I sat last night, in my room, in this women’s hostel and I was looking out through the dirty, barricaded windows. I had just spent hours planning lessons for this week and I was knackered. I suddenly thought about how everything around me, feels to be happening to someone else. I thought about this hostel and the randomness of the situation I find myself in. I thought of being the only foreigner and after a 11days I’m still being stared at by some girls who seem to think I’m alien. I thought about how easily I could let this get to me and make me feel like an outsider but felt so strong that it doesn’t get me down. I then thought of the language barrier and how most women don’t dare speak to me, because they either can’t or seem to think I’m something unapproachable - when all I do is walk around and greet everyone and smile, being as open as I can be, regardless if I get a reaction or not. But then I thought of my sweet 25-year old roommate, Litty, who is the bubbliest girl in this building and how happy I am with her company. I also thought of the way I’m always called “ma’am” both in school and in the hostel and how I haven‘t responded to “Niamh“, in nearly 2 weeks.
I was sitting, still by the window, gazing at the men I could see in the distance selling the tropical and colourful fruit, under their wooden huts seeming to have not a worry in the world and embracing the laziness of the Sunday afternoon and I thought about how different my life has become and how much I’d love to sit and chat freely with somebody who can understand my every word, with somebody who isn’t linked to the school or with somebody who doesn’t see me as a person to look up to, or a person who is overloaded with money, or a person to have more respect for than other people they meet. I’m just like them, but that’s not how they see me. Both in school and in the hostel. “Please do not see me as anything different!” That’s all I want to say. But of course they do.
So sometimes I miss having chats and a “good-oul-laugh”. That’s also a reason why I can loose myself in this experience. When a person doesn’t express themselves in all the different mannerisms they usually would, things can feel different. It’s like missing a few little pieces of yourself that would otherwise fill you with so much joy. It’s been 4 weeks nearly, since having nice flowing conversations with someone I class as a friend and who understands my speaking, on all levels, which was sweet Jayanthi in Chennai. But it’s fine because every situation we find ourselves in and every feeling that comes along with the present situation is ALWAYS only temporary. This makes me appreciate the aloneness I can feel, once I’ve brought my energy into the classroom, once the lessons are over and once the next class is prepared. Then everything really is fine.