Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Passage to India

Casey is going to India on business. He works with "off-shore" employees who mostly live in Chennai and Hyderabad. His bosses think it will help things if the people from here go meet the people from there.

He'll be gone for nearly two weeks in March, including his birthday.

27 hours on a plane. Both ways. 10 hours a day in meetings. In the middle of big cities in the second most populated country in the world.

At least he is friends with some of the other people going on this trip.

He asked me, not quite seriously, if I want to go. I have considered it, but in the end, the logistics are too daunting. I would have to: get a new passport, (and pay extra to expedite it), get a bunch of immunizations against things like Hepatitis and Typhoid, plan to take malaria pills for the entire trip and 6 weeks after, arrange for child care for 2 weeks (!!!), pay a thousand or two for a ticket, and then figure out what to do with myself for the first 10 days while Casey is in meetings all day. And then I'd get to go see some sites with my husband for 2 or 3 days.
Now, my younger self would have thought my current self was being totally poopsie. (Songer variation on party-pooper, fogey, stick-in-the-mud, etc.)
My younger self was informed by the gorgeous color photographs in National Geographic. I maintain that the Sari is the most beautiful female clothing in the history of the world. And even the word, India, is beautiful.
My current self (I didn't say older, and don't you think it--I could just as easily have said "the old me used to think. . .but now the new me thinks. . ." That's funny--silly English language.). . .aaand where was I? Oh, yeah--I am still informed by National Geographic, but now I read the articles. And these days it's all about the overcrowded slums, the unemployment, the disease, the westernization--it's totally off-putting. And the PBS documentary about the young women forced into slavery/prostitution wasn't very heartening, I'll tell you. The only other information I have internalized comes from three books--A Passage to India, The Jungle Book, and Little Black Sambo. You might see why I have mixed feelings.

In the end it comes down to this--If I'm going to pay all that money, get all those shots, and saddle someone really generous with my five children, I want to go to China to visit my brother Mike and his family! And I want Casey to be with me full time, not just in the evenings when his head is spinning from speaking computer in nearly comprehensible English.


kate said...

i hear ya. it wouldn't be as fun alone fo sho. hope you spend lots of time with sisters while he's gone so you're not lonely.

maybe we can save up for a big family trip somewhere warm next year!

Sarah C. said...

Edith, if Casey is going to be busy for 10 days, why don't you just fly separately and go for a week? Then childcare wouldn't be such an issue. I really think you should bite the bullet and go. I have so many I should haves--I should have gone to see the Berlin Wall, I should have taken the story on Guam that would have flown me onto an aircraft carrier by helicopter and launched me off by jet catapult...Money unspent is really useless, isn't it?

Sarah C. said...

Also, India has only gotten better. It always has had poverty, prostitution. Now it has a rising middle class and English is the second language--probably the most exotic country with that convenience. I traveled alone to meet Clint in Japan a couple of times and it was exhilarating being able to navigate that on my own. (They lost my luggage, but there were kind people everywhere and I had my 5 Japanese phrases at my disposal!)
When I traveled Europe I noticed all the really "old" people and I thought what a shame they didn't get up and go when they were younger and more energetic.
AND this is a bargain as Casey's travel is paid for. That is why we went to London, because, with Clint coming back from Iraq, his fare was paid for. You are lucky to have so many family options nearby to take your kids.

victoria said...

Yeah, I think no pressure to go unless you really want to go.

I would however encourage you to go renew your passport asap - and don't pay the fees to expedite. There is much less demand for passports now, and they told me, even without the rush, people were getting them in about two weeks. That way you'll have it when you do want to go somewhere on a whim.

Oooh, but maybe this is a sign... the verification word is: sysago. Sissa go? Hmmmm.

April said...

I just finished reading "The White Tiger"...awesome book and I have all those mixed feelings too, like I would be enjoying the India only a select group of Indians would be allowed to enjoy...but still, I feel your pain at having to make such a decision.

Mom & Dad said...

I heard about this contest where 3rd prize was two weeks in India, 2nd prize was one week and first prize was you didn't have to go.