I can’t say that I’ve ever imagined what ringing in the New Year would be like while sitting next to Inesha and a perfectly friendly grandfatherly gentleman as we were drifting somewhere over the Atlantic, but 2013 has already proved unique in at least one way.
“Please join us as we count down to the New Year…10…9…8…” The sound of the pilot’s voice in my headphones and a quick nudge on my arm were my alarm clock as I jolted awake and rung in the new year with the deer in the headlights look that I’m sure a good 1 million other people were sharing at that moment. I had never celebrated Happy New Year! quite like that, but hey, at least I can add and cross that one off my bucket list in one simultaneous swipe. There’s a first time for everything :)
All in all though, the Emirates flight was perfectly swift and the staff cordial. Regardless, at this point I feel like I travel so frequently that plane rides with switched seating assignments or delayed flights aren’t anything to ruffle my well-weathered feathers.
Needless to say, Inesha and I are back once more in Chilaw, Sri Lanka at our grandmother’s house. There is something undeniably surreal about being here—like stepping back into a bubble of time and space that would give the “Harvard bubble” a run for its money. It’s the perfect kind of therapy really. I’ve gotten so used to getting off a plane ride to find things different—the adorable kids across the street grown another inch each, the little sister who’s what’s app-ing and snap-chatting in ways that I still haven’t figured out, a new semester with new classes, professors, and seasons to greet you. When I step off the plane, I’m used to my world being different.
Visiting a Hindu temple in Chilaw
But here, it is as if nothing has changed in the last 15 years—from the time I was sitting on my grandfather’s knee in that worn old rocking chair in the living room to this morning when I drank my tea and felt the same wood carry a girl that is no longer four, but 19.
This one is taken in the same room, more than a decade later :)
Inexplicable sameness really is the best kind of therapy from a rushed world with deadlines, unread messages, and plenty of different beeping/buzzing/whirring gadgets that can make you forget what silence sounds like. But finally, I’ve arrived in a place where everything is just the same no matter how many years fly by. 10…9…8…Happy 2013!
Tomorrow–we’re off to Colombo!