Blog post from Monday, December 31st, 2011, written at Brussels airport at 8:53am:
Back at the airport. I’m starting to feel like Tom Hanks’ character in The Terminal. At least the shopping is pretty good. I’m at Brussels airport today, having a three hour layover before my leg to NYC. Yesterday morning I flew from India to Milan with a layover again in Dubai (what a cool looking city by the way), and had about three hours of sleep before 4am hit and I was off to Linate (Milano’s La Guardia, if you will.) I’m pretty wiped but so happy to be going home for a week. It will be so great to see my close friends and my cousins, and to relax and visit some of my favorite spots in the city. Also, lately (or perhaps intermittently for the last few months) I think I’ve been glamorizing up NYC more than it should be due to frustrations living in a new place. Ooh, Time Warner Cable would never make me wait a month before setting up my Internet! ::cough FastWeb cough:: Somehow I managed to conveniently forget how much I loathe TWC and their infamous 1 hour hold times. This morning I had a “it’s good to be back home in Italy” moment when I arrived at the airport for my departure and was thankful I won’t have to deal with the chaos of the Chennai airport, only to wait in lines for an hour before finding which was the right line I was even supposed to be in for Alitalia. At least the world can unite over airport frustrations.
I think getting a little piece of home will be just what I need to reenergize myself and make me ready to hit the ground running for next term…
::Fast forward a week (and a day)::
Yes, that extra day is important! Because had I been writing this yesterday, fresh off my flight from JFK all groggy, jet-lagged and not really in school mode, I’d still be mentally in NYC. The trouble with an amazing vacation is of course the post-vacation blues that come with it, and this trip back home was no exception. And I’d be lying if a small part of me wasn’t questioning why I didn’t look at NYC schools as I was having dinners with my close friends and shopping at my favorite stores (Pookie & Sebastian is a must NYC boutique for you out-of-town ladies!) I had to remind myself of what compelled me to move to Italy and how much I wanted to broaden my global thinking, yet that voice in my head became a bit distant as I sat down to dim sum at my fav spot in Chinatown with the gang… mmm, pork buns and egg custard. ::pause for savory moment of reflection:: It was only today, after walking into class and giving hugs to my friends who had all gone their separate ways in the world for winter break, that I started to remember many of the positive things that come out of this experience, just one of them being the many fabulous people I’ve met. Oh, and one new exchange student made me laugh as she exclaimed that she had the best cup of coffee in her life yesterday. There’s nothing like a fresh face to show you what things you take for granted, even after living in a new place for only 4 months. It’s also a reminder to be appreciative of all the new opportunities and experiences I’m having Here and Now, while still being grateful for whats in my life back home (and how lucky I am to be able to call three great places home now.)
Fun fact: Milano is about 4,000 miles between both Bangalore AND NYC! (Am I the only one who thinks that is kind of a cool coincidence?)