Big and Small and Hot and Cold

Over the holiday I grumped that it was difficult to push a cart down the overcrowded baking aisle in the grocery store. I vowed never to go back. Then I laughed. In a few days we’ll land in Chennai, where the city’s 4.3 million person population makes the 736,000 person population of our entire state seem insignificant. Fairbanks has about 100,000 people. By Alaska standards, Fairbanks is big. In India we’ll spend most of our time in Pondicherry, which is considered small with 241,000 people.

Soon we will recalibrate our definitions of big and small.

Then we’ll work on our sense of hot and cold. When I tell our kids, who have grown up in Alaska, to get a hat or mittens they say, “Mom, you don’t understand. You weren’t even born here.” Our current weather, has been much closer to Pondicherry than it should be. Usually in January it’s between -20 F  (-28 C) and 0 F (-17 C). Zero is warm, pleasant even. Schoolkids have outdoor recess until -20 F. Even though right now it’s the cooler season in South India, the weather in Pondicherry is going to be a shock at first as well.

There’s so much more we’ll be adjusting to. So much I can’t imagine right now, busy with packing and scanning and double checking. This afternoon, the girls got in some epic sled runs, and tomorrow, I hope to take the dog for a long snowy walk.


4 thoughts on “Big and Small and Hot and Cold

  • The time has arrived! You, TJ, and the girls shall adjust, assimilate, and blossom!

  • Bon voyage, Nicole! Look forward to reading about your experiences. (Good luck with the heat.) My cousin Divyanand Caird comes from Chennai, he’s a classical musician and has just moved to London to teach the Veena. It sounds like an amazing part of the world. Linda

  • Nicole, look forward to reading your blog while you are in India. Safe travels to you & your family

  • Safe travels to all of you, and enjoy India. Pearl Creek will miss Mr. O’Donnell. Our family spent a year in Pune (pop estimate 5-7 million) 2012-2013. Travel within the country if you can, and you’ll see how diverse the subcontinent is. Wishing you all the best.



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