pans out, maybe this week I'll finally stop and get food and/or tea at the street stalls near my house. They are insanely popular with drivers and as my neighbor said, "They can drive anywhere, so these must be good."

Note: The picture is the Ramakrishna Math Temple in Mylapore, taken during a morning walk a few weeks ago.

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