But we made it :)
After a looong silent meditation retreat (yes, ten days without speaking is harder than it sounds) Bru and I left the Ashram to head for the Delhi airport. Which involved taking a harrowing cab ride over the mountains, a subsequent hot, and noisy ten hour bus ride to Delhi, followed by a long auto-rickshaw ride, which didn't drop us off at the airport, nope, had to take another bus to get to the terminal itself, and then a seven hour flight to Kiev, a stopover in dirty Kiev,and finally, an eleven hour flight to good old JFK.
That all doesn't, of course, include the specifics- like on our last ride to the airport- what do we see on the highways of India? Oh just any common sights- people walking on the highway itself, alongside peddlers with old wooden carts, barreling their way through bicycles, rickshaws, cars, nearly getting run over by the trucks, buses, and of course....the elephants. Just happily plodding down the highway,cramming and jamming in together on India's very own i-95. Nice.
I won't go into the excruciatingly bureaucratic several hours Bru and I spent dealing with her boarding pass at the airport. Just too painful of an experience. Suffice it to say that Beruria was listed as a Male on her ticket. And a Female on her passport. Such a sudden gender change brought the entire Aerosvit staff up in arms, and for some unknown reason (other than, we're in India) it took a very long while to fix it. On the flip side, during the wait I got to find out all those little things you miss out when you're meditating for ten days. Like that my sister had a girl (after three boys-yay!) and her name's Aviva :)
Other than that the rest of the trip was filled with all the frustrating nuances a trip through Kiev includes, like long lines, wrong lines, and a drunken Aleksanderrr slurring all over us.
Landing home was just so nice. I clapped. English everywhere. Cleanliness everywhere. Actual water fountains in the airport. Signs, and bathrooms, and smiles.
Reaching home was even better. Friends and family. Food, and a bed with a mattress. Taps with running water, an actual toilet- it's just those little things. A hot shower and a hot meal. Can't really ask for anything more than that...
Just very thankful to be home. Seven months is along time. Public hakarat hatov to Bru, who kept me sane through this whole experience, and became (a la Prem B. song...-) "a teacher, mentor, and friend."
And very thankful to all of you for following me through this whole thing, for encouraging, commenting, supporting and just being there. I can't ask for better friends and I'm so excited to see all of you in person.
Now off to take my second hot showers in eight hours....
Hodu L'Hashem Ki Tov