Sunday, August 22, 2010

What? Off so soon, again?

Tomorrow at 10:00PM I will take Lufthansa flight 421 to Frankfurt, Germany, and then but nine hours later, take flight 754 to Bengaluru, India. It's unbelievable the way so many of us move from one place to another with such ease and rapidity. I am so, so blessed to be embarking on the trip of a lifetime, and I'm even slightly ready, yet I feel a bit unsure of what in the name of Mary I'm stepping into, sort of like being prepped for an operation: you've done some research, you think you'll feel better when the experience is over, you've talked yourself into it, yet you are still a titch nervous, and you can't do a darn thing about it besides show up for the procedure. I just got home for the summer from working at overnight camp on Wednesday, so the transition feels so sudden, too.

Anyways, in order to understand the significance of this journey to the other side of the planet, I think it would be interesting to start off where I'm coming from, a place so starkly contrasting to where I'll be going:

Downtown Boston: The streets are nearly impeccable, drivers pretty much respect traffic laws, and I feel safe. This man approached people seeking donations in exchange for a book on meditation from India! What a coincidence.

Society where people have successfully demanded social responsibility from corporations, on some levels.

Financial comfort: Yesterday my brother picked me up in his Land Rover and we drove from Boston to Cape Cod with the clean air blowing through the window (someone broke in a day prior); he filled up the gas tank without having to worry. We picked Grams and Chris up, and went out to eat a meal upwards of $350, or five months of the average Indian's income.

Leisure: We can go to yard sales and pick out stuff that we like, not because we really need it. This is my incredible brother Frank, and my family friend Chris, the estate sale/thrift shop/yard sale extraordinaire. 

Anyways, I could go on and on about how many treasures, physical and otherwise, that I have. I think you understand, perhaps you have them too. So why aren't I yelping at the edge of my chair in happiness? I am grateful, but I don't have anything to attribute my fortune to other than dumb luck. Not sure what I'm getting at here, perhaps some of the feelings that are bouncing around me in the hours before my departure. I know I'm going to be changed by India, but how? Will I be more optimistic, more content, more disappointed by the gross inequality? 

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