1. I’m grumpy when I’m hot. Living in a frying pan for six months can turn you into a raging Hulk at the smallest things:
“No thanks, I don’t smoke. No I don’t want to buy your cigarettes as I’m not a smoker. No I don’t want to buy your cigars either. I’m sure they’re very good quality, but…That is a good price, however, I still don’t smoke.”
2. I really like noodles. Before travelling to Asia, my experience of noodles was restricted to beef Pot Noodle and two trips to Wagamama’s. Now it’s Japanese oily ramen soup, thin Thai vermicelli noodles in Pad Thai, transparent glass noodles dresses in barbecued meat Korean-style, or cold fat soba noodles in matcha green tea flavour.
3. I can get homesick. Even someone who is uber independent can find being away from home difficult. As I’ve grown older I’ve come to appreciate home more, and now it’s even harder to leave. The best remedy is staying in touch with folks back home frequently. I’m old school and prefer sending letters, but the luxury of contacting everyone in 2 seconds through Whatsapp isn’t lost on me.
4. Squirrels are fascinating in any country. I’m not sure why I find their ragged tails and tiny snatching claws so appealing, but if I distilled every photo I’ve ever taken into a pool of negatives, I’m pretty sure half the goop would be blurry shots of squirrels. Having lived near Greenwich Park in London with almost no income, they became my favourite pastime. Yes, some may call them rodents of the trees, but even pigeons enjoy being revered in India.
5. I behave like a country bumpkin everywhere. After spending nearly 5 years living in London, you’d have thought that I would have stopped trying to make eye contact and trying to talk to strangers. Never! When I’m on the road or even just commuting to work, I’m always open to making conversation. Although it’s easy to live in a capsule glued to your screen, I like to think that we’re all connected and perhaps even interested in one another. Even if that just means saying “Gesundheit!” aggressively when someone sneezes nearby.