The Beginning of the End

It’s hard to believe we’ve gotten to the point in the year when we are beginning our endings. Last week had our last visit to the Foreign Regional Registration Office where they extended our visas to the end of July-just long enough for us to collect our last paycheck and get ourselves and our shipment out of India. Today we sold our car. We’re really going to be embracing Mumbai over these last five weeks as get around using rickshaws, taxis, and Uber. Some of our furniture will be going later this month and we will pack everything else up in early June.

The countdown is on.

In so many ways we are ready to leave. Unlike Brazil, where I think we all agree we could have lived another few years, we are tapped out of Mumbai and India, in general. This last year as been a difficult one for many reasons and I think to stay beyond this year would have invited a lot of negativity into our memories of India. It’s better to leave a place before you’re bitter, disillusioned, and disenchanted.

At this four years ago Paul wrote a great post on our old Brazil blog about the top 10 things we would miss about Brazil. I toyed with idea of doing that here, but I just don’t feel ready yet. To do it now would seem disingenuous. There are so many great things that have happened here, but I’m not sure I have an adequate perspective at this point to sincerely reflect on our time here.

In the mean time I am hoping to squeeze a just a little bit more out of time here. I have five things still at the top of my Mumbai list:

The Dadar Flower Market

There are so many markets here in Mumbai I could never get to all of them even if I tried. But for years I’ve wanted to make the early morning trip to see the flower market opening up.

The Door Table and Chor Bazaar

This one seems unlikely, but it is still at the top of my list. There are so many beautiful doors I’ve seen over the last four years. I’m desperate to find one to make into our family dining table. Time is ticking and I haven’t found the door or the carpenter yet {insert sad emoji}. Still I am holding out hope I can make it happen.

Elephanta Island

Elephanta is often at the top of visitor’s lists, but we haven’t had many visitors. As a result we still haven’t made it to the caves just 10 kilometers from the Gateway. The heat is oppressive at this time of year, but I think with an early start we could do it.

Host one last Switch party

Over the last few years I’ve hosted various evenings for friends to come over with their once-loved but no longer worn clothes. We toss them on the bed, pour some wine, and spend a few hours finding new treasures to take home. All the leftover clothing is donated to a nearby church or charity. This needs to happen just once more since many of us our cleaning out our closets in anticipation of a move.

Mangoes and Vanilla Ice Cream

Mumbai has monsoons, a dry season, and a mango season. The mangoes are sweet and ripe and perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I doubt we’ll ever live somewhere again with such magical mangoes so I want to enjoy our last season.

Perhaps I am not ready to reflect on our time here because I still have so many things I’d like to fit in. There are favorite shops I want to visit and special restaurants I want to eat at one last time. Here’s to hoping we can fit it all in during these last five weeks!

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