Thursday, March 22, 2007

The road is calling - again

In 10 days it will be eight years since I left home.

It seems like last month that I landed at Seeb International Airport in the middle of the night, enthusiastic and curious. Looking back, my blitheness looks like extreme ditziness: my flight was eight hours late, I had just 30 rials to my name and not one address or phone number, not even my employer’s. I think I just assumed I would be met because I’d never not been met in my life. Sure enough, I was met – a little late – by my boss and his girlfriend. (I remember thinking in the car that there were problems between them. As we now know, they had just picked up another one.)

But it also feels like eras have passed. The world turned, so much happened and I’m somebody else entirely now.

Well, a little bit anyway. I can still see myself arriving somewhere unprepared, Shanghai perhaps, with 200 yuan to my name and not a word of Mandarin, enthusiastic and curious, smoking a leisurely cigarette in the nearest coffee shop, miming “carrot cake” to the waitress, instead of “Yellow Pages”.

I wish I was.

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