“Nostalgia makes us a bit more human” – In a recent NYT blog, John Tierney discusses how nostalgia can actually be a good thing. Memories of my six months abroad (2011) studying, living, conducting research, traveling, meeting people, pretending I was Indian (in both India and China… haha fooled that Chinese cab driver! 😛 ) in Udaipur (India), Beijing (China), Anhui (birthplace), & Yunnan (my home foreversssss) constantly come back to me.
This reminds me of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love. Okay okay, I’ll be honest. I stopped reading that book after I finished India. And I stopped watching the movie after she left Italy. So … I guess I don’t know what happened in INDONESIA! Haha. But then … as relationships come and go… somehow… accidentally, I was living out my own version of Eat, Pray, Love.
Eat. Okay that needs no explanation. This is 100% always happening.
The temples in India, my village temple in Yunnan, the clouds in Yunnan, the mountains in Yunnan, the sunset in Udaipur, the forts in Udaipur, the desert, the 115 degree Fahrenheit days in Udaipur, the stares, the bike accident after actually drunken noodles, etc etc… they all made me wonder about my own particular views and beliefs again. I’m still not sure… just as lost as Margaret was in Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret.
Love. Welp. Welp. Welp. I did not find love in the form of a Brazilian businessman, if you’re wondering about that… but…
I think about this trip so much… because it was unplanned, completely by accident. But it meant so much to me. I turned into an infant, crawling around, eating with my fingers (literally.. what a disaster and a complete mess that was when it came to rice.. but I mastered the art of the eat-yo-roti-with-just-yo-right-hand technique. Whoot!) … meeting all sorts of lovely folks, learning new languages, learning more of Jarkie.
So my question to YOU, lovely readers… have you ever had an Eat, Pray, Love sort of experience? Did you plan it ? Or did you just open the door and there it was by accident? Or do you have a question about my experience? Feel free to share below in the comments or in the comment box below (these will be privately sent to us – let us know if you mind us sharing your experience & with or without your name) or you can email us at email@example.com. I’ll try to do a follow up postttttt 🙂
[EDIT]: Our unspoken little blog rule: one post per day. But it’s a new day! 47 minutes (as I’m typing this) into the new day!
Some photos below – alright, good night, dear readers!
Taj Mahal (sunrise)
Motorcycle ride to get somewhere
Balloons near a health center
Kardiya’s angawadi (child/nutrition health center)
Sweeping/Tidying Up the temple
Hong Kong 🙂
JJVS fieldworkers working with buffalo
Host cousins… my favorite ? Boy in yellow 🙂
Friends in Vali village
A village outside Udaipur
Exactly 4 weeks since I left! It feels like so much longer, what with all the Life Experience that has transpired. I still have those “pinch me” moments when I wonder at the fact that this, here, is my life, both for the good and the bad that it contains. Yesterday, I took out pajamas that I hadn’t yet worn here, and they smelled like home, which made me briefly nostalgic. There’s definitely more settling in to be done, despite the fact that the transition has been surprisingly smooth for me. The thought of the years ahead makes me wary, but one day at a time!
beijing (oh little egg and crispy thing and sometimes a chicken with lettuce), yunnan (spicy spicy noodles and beautiful clouds, what more could i have?), udaipur (fateh sagar with my momos and sukhadia circle), shanghai, nanjing, tianchang (little wontons! how i dream of you every night!), louisville (me misses), durham (can you believe it???), duke, stockholm (sledding and grandpa’s freshly caught fish!), finland (yes, i got stuck on that boat bathroom, i was young, alright? i still miss it), austin (i don’t remember anything, but i can still miss it, alright?!!!??), xi’an (and all the fights i got into), chengdu (i want to hold a panda again… i know i’m just being greedy now)……
And all these other places i want to visit: I’m not even going to list all because i never could finish – dharamsala, nepal, thailand, indonesia, turkey, DID I MENTION BUDAPEST?!?!?!, greece, italy, too many countries in central/south america…….. alright I’m done. There really was no point to this.