Now, a word about Foreign Service housing. It is free, so I don't complain about it much. Only when things go terribly wrong like there is a burst pipe in the bathroom at 3am or a typhoon drops a giant tree on top of it (both true stories.) So I'm not complaining that I'm in temporary housing that is decorated in "early circus tent" or that the washer is completely confusing and impossible to work. It has four settings--flower, upside-down ice cream cone, butterfly, and spaghetti. There are no words, just pictures. There are lots of snowflakes, but if you push a snowflake nothing happens. We've mostly been using the spaghetti setting, and sometimes butterfly. So far the clothes haven't disintegrated, so we're hoping that's the right approach because the average cycle takes 3 hours. And we're also hoping that when we finally get to move into our actual house, then we will have a washer that we can figure out. The dryer is awesome. It has two settings--high, low. You can turn it on or off. I love the dryer.
I'm not kidding about the circus tent, either. Each room in the house is a different color and some of the individual the walls as well. We have turquoise, saffron, magenta, slate blue, teal, and lime green. The furniture is gold and the rug is red. I hear that the previous occupant said he wanted something cheerful, but it's rather more grimace inducing. I think the living room gives me a headache. It's a little like this only less coordinated.
We may be moving into our house next week, which would be awesome. It is a charming house with lots of space for our things, which would look lovely in it. However, we're not sure we actually have any things anymore because we got an email from our shipping company saying there had been a train wreck and they would get back to us. Thankfully it was not this accident in which people died. That was an actual tragedy which helps me keep the possible loss of all our things in perspective.
They told us it was a different accident and the company had sent a photo showing part of the train sunk in water. The ground under the tracks gave way and the train just sunk. They have assured us that our things are not in the water. So we may have things still, if they're not taken off the train by "salvagers" and we may eventually get them if they figure out how to get the train out of the water and back onto a track that is intact. So to my friends who put a Christmas tree in our HHE, I'm sorry that your tree might have perished in a train wreck. Thankfully we have insurance, which I'm pretty sure we're going to need. And here's a trip for the future, if you live in India and are receiving your goods by train and they might have been in a wreck, do NOT Google "train river wreck India." It will give you nightmares.
So obviously living in India has its challenges, but exploring a new city with places like this is way better than a brownie.
We've been to markets with spices and jewelry and clothing, ridden in rickshaws, gone to eat at amazing restaurants, and even managed to find ingredients locally for taco night. So even if I never see my beautiful sweaters or my Chinese 100 Fu chest again, it will still have been worth it. I'm a little sad about the baby photos and the Christmas ornaments, though. Those are harder to replace than sweaters, which I'm already looking online for. Which reminds me--it's time to go shopping!