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  • Outside, winter was back with a vengeance. Inside, we were eating your Chai tea-coconut rice pudding, with warm pralined pistachios - a recipe you’d invented using the fresh spices you brought home from your trip to India. It makes our bellies smile and fills the kitchen with sweet, pungent perfume. What a treat! Was it your first time there? You tried hard to get a taste of the whole place, you said, the cities and the villages, the rich parts as well as the poor parts…

    We were hungry for your travel stories, but this is what you said instead: that India disappointed you, and that your romance with the country (which had held your fascination for some years) was definitively over. Maybe if you’d been able to visit earlier, you would’ve loved it (or allowed yourself to love it?) more. The only thing you learn from travelling nowadays, is how much is lost and disappearing. It’s just not the same. diluted. homogenizing. Americanizing? It’s all such a shame! Centuries of rich history and distinct culture, changed. For what? To be more like us?

    Then the news: you’re moving to Boston in a few months. (Your husband had a research position in the US he couldn’t refuse) You were happy for him, of course, but how much the idea of moving appalled you. It’s a pleasant enough place, you were sure, but so boring, so bland…

    So bring some spice, I think. Maybe change is the way that cultures survive...
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