I went back home to Delhi for Spring Break last week. It was a short, hectic break, a good chunk of which I spent traveling. This break in the middle of the semester was a more abrupt change of lifestyle and culture than end-of-the-semester breaks tend to be. As I was packing to come back to college at the end of break, I had a silly epiphany.
When I was a kid, anyone who was going abroad had to bring back a standard gift – chocolates. I remember getting boxes full of Toblerone, Twix, Snickers and other foreign brands of chocolate. Now since the same products are available in India too, chocolate isn’t the standard foreign-gift anymore. At least nobody in India asks me to bring back chocolate. Funnily, the reverse phenomenon seems to be true. I brought back bars of Cadbury’s Bournville and Temptations, products I have not yet found in the U.S. (at least so far). Most of my Indian friends in college also bring back their own stashes of various Dairy Milk chocolates. And when we run out of these, we buy American chocolates and complain about them. I guess nothing can replace Dairy Milk.