Back in Pune

It’s 5:30. I can’t sleep. Jet lag does that to you I guess. Yesterday was a bit fuzzy. The flights were messy, or at least the flight landing in Zurich. The guy sitting next to me and I hadn’t spoken the entire trip, but during the landing when we were both breathing a bit hard due to the turbulence, we tried to make jokes to calm ourselves down. Turns out he’s a teacher (American) in Switzerland. It would have been nice to speak earlier I guess. On the way out people came in between us and as I was transferring to my flight to India, we didn’t get to say goodbye or exchange cultural shock stories.
Once I landed back in India I felt ok. This is what it is going to be. That’s what I told myself. I understand how people can just travel back and forth all the time. It feels almost natural. Kritika booked a van for me back to Pune, it was a lifesaver because regular cabs were more than twice the amount. When all the riders were in the van all I wanted to do was sleep (didn’t do much of that on the plane). There was an Austrian man, a jazz musician, who is collaborating with a traditional Indian dance group. He has been traveling to India for short stints for the past 11 years. He wanted to talk, and when I wasn’t passing out, we would talk. I told him about my old days of jazz trumpet. It was weird and out of context for me to be in that world again, if only even in conversation.
My roommate and dog are both away. It was strange coming into my house again, especially because of a few new items in my living room. I allowed myself a few minutes to breathe and unpack before passing out at almost 5am. Yes, I worked yesterday, fuzzily, but I worked. It was really nice seeing everyone from work; I handed out mini gifts including I love NY key chains, requested items, and gummy bears and sour gummy worms. The office loved the candy. After a long meeting I resigned to go home and sleep for a bit. My friend Shweta is getting married, and her words were, I will kill you if you don’t come to my sangeet, a pre-wedding ceremony with the women of the wedding. I waited for my other friend who was going after work and we were both there only for the post festivity food. I lasted about an hour before I said that I needed to pass out.
Driving is a bit daunting again, although I am used to it. The dirt and dust is just awful. I also really, really, need to clean my house, it’s affected there quite a bit. The weather is perfect. My friends who are sending me text messages welcoming me back make me feel like a million dollars. I’m excited for the return of my roommate and to see my friends. I’m really excited to start seeing all the kids too. One girl calls me all the time, she’s made me promise to go to her birthday party on Sunday. Today we have our monthly Saturday teacher’s meeting. It’ll be nice to see all of the teachers again as well. It was good timing to come back now.

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