My second month in a foreign land – November #GratitudePost

November has been a mixed bag of emotions. Its my second month away from home and the longest I stayed away from my family.

The longest I stayed away from my little girl was 2 nights when I had to travel to Pune to get the apartment agreement signed when we were about to move- and now I haven’t seen her since 2 months.

Its tougher than I imagined but I knew in a way what I was signing up for. I do try and remind myself its just 2 weeks more and then I am back home and with her.

This time away from my kiddo and family has been a time where I could get to know myself better, explore new facets of my personality, I was down in the dumps a few times but I found courage to put the bad thoughts behind, look around at the brighter side of things and smile.

It isn’t the most pleasant time to be living in Switzerland with winter having kicked in- the tree outside my apartment has shed all its leaves and is barren now. Most days there is hardly sunlight- its 9 am and it looks like 6 am with the overcast sky and 3.30 in the noon its already dark. The temperature hovers between -3 degrees to 2 degrees and most people prefer staying indoors. The streets are deserted but walk into a restaurant and its a very different picture there- overcrowded, buzzing with activity.

I had these few spells of darkness – questions about my career, am I doing the right thing? Is it worth it? About relationships- people in my life, unfulfilled expectations, believing too much in what others say and then falling flat on my face- November dint begin on a very good note. But the thing is – as days passed, I could find myself thinking coherently. The mist cleared, I introspected and realised what went wrong, what was it that I did wrong? I cant control the actions of others but what I can control is my thoughts, train my mind, rationalise things and I realised I have to work more on it. The not so good experiences in life leave you with heartache, but more importantly they leave you with life lessons. Grateful to have taken home something positive from this.

My gratitude list for November is  about new people  who touched my life and left their imprints

  • New friends in a new city- I met this Indian couple from Hyderabad at a friends Diwali party in Zurich- Annie and Chaitanya. For reasons unknown , you just hit it off with some people. Annie and I had this connection and this month this lovely couple invited me home where I was treated to scrumptious Indian food- pulao, chicken curry and prawns. Annie packed some food for me to take home, how sweet was that. We ended the month with a bang- by partying in Zurich. My first real pub experience here where we were out till 1. I am not a party person and the only joy for me in going to parties is dancing. I totally enjoyed this experience and am grateful for the love and warmth I received from them.
  • My hubby was in Zurich for 2 weeks and this was a wonderful time for us to rebond and rekindle our lost romance. I strongly feel the Gods conspired to make this happen. Life has been rough as a couple after the baby came and with a long distance its been tough to have time  together. But these 2 weeks it was just the 2 of us, we reminisced our early days together, we do not have all the answers about where life is headed but we know we will figure it out “together”. I am grateful to God and the Universe  for this totally unexpected time we got as a couple.23795071_10155625540245269_13914705201439841_n.jpg
  • My maiden paragliding experience in Interlaken – I cant believe I did it finally! Taking spontaneous decisions is sometimes good! My pilot Pascal made this a truly memorable one- the conversations , cheering for me and talking in Hindi- is what added to the making this an enjoyable experience. More on the complete story on my blog.

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  • We visited the beautiful city of Montreux which is the French part of Switzerland and in the course of this spell binding train ride which is called The “Golden Pass” thats a 1.5 hour ride in a panoramic train with some surreal views of snow capped mountains – we met an Indian couple who were visiting from NY. The said part is the conversations started at the end of the ride whereas it could have been so much fun had we started talking early. We visited the Chilton Castle in Montreux together and spoke about India, parenting, life in a foreign land. We exchanged numbers and the lady Rinku and I are still in touch. Amazing isn’t it- I had never expected to meet someone and forge connections in this way. Grateful for these pleasant moments and sweet gestures from someone who was just a co passenger on the train.

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We also met Arif from Pakistan on another journey  from Bern, he has been living in Switzerland for 10 years and he went on and on, telling us about the culture, how he misses talking to people and why he was so glad that he met someone he could speak to. I am usually a silent person and prefer reading or plugging in my iPods on train journeys but this was one long conversation I enjoyed.(mostly listening to!)

  • The beautiful city of Lucerne and what better way to explore it than with a local who has lived here all his life. My colleague at work Pascal (too many Pascal’s!) took me around the city and gave me a flavour of the local life in a atypical way which I absolutely loved.The conversations and coffee at one of the roadside cafes is what added to the charm. Grateful when people go out of their way to make your stay memorable. More on my blog  on Lucerne 

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  • I have been eating out mostly – living in the heart of the city there are multiple choices with Indian, Malaysia, Thai, Continental  food. This Indonesian restaurant that I visited for the 4th time now is special not just for the delicious food but the warmth of the staff and especially the owner. An Indonesian woman who is the owner cum chef, comes out and greets her patrons, asks them about the food with a lovely smile on her face. We had quite an interesting conversation with her about Indonesian food, and one of the primary reasons I go back here is because of the people and how they make me feel. I am grateful for this kindness and hope I can do my bit in spreading cheer around.
  • My blog has been buzzing with flash fiction mostly this month and a few  travel stories. However without any contest or blog hop the traffic has been a bit low. As a writer one wishes to be read, you look forward to people commenting and sharing your work. It is disappointing when a post you thought was simply awesome just disappeared in an ocean of posts. At such times you sometimes question your ability, though that thought passes. You remind yourself you write because you love writing, everyday is not a sunny day. At such times a few good souls are always around to listen to you, make you feel better and remind you that your writing is all about you, let this feeling stay strong in your heart. Thanks to Kanika who has been my cheerleader at all times.

November has been an eventful month, in fact I know my next gratitude post would be quite different than the one in October and November as I would be back home. These 2 months staying away has helped me evolve as  a person, I realise I am not so strong as I may look, I am vulnerable, I do make mistakes and have my weak moments. Acknowleging this and not being harsh on myself is what has been the biggest learning.

I look forward to December , half of which is in Switzerland the other half back home, with 2 weeks off work.  A much needed break from work and time with my daughter and mom.

How was your month? What were the things you are thankful for? Do share and I look forward to hear from you.

Here’s wishing you a fun filled Christmas and Happy New Year.

Linking up with effervescent Vidya Sury’s Gratitude Circle

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6 thoughts on “My second month in a foreign land – November #GratitudePost

  1. Aweee! Loved your post Akshata. It is difficult not being read for posts which you know are good.

    It’s awesome that you got some couple time with your husband. Before you know it you will be reunited with your little one and all this will seem like one big adventure.

    Being a mom away from her kid is tough. I am glad you were able to pull yourself up whenever the world got you down.

    Sending More strength and happiness to you for December

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Namy for the encouraging words. Times like these are truly testing, for finding strength in adversity and picking up the pieces all alone is what has made me realise things about myself and learn something new

      Like

  2. Wow!!! What a beautiful post..I do not know where to begin… spending time as a couple is quite difficult after the baby comes and I am so happy that you got a chance… paragliding!!! I am scared of heights and never do it myself in a million years but am sure you had a awesome experience… missing your child is something I can understand but another two weeks and you would be home…I am so enjoying reading your Swiss diaries..keep them coming..

    Liked by 2 people

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