Heat & dust - olivia's diary

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Olivia’s Diary

September 22, 1922
I am so excited to finally be in India! As soon as it was announced on the boat that it would only take a few more days to arrive in Bombay, my impatience started to get more and more. To be honest, it was quite boring on the boat. Sure, a lot of entertainment was offered to the passengers and the crew was very friendly. After a while however, I startedlonging for some change. I started to feel the need to go somewhere else; my bedroom, the dining hall, the lobby; they all started to annoy me.
But I am here now! During the trip to our house I saw a lot of the beautiful nature in this country. When driving through cities I also saw a lot of local Indian people. They were a bit different than I had imagined. Especially the clothing is different. Inthe streets there are bazaars and everywhere you can smell food.
When I arrived at our house this morning I was very pleasantly surprised. The house is just wonderful! The servants immediately took care of my luggage and there was nothing for me to worry about. Douglas took me to the living room where some cold drinks were waiting for me. Oh I was so happy to see him again and hold him in my arms!It has been such a while!
Unfortunately Douglas couldn’t stay very long; he had to get back to work. This disappointed me a little. I have been missing him so much all these weeks!
When he was gone I decided to start unpacking my luggage; however I found that the servants were already busy doing this. My Hindi is very bad so by waving my hand I tried to send them away.
Now I have finishedunpacking and don’t know what to do anymore. I can’t wait until Douglas will be back to spend the evening with me. However, he had already warned me: it could be quite late and if I’m tired I should go to bed.

December 12, 1923
Tonight, Douglas said, some people from work are coming over to have dinner at our place.
I am very excited to meet these people. The Crawfords will be coming. Mr.Crawford is the Collector who Douglas works for. He’ll also be bringing his wife. Furthermore the Medical Intendent Dr. Saunders and his wife and finally Major and Mrs. Minnies are expected to come.
The servants have been busy all day with cooking a good meal, and I myself have been busy with the decoration of the dining room. I love to have fresh flowers, candles, wonderful plates and preciousblankets. I’ll be wearing my special dress tonight. I wouldn’t want to give Douglas any reason to be disappointed in my capabilities of entertaining guests. He has given me strict instructions on how to behave in certain situations. I will make a good wife.

February 15, 1923
I am in a place called Satipur which is just outside Khatm for almost half a year now. My stay has left a visible mark on thehouse. Bit by bit I changed little things; the way the furniture is arranged in the living room, the decorations in the dining hall and all my cosmetics on the table in the bedroom.
By now I actually don’t really know what to do anymore. The days don’t seem to end. I spend most of my time playing the piano or doing some housework, although this is mostly done by the servants.
The Crawfords, theMinnies and the Saunders now visit us frequently. Through the talks they have with Douglas I got to know quite a little about Satipur and Khatm. Where we live is the British part of the town. There is an Indian prince, called the Nawab who lives in his palace in Khatm.
A few weeks ago there was a dinner party in the palace. I got to see the Nawab for the first time. I have to admit, he is a veryhandsome man! I was quite impressed by the whole event. The food was wonderful, and so was the ambience. I was very impressed by the chandeliers hanging above the extremely long table which not seemed to end.
I also met another Englishman, Harry, who lives with the Nawab in the palace. He was the only person in the room to whom I felt connected.
The Nawab himself also spoke to me a few...
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