Culture Shock, final episode?

As our time living in India is drawing to a close (we will still technically live here for almost two more months, but much of that will be full of traveling and packing), I am realizing there is still a lot that I wanted to write about. So in case I don't get to the following in more detail, here is a list of things that we have come across during our time here:

  • The presence of the swastika.  Since WWII, it is a symbol that we in the west relate to the Nazis, Hitler, and the persecution of the Jews, so it is rarely seen in the US.  But here it is quite common to see it.  In fact, one of the little jewelry bags that came with a set of my pearls has the swastika on it, and I'm not sure whether I will bring it back with me (yeah, I probably will)!  The reason we see it so much here is probably because it is still used as a religious symbol to Hindus and Buddhists.
  • Islam prayer.  Five times a day the Imam calls the faithful to prayer.  It took some getting used to, but now when I do notice it, I find it rather melodic and, in a way, it really blends into the country.
  • The slowest washer/dryer ever.  As someone who has never done their laundry outside the US before, it was shocking to find that our combination washer/dryer takes approximately 5 hours to do one load!  And they are the tiniest loads ever.  In fact, not once have I been caught up with laundry for the entire year that we have lived here (and it can't be because of my own laziness...)!  Apparently, this is how it is in most countries outside the US.  Thank you, America, for huge power-hungry washing machines (I'm serious.).
  • Whipping out the ween.  That is my very cultured and proper way of saying that every time I go out, I see several men by the side of the road, peeing.  And they don't even try to disguise what they are doing.
  • The quest for the perfect lightbulb.  I can't even go into this because lightbulbs have become a very sensitive issue for us.  We search and search for ones that will fit, that are the perfect brightness and color, but we have yet to be successful.  Fortunately, a couple months into our time here, we discovered a place that sells just-ok lightbulbs.  But the perfect one still evades us.