back and back

            It’s been a while, but it’s time to write again. In two days I’ll be flying back to Pune, back to my friends there, back to the city I called home. For the past month and a half I’ve learned to relive in New York, to call here home again and feel I have done so pretty successfully. And now, I’m uprooting myself again to go back for six weeks. This time, I’m working with an international organization that promotes cross cultural exchanges through language immersion. It’s pretty interesting. I’m in charge of seventeen American high school students who will go live in Pune to study Hindi and live with host families. I’ll have to help them with their cultural, emotional, and social transitions as they try to integrate and learn about India. I’m excited to share a bit of my adopted country with some impressionable minds and hope that they love it at least half as much as I did.

            For me, I get to live with Gayatri, enjoy the company of my friends again, be in the rain (not sure if that’s a great thing), and take some more time before settling into another job. This time I want the job to be a career. I’m looking forward to settling into something I know I can stay at for at least as long, and hopefully longer, than I stayed with Akanksha.

This has been a rollercoaster ride for me. I’ve been meaning to write, and have actually started writing about adjusting back, but never seemed to finish or publish my entries. I’ve been listening to Hindi music on the subway, it’s easier than listening to songs or playlists that I listened to in India that were in English. It doesn’t fit. I can’t walk on the right side of the street. I always end up on the left side. On a side note, while driving to my friend’s wedding last weekend, I turned into the left side of the road twice. There was no one around, but it was something I did. It’s weird what goes away and what doesn’t. A friend of mine from India left a message on my voice mail. I had my friend listen to it and she didn’t understand anything. Could it be that my friends’ accents are stronger than I knew?

Something that has been great, and has been reaffirmed twice in the past two weeks, is the strength and quality of some of my friendships. Today I had breakfast with a friend I know from college. Our conversation ended tonight with our texts saying how happy she is that I’m back and how happy I am that we survived distance. My other happy moment was at my friend’s wedding – the fact that I was there was very special. The fact that I’ll be back and be able to be there when we get together for another small reunion (high school friends) is also really nice. Access to certain things has been great. Moving back with my parents is great, staying with my sister is also great. Sleeping, as I’m about to do now, is also priceless, but that’s anywhere.

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