Today is the first day back in the good ol' USA and I am feeling a bit strange, but otherwise just plain old tired, from the jet lag that is. After about seventeen hours on three different airplanes, and another 8 hours in a combination of buses and a ferry, not to mention the handful of hours spent in layover time, I stumbled home at around 9 o'clock last night, and felt right asleep after a nice big bowl of pasta and my mom's homemade tomato sauce.
After going to the eye doctor this morning I noticed a lot of differences in my feelings and experiences. There are a ton less people on the streets of Staten Island, mostly because there are so many less people period on Staten Island. There is a ton of space in-between houses, and in general. The streets are much wider than in Pune, and there is a lot more greenery everywhere. While Pune has its spots of greenery, almost everywhere you turn there is greenery on "the Island" as many locals affectionately call it. And, the air is a lot cleaner, as are the streets. I realised I missed my hometown a bit, or at least the scenery. While Pune, and India were marvellously wonderful experiences in and of themselves, I think one of the biggest take aways I feel right now is the perspective shift I gained. I felt it today, and I even felt it last night.
Last night on the ferry there was an elderly disabled woman singing to Jesus on the ferry, and when I heard I sang a bar of a common song, and smiled as she sang the rest (I had forgotten the words), and I listened as she sang and sang different things the whole ride. Most everyone else around me either ignored the singing, was completely oblivious to it, made fun of it, or was visibly annoyed by it. All of these reactions hurt me. If I was in India, someone singing to God would be celebrated, but in NYC, it is perceived as "mental illness." Little things, little things like this, give me some pain and make me miss being in India. I rather have less than squeaky clean toilets, no AC, and deal with auto-rickshaw drivers, than be surrounded by people who are hating on a woman of God.