There are perks of being married in the army and there are downsides too. One of the downsides is too much of homealone! Yes, whenever your husband is out for a no-family field posting, you stay back alone. Some army wives choose to stay in a Separate Family (SF) accommodation while some prefer staying on their own due to various reasons like unavailability of SF accommodations, need for high-speed internet for work and so on. I happened to land in this live-alone-in-a-small-town situation in the first year of my marriage as my husband happened to be on one his field postings. Being a girl who grew up in Delhi and worked in Bangalore for 4 years, living alone was not a big challenge. I was used to doing the day-to-day chores on my own and managing my own life pretty well . Before I landed in a nice, beautiful small towns in the Himalayan foothills, I was unaware of the challenges ahead. So, this post sums up what I have learnt in this one year. If I knew all this earlier, life would have been a little more boring. 🙂
#1 Save important phone numbers. You will not get everything on Just Dial. So, talk to your neighbors and save the phone numbers of the plumber, electrician, postman, vegetable vendor, carpenter working in your society or locality.
#2 Keep your refrigerator stocked. The idea of walking out in your shorts to fetch a packet of noodles or just order from Domino’s late in the evening is not a very good idea. The shops generally shutdown by 8 pm and venturing out alone is not too pleasant if you hate unwarranted attention.
#3 Keep your phone charged all the time. In my short stint, there were quite a lot of power shortages and other problems and in one such situation, my phone had just enough battery to make one emergency call. Not too good a situation!
#4 Always keep of cash with you. The ATMs near your home might just crash and the outages sometimes last for 2-3 days and, mind you, you don’t have an ATM machine here at every 10 meters.
#5 Know your neighbors. Greet them. They are very, very helpful people. That’s one good thing about small towns.
#6 Keep a pet. When loneliness strikes, you need someone. However, before you adopt a pet, be very sure that you will have the time and energy to take care of them.
#7 Be on good terms with your domestic help. If you are nice to her and she is nice to you, you will have a less painful time in the local markets. Ask her to accompany you to the haats and shops nearby if she has time.
#8 Dress appropriately. Obviously, this is a debatable topic. However, the only point I am making here is don’t stand out in the crowd by dressing up in an odd way. Wearing shorts to Sabzi Mandi is like inviting some unpleasant remarks.
#9 Make friends. If you have someone in your society/building who you can be friends with, just get along. If not, join some hobby classes/weekend classes and make friends. It’s good to know some people in the city.
# 10 Learn the local language. It’s a great opportunity to learn a new language and you will not feel out of place.