Most expats are unaccustomed to having help around the house—unless we have children, or as we used to call our kids, “little indentured servants.” Indian drivers, housekeepers, nannies, and cooks are foreign concepts—no pun intended. But in India, most of the places you’ll consider living have servant’s quarters, a separate servant’s entrance, and potentially a separate elevator. What is a normal part of affluent Indian life seems quite absurd to many of us.
It’s just before nine in the morning on a sunny, unseasonably warm February day in Hyderabad, India, and several teams of expats, mostly members of the Twin Cities Expat Association (TEA), wait for the start of the TEA Cares Hyderabad Hunt.
I suppose the beginning is the best place to start.
We returned last Sunday, 7 February 2016, to the frozen, uninviting bosom of Milwaukee from a four-day trip to the happiest place on earth—no, not Disneyworld, but close—a bar, which in this case was at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. We arrived and collected our seven pieces of luggage at the same hotel from which we departed a few days prior.
We fooled everyone into thinking our weeks of home trip planning, 19 hours aboard two airplanes, and tongue biting as we navigated incompetent airport security, was all to spend time with friends and family. We may truly be evil geniuses. Boooohahahahahaha (evil-sounding, deep-throated, sinister laugh)!
An expat going home from India is a bit more complicated than flying on holiday to Florida for a week—it’s akin to planning an Everest summit and starts weeks before departure, setting in motion a series of events starting with a grueling trek and ending after family visits, gastro satisfaction, and enough shopping to collapse a Sherpa.