Renee was an angel and watched the kids while I went to the airport with Cypriano, my house owner and the taxi driver. I grow exhausted driving so far here, so I took the easy way out, and spend an hour catching up on reading. I was reading a novel about the U.S., and blinked whenever I happened to look up, very surprised to find myself in India.
I find the local airport a very odd place to hang out. I've spent some time there, over the last year and a half, waiting to greet beloved people, noting all the strange shapes of people whom I haven't seen before. I stand outside, trying to get a piece of shade, hot in the sudden humidity that has returned. People spill out of the doors, everyone grumpy in the inconvenience of flight, noses wrinkled as they withstand the calls of taxi drivers and hotel touts. This is a mild airport, nothing like Delhi, or Mumbai. Even the taxi drivers are fairly lackadaisical, falling back when you tell them you're not interested, rather than pursuing with increasing volume.
I've been living in one village or another for the last year and a half, used to people who mostly dress alike. Here it is Indian housedresses or little Catholic dresses. In the Himalayas, it was Salwar Kameez with a dupatta tied around the head. The men here wear towels most of the time, towels or shorts. The men in the Himalayas wore Gaddi hats and vests over white shirts, herding their goats and cows. So it is strange to see all these modern Indian people. They seem very pale, and they wear many different things, not just one traditional costume. Many women wear glittering saris and have perfect pedicures, while some have cropped hair and are wearing jeans and t-shirts. One woman is wearing a toque with a button up shirt and a swishy skirt. She seems odd here. Just as I seem, to the people around me. She and her husband, who is wearing many gold chains around his neck with a pink shirt that is slightly open at the collar, welcome two irritated-looking men who seem to be hardly able to walk. The two that are oddly dressed walk quickly after taking the suitcases, leaving the two other men toddling in their wake.
I watch, and watch, and wait.
And then there he is, and he is beaming. "I hardly wanted to expect that you would be here," he says, "just in case you weren't."
On the way home we eat baklava that he brought from Israel, and we look at each other. I tell him my strange experience of reading the book in the car and feeling like I left the country, and he nods and exclaims, "I know! Isn't that strange?"
It is good to have him back. He is my perfect grown-up.