I left Montreal with a McGill pin stuck to my lapel. I couldn’t pack it so I just put it on (thank you Dr. Cartwright). From time to time I look down and smile.
I’m resting my fingertips on the counter, nervously watching the nice BA lady in that hideous BA blouse. It looks like someone ate confetti and threw up on their shirt. Anyways, I’m tapping my fingers, nervously, as she weighs the bags.
They’re immigrant suitcases, 30 kilos apiece. The limit being 32. I’m praying that I won’t have to spend the next 10 minutes emptying precious books into the airport trash, but she slaps a heavy sticker on and lets me go. So I take my ungainly immigrant carry-ons to the gate.
As I’m on the plane I think of Noah, when he dropped me off. I don’t remember saying anything profound, but I think he had tears in his eyes. That means the world to me. I drink a scotch-and-soda and a little bottle of wine and feel much better.
I watch Mystic River and wake up in Heathrow. We’re on the tarmac at 9:45 and my connection to Doha, Qatar is at 10:20. I cut through the security line, but no dice – I’ve missed my flight. I hate Doha anyways. It’s boring and scary. One time they took my passport and disappeared for half-an-hour, which made me very very uncomfortable. I always feel this underlying tension in the middle-east, and I mainly want to get out. Thankfully, the BA lady puts me on a direct to Colombo at 22:00, which would give me time to meet Justin. I’m picking up Internet on my phone so I send some emails to him and my mom, but I’m too sleeeeepy to leave the terminal. Justin doesn’t have a phone and I’m waiting for him to call, so it doesna work out. I end up stretched across 3 seats, waking up every 20 minutes to wipe the drool off myself.
Airports are weird little malls – as if Hermes scarfes, perfume, and liquor are the base commodities from which all other commerce is derived. I wish they had art galleries in airports. Or something. Then I’m in Colombo and I can’t think of anything but how hot it is. I guess I’m home. They lost one of my bags but I don’t really care. It’s only 25% of my worldly possessions.
On the taxi ride home I’m pretty sure I’m going to die. Everything in SL is two lanes with 4 rows of cars, cows, bikes, trishaws, people, elephants, monkeys, etc. There are no stop signs or traffic lights and the cows jaywalk like it’s their job. This driver is crazy, but not aggressive enough. He takes stupid risks like dodging in front of lorries going the other way and not even gaining position. I reach over for my seatbelt but there isn’t one. OK.
When I get home I eat some real food and shower. I put on a sarong and wife-beater and fall asleep. Anu leaves the door open and the mosquitos carve a tattoo in my back. Welcome home.
It feels like I haven’t even been away. We watch CSI and everybody goes to sleep. I reheat some rice, dahl, and some vegetable i-don’t-know-what-it-is. This is great.