Tag Archives: inter-cultural relationship

The post that never was…

When I was in India staying at babu’s parent’s house I wrote a post, but never published it, as although I’m pretty sure he didn’t remember I had this blog, I didn’t want him seeing it and I guess I didn’t want to put what I was saying out there, or perhaps for me it just made it all a bit too real.

I stumbled across this again today so thought I would share. Now knowing how the situation turned out – just as we had thought – I can see I spent too much time filled with false hope. But hey, hindsight is 20/20!

“I can’t say that any time in the last 3 years whilst away on holiday that I ever feel ready to go home, I know most people just get to a point where they are ready, I never did. Until now.

I’m sorry to say that I just want to go home. I feel completely isolated and lonely. At the beginning babu tried his best to translate most things, but after several days this wore thin on him, and I find myself in what I almost my 3rd day if complete isolation.

By isolation, I don’t mean I am alone, there are currently 5 people here… 5 people speaking Oriya all the time. I had a few historical facts conferred to me whilst visiting the sun temple yesterday, and I get told “wash your hands” “khaana” “pani” but that’s pretty much where it ends. 

When with his family Babu is a man of very few words towards me, and it’s not helping.

The only thing his dad said to me today was not to step over babu’s legs, a reprimand, not given in a harsh way but a reprimand none the less.

Yesterday I was put in front of the tv and the only English Channel switched on. This morning the same. I’m not a toddler and I’m not the sort of person who often watches tv either.

His dad speaks English, but struggles a little, I think he finds it hard, his sister did, during her education but has since lost all ability, his mum, none at all.

I have 5 more days to ride out here.

I now find myself isolating myself more and more, I don’t want to,  but I feel awkward, I don’t feel comfortable sitting with his family when I can’t understand what is going on at all. I’ve tried it, but when I here my name or a glance is made towards be when they are laughing I can’t help but feel paranoid. I am currently sat on the roof.

I don’t wish to talk about what this means for the future, I think this is something for babu and I to discuss, I just thank god that I didn’t gather my belongings, and emigrate into this life completely blind.

5 more days…. Maybe something will change.. Likely not… But need to stay positive.

Until then…..


I’ll update you guys soon on how my life is moving on and changing, until then, love to all

R x


Time to say goodbye

Every time he was here, the sun came out. This not some metaphor or romantic notion, it is fact, perhaps some work of the Gods, but the weather was always bright whenever he came. Until today.

I’m not one for paying attention to the weather forecast, most likely the reason I am often found in completely non-weather-appropriate clothes, I think interest in the forecast is something that comes with age. But my parents would always chat about it, and there became a running joke, not just between me and him, but also with my parents eventually, that we needn’t worry about the weather this weekend when he’s in port, it’ll be sunny. it always is.

But today is different, it is grey and drizzly, the sun, bless it, is still there trying to break through, and it does occasionally through a crack in the clouds, but ultimately today is not like the rest. For today may just have been the end, the last time we ever see each other. Continue reading

That time of the year again- goodbyes

'Bacio del mare'

Well here we are again, Babu goes home tomorrow.

We’ve been here 3 times so far in our relationship, and actually a few more times than that if you count the various visits in between, but it’s 3 times he’s finished his ship contract and got on a flight home to India for a few months.

The first time was the worst, someone messed up his documents that time and he had ended up with 5 months leave instead of his expected 3, during which time I couldn’t visit him.  Last year was OK, he stayed with me 10 days before going back (even if that didn’t go so well) and we spent a week together in Mumbai during his 3 months leave so it felt a bit more normal for us as I think the longest we went without seeing each other was something like 6 weeks.

This time might be different though.  Last year whilst at home Babu was half-heatedly job searching, but to no avail, if I’m honest I think it was just something for him to do, something for him to focus on, as after the initial joy of being back home and catching up with friends and relatives 3 months is a long time doing nothing.  But this time he’s serious. He is really keen to find himself a job back home.  There are two main reasons for this, and even though for every selfish reason I want him to continue on the ships a year or two longer, I can also see his point of view.

1) He is sick of working on the ships, passengers are unfortunately not always that nice to the people looking after them, and if that’s not great, if there is ever a complaint the managers aren’t all that understanding either. There is no chance for defense or reasoning if there is a complaint, what it comes down to is the passenger is always right  – resulting unfortunately in turning a mid-year recommendation for promotion into an end of year bad review – he just can’t stand the thought of another year in this position. He has also found himself being discriminated against because of me too, but that’s another story.

2) He’s thinking of our future. In the next couple of years we will want to settle down, and he would like to be established in a good job by then, so that  if needs be, he can support me and his family.

Now I can hardly argue against any of those reasons, believe me I know what it feels like to be in a job that is no good to me, and the second reason is utterly sensible! However, at the moment I kinda like things the way they are, it works just fine for us, I’d love to spend a little more time together, but we cope.  If he gets a job, everything will change, we’ll see each other maybe 1-2 times a year, OK we’ll be able to speak every day whereas at the moment its 2-3 times a week but right now we also get to see each other 2-3 times a month too. Continue reading

Goodbyes are never easy

We’ve been saying goodbye to each other in one way or another for almost two years now, most of these are the classic airport scenes I talked about in my post Cliché goodbyes but however we say goodbye, I’m sorry to say, it never gets any easier.  This year alone we have had 3 of these scenes, with a fourth on the horizon this week, I’ll be honest, I only managed to not cry on one of those occasions.

Oh I tell myself this time I won’t cry, besides, I hate crying, it hurts my eyes, makes my nose all snotty and messes up my make-up! but then just as we part he always says something really nice that triggers it! and BOOM! When I cry, I don’t just cry, I CRY, my eyes literally flood – I don’t know whether it is because I keep myself so well hydrated or what but jeez . . it doesn’t stop!  Continue reading

Horror stories

So today I came across yet another one of those relationship horror stories, you know the type that appear int he paper every so often and in those lifestyle magazines every week, it goes something along the lines of this… “he married me for a visa” “I fell in love with a *insert foreign nationality here* hunk, married him and he took all my money” and so on.

And then when I tell people about my relationship with Babu one of the first things they ask me is “oh is he trying to get a visa”!! And then a horror story about someone they knew, or a friend of a friend who has been duped, there was a really sad one where a man left his pregnant wife cos he’s been with her long enough for a visa, awful, but just because babu is foreign, doesn’t mean he should be tarred with the same brush. To be honest I get the opinion he’s not too keen on the UK, though I spend a lot of time trying to convince him otherwise!

I understand that the media only tells these horror stories, not the successes, which can influence peoples opinions hugely. Thank goodness for the trust I have in babu, and people like Sharell Cook who shares her successful relationship story!!

Even at first I was drawn in by all that horror, I am ashamed to admit it, but yes, I was cautious at first not to come across as too wealthy, which is ridiculous because I’m not, but I had just met him as a passenger on a cruise ship in the Caribbean, so a fair assumption to be made. But then I got real!!!! YES, he is from a different country, YES, we have different cultures, slightly different views, ways of thinking, but I ask you right now – how are the risks different from any other relationship? Continue reading

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