EXPLORING – becoming normal

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.

The children set up shop at the Child Haven Home in Savarsai. I bought some flowers for a few paper rupees. It brought back great childhood memories.

The children set up shop at the Child Haven Home in Savarsai. I bought some flowers for a few paper rupees. It brought back great childhood memories.

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.

the gift of a flower

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!


6 responses to “EXPLORING – becoming normal

  1. Isn’t it wonderful to experience the normal of others? Here we are in the Hopi nation, normal, being cold, traveling an hour or more to shop, loving spaciousness and quiet. Thanks for sharing your adventure.

  2. Rene, you always put what could be an uncomfortable situation into a positive experience. I used to be uncomfortable when I was stared at in Lesotho, but now I’ll rethink that experience as my old normal. I miss you!

    • I agree Devra, the staring thing takes a while to get used to. It helps to keep reminding myself that in this culture, staring is not considered rude. I miss you and everyone back in Seattle too. Hope you’re enjoying the holiday festivities. – Rene

  3. Your normal sounds exciting and grand on many levels.. I too want a new normal and am going to break down some walls and experience new people, places and things.
    Thank you for allowing us to tag-a-long as your travel through your “normal”

    • Thanks Lynne. I’m sure your normal has some excitement in it as well. Happy to hear you are on the lookout for ways to expand your normal. I am constantly trying new things and experiences, broadening my horizons and my comfort zone. – Rene

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