6:30am. chai. car. a bigger car this time. mainly to fit the mass amounts of luggage we seem to be acquiring.
flight from the long capital of kerala city name to mumbai at 1:40pm.
let the race begin.
the driver estimates that it will take five hours to get us to the airport. india roads and traffic are more unpredictable than los angeles. will there be a detour? likely. a random road closed? probably.
he starts off as a pretty conservative driver. not passing too daringly. not veering to the right every five seconds to check if the coast is clear is speed ahead. and then, as the minutes passed, his cautious facade cracked and crumbled. he was going to get us to the airport on time, no doubt about it.
i sat in the back seat staring out the right window, holding onto the handle above the door to alleviate the pressure being pounded into my lower back as we flew over each bump. ipod in my ears. driving and staring out the window becomes epic with the right soundtrack. i felt like i was in a movie. the road trip scene where they catch half my face in the frame but focus in on the scenery through the window.
elephants in truck beds. four people crammed onto a speeding moped. brightly colored buildings becoming a blur. we drove through our driver’s home town. he rolled down his window and caught up with someone he knew who happened to be driving next to us. and threw a couple waves to several others along the way.
community. those places where everyone knows everyone. the places you hate because you have no privacy and love because you feel home. the places that remind you of why you left but make you always want to return.
we are returning. to mumbai.
one more night in this massive city. a new hotel a few yards from our last one. the neighborhood is familiar now. i can walk around and know where i am. i can point you towards the sea. or the train station. or the best fruit stand. or the blocks packed full of shoppers.
i ventured out among them with jasprit and teresa to find a bag to transport the collection of magical gifts i had acquired back to the states. a red and black duffel bag decorated with a patch deeming me an “indian tourister.”
i like made up words. i am a tourister. touring around this world looking for the next location to pull me into an adventure like this one. suck me into the loud music streaming through the air outside my hotel windows and hammer honking horns into my head forevermore.
it is my last night in this city. in this country.
i catch up on work, yet i want work to wait. i’ll be home in two days.
i unpack everything and repack strategically separating out the items i want to put in the bag i am going to check. what am i willing to part with if my bag goes missing in action? i pack all my stuff into the soon-to-be checked bag and pack all my gifts and memories into the indian tourister. it would be a shame if i had nothing to bring back to you but my dirty clothes. those can get lost, the scarves and spices cannot.
journal in hand with purple pen ready to capture mumbai once more. i head into the night. i am ready to head into the day.