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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Travelling #10: Homecoming to Chennai

I’m home. And sweating.

It is 38 degrees and 95% humidity. I think with the population of 7 million sweating, we must be pushing it up to 100. I shouldn’t whine though. Actually, outside, with a breeze, it isn’t too bad in the shade if you’re stationary. But I’m at work and the power is out, so no a/c, no fans and no breeze, where I’m sweating just thinking (with an obvious solution therefore presented). Ah India, welcoming me home! A week ago I was standing above 6000m with a bitingly dry wind at -15 and now here I am at sea level, 95% humidity and pushing 40 degrees. Quite the change.

I realise that I have slowly lost some of my adaptations and resistances while away. I am finding it will be a few days before that slight fraying of nerves at the constant chaos and bump of bodies goes away. But I smile at the remembered charms I always liked. I missed the bumblebee-coloured rickshaws and I missed my masala dosa. I missed good Indian chai as the touristy places in Thamel in Kathmandu were hit and miss with it (I blame the indiscriminating tourists). I missed my housemates and our lovely maid, who was apparently quite upset Monday morning when she discovered I hadn’t arrived on Sunday as planned and worried I was lost (so nice!). I missed the wallahs everywhere and I missed the lushness of Chennai – say what you will about its grime and dirtiness, it is at least a very green city with palm trees and flowering plants everywhere. I sit eagerly staring out of the auto on the way to work soaking it all back in.

So it is back to India for another 6 months and back to re-start my project. It has been nice to be off travelling and trekking and meeting people (and I promise to get more stories up on that soon), but it is also exciting to be getting back to work and back to doing what I’ve set my career as doing. I’m excited to restart the learning curve 2.0 and to start Tamil lessons (supposed to have been arranged while I was away, fingers crossed). After 6 months, who knows – my visa lets me stay here until mid-October when I may be doing this all again... We’ll see.

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