Wednesday, November 24, 2004


i'm thankful i have only three minutes left to write this. i'm thankful for hindi filmstar posters singing to me. for rickshaw drivers who avoid running me over. for rose & jasmine garlands. for my refusal to litter the street. for my family clinging to me even when i yearn to be free. for mendhi on my hands & for pedicures. for veg pulao. for bottled water. for any water at all. for the family resemblance. for wedding parties. for rooftops. for chai. for unconditional love.
i must go but know that i am thankful for all of you too. i miss y'all. happy thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

in dunkerque...

a true first day in france, i woke up hungover from champagne & vin rouge because after ali picked me up at the port of calais & we spirited back to his home in dunkerque (which my tongue can only pronounce in espanol) & a few hours playing catch up with my amina masi & the kids we were off to a dinner party with his boss that lasted hours...tres european. it was a welcome night filled with good conversation that i half understood & wine that i understood completely. somehow my jetlag was postponed indefinitely.
now as i sit here trying to digest my day i keep wanting to express myself with all these gorgeous french words that i am utterly in awe of but i can't. how i wish i knew just a little french. thankfully, between my broken gujarati & slow english i am communicating with the family but there are moments when i just nod & hope for the best. i have a feeling that this is just the beginning of my tongue-tiedness.
it is now tuesday evening & i have gotten quite a taste of their life in france. it has been lovely to stroll by the seaside & take it all in. we've discussed many aspects of our very different lives & cried & laughed & i've visited the kids at school & watched masi pray namaaz & eaten rafika's scrummy samosas & belgian waffles & played the slot machines at the casino & confronted french imperialism & the experiences go on & on. i am most definitely on my somewhere different. i'm not quite sure where this journey will take me but there have already been surprises. & i am learning that surprises are all i can expect at this point.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

it's the night before...

i leave & i'm all packed up & restless. of course i can't sleep even though i should. the past few days have been full of family time & last minute errands. my parents have put up with me quite gracefully considering the rather frantic state i'm in. but as most of you know, everything always works out in the end. i have a new backpack that i have filled to capacity with warm clothes for england & france & another small bag that is filled with small gifts for my relatives. i'm sure i've overpacked but...i can shed. at least that is what i intend on doing. every stop will lighten my step.
the digital camera my father got me was intimidating at first but my brother came over & schooled me as only a little brother that is more technologically comfortable can do. i hope to be able to post photos on ofoto that y'all can access.
my sister called tonight & asked if she could come with me. she hasn't wanted to talk to anyone since bush won the election. says everyone in seattle is walking around consoling each other. i assume that the same is true all over the place. nearly half of the states in a state of defeat. i doubt unity will come easily or soon. & so i am ready to leave this divided nation for a while & remember again what it feels like to be a citizen of the world.
on that note, i am emigrating to my bed.
good night sweet dreams & don't let the bed bugs bite.