But the first few days were odd. I had to eat about four bacon sandwiches over the first few days in order to satiate my cravings. I had to remember to put toilet paper into the loo and not in the nearest available wastepaper basket. I spent a lot of time emailing, calling friends and visiting.
I had an odd moment when on Xmas eve I made a mad dash round a nearby town to see if I could get a last minute present for my brother which was a DVD he'd requested and I'd forgotten to get him. After visiting six shops I was forced to enter the ASDA. In a big nameless town in Essex, ASDA is the last place you want to be on Xmas eve. My senses were assaulted not by spices and horns beeping but an altogether different kind of mania. My companion pushed me stupified onto the travelator to get up to the first floor. Looking at my screwed up face she said yes it's full of common people in here isn't it? It wasn't the people it was the bananas. The veg aisles (note the plural) were stuffed full of enough produce to feed an rural Indian village for weeks. I hadn't seen anything like it for months. Then a woman's screechy voice with an undeniably Essex brogue screamed that the turkeys were half price and we should all rush to the meat counter to purchase her extra meat. Jeez. Coupled with the grabbing of merchandise going on around me, I nearly passed out at the cacophony of materialism going on inside the store.
At home I pretty much didn't leave the house for two days over Xmas and slowly returned to normality in the UK via the TV (there's one bonus of the old set you know). Well travelling Kerala and diving in The Andamans for three weeks helped too. I have since completed my rehabilitation and after two weeks in the UK I am settled right back in, I'm back to work and behaving normally. Well I say normal but I'm definitely more Indian now. I stand closer to people on the tube and personal space is less of an issue these days. I occasionally burp out loud and realise I am in so-called polite company. but at least the toilet paper goes where it is supposed to.
I'm looking forward to this year. I think bigger, I want another challenge, I have plans and I have new interests. It's all good and I'm still in contact with Deaf Way and VSO and here to assist with anything they need. The internet is a marvellous thing, eh? I miss my colleagues but I know I won't be losing contact with them. No need to be sad, I just gained some very good friends. Will I go back. Hell yes. In some way or another.
The other thing of note is I have enjoyed blogging and YouTubing immensely. It has sparked off a writing hobby and I now regularly turn my musings into short stories. I am putting a natural end to this blog in order to spend time on the world of fiction.
To complete these musings, here are the things I wished I'd written about and didn't have time:
The shockingly high incidence of sexual abuse of Deaf children
The lack of a decent bilingual education for Deaf children
Rubbish, (the lack of proper) recycling and ragpickers
Climate change in India
The levels of corruption in the Government
The experience of practicing Buddhism in India (eye-opening)
Why people get involved in development work (cos we're lovely?)
How development work changes your perspective of life back home (it really does)
There are obviously many other things that never would have reached this medium but that's me to know and you to find out. For now...Adieu!