The 36 hour return trip home was quite painless and uneventful especially given my bad luck with travel in the past. I left for the Kolkata airport around noon on Sunday. The most anxiety surrounding the trip was when my driver had to stop 3 times and ask cab drivers for directions to the airport. This made me a bit nervous but once road placards appeared with “Airport” and an arrow I knew I was fine.
The buses and trucks here are hand painted with decorations (these are mostly birds and flowers)and text telling other drives to stay back or blow their horn so the other drivers know where they are. Despite the crazy driving, and the various types of vehicles on the road (from elephants to ox carts) it seems there are fewer accidents than one would expect. The din from all the constant horn blowing can be a bit much.
My itinary :
Kolkata-Delhi (2.5 hours)
Delhi- Chicago (15 hours)
Chicago- New Orleans (2 hours)
All the waiting in between flights added up to 36 hours.
After staying in India for 5 weeks one gets use to the dust, smog and thickness of the air. Particularly Delhi has a constant haze over it. So I was shocked to see such clear atmosphere upon landing in snow covered Chicago. I watched the sun rise glorious and red at 7:AM only to be quickly submerged behind a bank of clouds probaly not to reappear until it hit the horizon in the west.
New Orleans was sunny and warm. Now it is back to the grind, almost as if I had never left. Travel is a surreal and solitary experience. It changes us in ways that are only evident through time. However, first and formost what is different is so keenly observed. What becomes most evident after being away from the familar for so long is how one can look at that anew and afresh. Seeing “home ” through the eyes of the traveler.