It's bye-bye to Singapore. Spent my last few days in the country frantically meeting people, saying goodbyes, taking endless photographs, packing stuff into cartons and suitcases, weighing things endlessly on the weighing scale (only to know I’ve still screwed it up!) and trying to pack everything special about the country with my friends into few days. 

And when I reached Mumbai in less than 5 hours (on an Air India flight that took off and landed on time, yay!) I felt completely disoriented. It was hot, sweaty, I was amused with how I was actually making my way around in Hindi, and finally the fact that from having my own room, a queen-sized-extremely-comfortable bed, I had reached an apartment I shared with 5 other people, to a bathroom that had a long creepy worm and promised to invite snails when the monsoons arrive. 

I spent a whole day in my new institute, and was tested right at the start with the extreme inefficiency still rampant in my country, sadly. Documents I’d sent all the way from Singapore were promptly lost, and I had to do it all over again there and then. I was asked for a way to calculate my CGPA (apparently, Second Upper Honours don’t quite tell you about my performance in university!), and asked for a migration certificate although it’s been three years since I graduated, asked for originals of documents whose scanned copies I’d sent via email. I was irked to the extent that I asked the officer how a reputed institute such as this was still stuck in age-old procedures of faxing and original copies, only to shot back to say all that might work in Singapore, but not in India. It was a great ‘Welcome to India!’ 

I was shocked at how much prices had gone up (somehow things are different when you’re not with your parents and are spending your own money!), confused with the endless cellphone provider options, suddenly felt like buying an iPhone only to realize 750MB data plans cost over Rs.2,000 a month. All the same, it was a relief to be able to go into any restaurant and know that you can order a vegetarian dish freely.  

It feels strange. This blog was started when I was new in Singapore, a way to help me connect back to India and laugh at and adjust to things in Singapore. Now, I’m convinced that I’m returning to Singapore in a few days after this vacation. That I will take a flight, sleep a few hours and get to work. Think of lunch, dinner, and where Chinese, Thai, Greek, or Italian food would be part and parcel of everyday dining out. It’s strange that these are things of the past, at least for the next couple of years. 

Oh well, for now, things have been put on hold thanks to a comfortable trip back home, with my delightful nephew keeping me extremely amused and occupied (this deserves a whole new post!). But Mumbai beckons next week, and it’s back to figuring out life once again!