I have never been so happy to see New Jersey.
I made it to Newark last night, mostly in one piece, only 16.5 hours late. After 12 13 days, two canceled flights, 35 hours of plane and train delays, two stitches in my left leg, seven nights of insomnia, 17 hours in Bombay (seven of them in the daylight) and one rifle-armed rickshaw ride, I was ready for home – even if I had to travel the entire length of the garden state to get there. Dave picked me up at the airport and we drove – on a glorious American highway, with lanes! and rules! that people follow! – southbound, stopping at Wendy’s for my first cheeseburger in nearly two weeks.
It’s so good to be back.
India was … indescribable. Insane. Exhilarating, awful, overwhelming, scary, confusing and beautiful, all at the same time. It was a sensory overload, a lesson in worst case scenarios and a reminder of how in love I am with my friends.
I’m glad I went, though that didn’t stop me from laughing in the face of the customs official (was it the first or second time I tried to leave the country? can’t remember) that informed me my visa required two months between visits. “No worries,” I assured him. “I’d rather kill myself than come back anytime soon.”
I actually don’t feel that way right at this very moment, sitting in my old Philadelphia bedroom, staring out at a city that seems so calm, and almost lifeless, in comparison. I already miss Sarah and Amruta (a lot) and even, somehow, the craziness of it all (a little.) I don’t know if that really makes the hours spent in an Indian ER or the havoc-wreaking Delhi fog worth it, but I’m going to embrace this jet-lag-induced nostalgia for now and just go with it. If nothing else, I’m coming away from this with some really great stories – which, I think, was the point of this whole thing to begin with.