After I graduated from Art College in Scotland in 2009, I impulsively booked a flight to Delhi (because it was cheap). The plan was to travel in India for a few weeks before moving to Australia to work as an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher and pursue my career as a failing artist. But on my first day in Delhi I met an Indian guy, and decided it would be a much better idea to scrap my plans and move in with his family instead.
In the two-and-a-bit years that followed, I learned how to make chapati and sabji, how to carry a bucket of water on my head, how to drive an autorickshaw and how to survive two 45 degree summers without air conditioning (I practically died). I studied Hindi at Delhi University, lived in my own apartment in the potholed, wandering-cow-filled north of the city, and then in the swanky, expat-infested south. And in the middle of all this I got a job as a columnist for Delhi’s First City magazine, and as a blogger for the Times of India.
But, like a hot cup of chai, good things don’t last forever, and now that my desi romance is over and my Hindi course has finished, I’ve finally left India.
So where on earth am I now, then? In the same spontaneous way that I booked that flight to Delhi, I applied for a university teaching job in Inner Mongolia (an autonomous region in northern China). I’m still finding my feet here, but I reckon this year is going to involve all sorts of weird and wonderful experiences. So watch this space!