As I was traveling through the bustling city of Hyderabad, India weaving in and out of traffic, amid the racket of honking horns and roaring engines, with the warm air streaming in through the open auto rickshaw bringing with it alternating aromas of food, flowers, and feces, I thought to myself how normal this all had become to me.
How strange it is that these formerly foreign sights and sounds have become normal, almost expected. I am comfortable in this exotic entrancing land. But, it’s not just this scenario that has become normal, there are so many others…
Pouring pitchers of freezing water over my cold shivering body a.k.a the bucket bath – normal. Killing cockroaches – normal. Being greeted every morning by a barrage of tiny voices shouting “Sister! Sister!” – normal. The ever present line of ants marching across walls, floors, clothes lines, my bed – normal.
Wearing what amounts to pajamas all day every day (the traditional indian dress or Salwar Kameez). Washing my clothes in a bucket. Using, actually preferring, a squat toilet. Being the only caucasian person around. Being stared at, relentlessly. Getting my picture taken by complete strangers. Getting my picture taken with complete strangers. Mosquitoes. Not wearing a seatbelt. Not having a seatbelt. All normal… So many things that originally may have been strange and uncomfortable to me are now a part of my normal.
It’s funny how familiar even the strangest of things can become. What is normal anyway? A personal comfort zone. The usual, average, or typical state or condition. Normal changes from day to day, ever expanding or narrowing with your perceptions and experiences.
My challenge to you, dear reader – make your normal bigger, better, beyond your wildest imagination. Let it be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! (If you say it loud enough, you’ll always sound precocious.) Another thing that is now part of my normal – singing silly songs.
Thanks for reading!