Culture Shock: Dirt

Culture Shock: Dirt

cultureshock dirt

Apart from the bugs and the noise, the other major problem we encountered when we moved to this house was how dirty it was. Dust was everywhere. A couple Indians had even “cleaned” the house before we moved in. When we arrived, we were expecting clean. According to them it was clean, so we started calling it “India clean.” We spent two full days cleaning the house, we even used hydrochloric acid and thinner, and it was still dirty because the dust had been accumulating over the years since the previous tenants didn’t care about cleaning, and the owners don’t seem to care either. Parts of it are so dirty that it won’t be possible to get clean unless they are ripped apart and replaced.

dirty window

All the windows in the house look like this. (except the ones in the bedroom which we bought.)

The dust in India is insane, it manages to hit every possible surface. It is a must to sweep every single day because the dust will magically find its way back inside. Our floor manages to still be dirty even after our cleaner has swept and mopped. Indians seem to be used to it, they don’t seem to care much about cleanliness as we do in the West. It’s like they don’t even see it.

We went to town with Shekhar yesterday to get some passport photos, and while we waited, we were talking about how dirty India is; all the shops, all the roads, all the floors and walls surrounding the shops… Josh was wondering out loud why India is so dirty; even the Chinese who also have a super dense population, manage to keep their country clean. Shekhar blamed the government but just sounded like another excuse to which Josh responded: “the government isn’t responsible to keep this privately owned shop and this floor clean”.

I am looking forward to the day when we can move to a newly built house (preferably a house that we design), or even a new apartment, because as mentioned, the dust in this old house has been accumulating over time, and just now a couple of Westerners decided to move in and start cleaning it daily. I am a bit more used to the dirtiness now than I was 2 months ago, only a tiny tiny bit. I mean, I am more comfortable being here than I was the first couple of days when we moved in 2 months ago, when I was too grossed out to even step on the floor barefoot and I was sweeping like 5 times a day. It obviously helps that we try to keep the house clean.

sweeping

One of the first times I swept the house with an Indian broom.

We keep reminding ourselves that God has His reasons for choosing this house for us. He might be trying to purposely put us out of our comfort zone, He might be doing some internal work in us, He might be using the house as a proxy to do some work for other people involved (workers, etc), who knows! All I know is that there is a reason, in fact more than one reason, because we would have never chosen this house for us if it wasn’t for our surrender to God’s will, and because of that, we should be accepting towards this house, or at least try. We should have patience as well because we know that once we are done with God’s “work” here, we don’t have to stay. We have seen it in our lives various times, how God moves us around for different purposes.

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