As I’ve adjusted to life here in Bangalore, my complete fascination with the most mundane parts of life have begun to wane. Gradually, the excitement and terror that accompanied buying bananas for breakfast, doing my laundry or walking to work dissipated.
Well, that’s partially untrue. The walk to work will never cease to be somewhat surreal — scooters whizzing past me, dodging cows. Goats lazily chewing leaves as I pick my way through the crowd. Something about that will always remain a little bit nerve-wracking and wonderful. But I digress.
You may remember my adventures with my toilet my first week here. I call them “adventures” most sincerely, as they demanded everything a good adventure demands: bravery, persistence, a little bit of luck. And of course, they had a happy ending.
So imagine my surprise when, while I am away at work, this sprouts from my floor unannounced:
Yes, that’s a toilet. One that any of us would recognize right off the bat. And yes, it’s just sitting there where my nice little hole used to be. And no, I was not expecting it.
To be honest with you, dear reader, who was probably hoping I was done sending you photos of my bathroom, I have mixed feelings about this new addition. Certainly, it’s nice to have a more familiar place to, well, sit. Very sudden, though. My father suggested that it was the work of a toilet fairy — akin to the tooth fairy — who grants good little foreigners Western-style toilets. I’m inclined to agree.
I’ve found this newly-sprouted toilet to be a fairly good analogy for life here in India: Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, you don’t.
You discover that the laundry regiment you thought you’d perfected isn’t so perfect when you go to work in damp pants that didn’t dry overnight as you’d hoped they would. You go to buy bananas and can’t access the ATM because a very large bull has taken shelter from the rain directly in front of the door. And every day on the way home from work, there’s a new, different, equally lazy-looking goat munching on leaves.
Simply put, while the terror may fade, there’s really no such thing as “mundane” here. Not for a tourist, anyway. And I think I could get used to that.