Monday, August 20, 2007

13 August: Destination Unknown

As Missing Persons sang in the 80s, “Life is so strange…”

As I write I’m in the Malaysian Airlines boarding area at LAX, waiting to get on the first leg of my multi-day trip .

Destination: Bangalore, India, via Taipei and Kuala Lumpur.

Destination: Nilgiri’s Nest, an “overpriced if it weren’t so centrally located” (according to Lonely Planet India) hotel recommended by a friend.

Destination: Research for a summer mentorship grant from UCLA. If I’m lucky, this will provide direction for my dissertation down the road.

Destination: Let’s be realistic. My destination is actually unknown. But that’s kinda the point, isn’t it? The big departure sign in LAX actually listed the destination of a number of Mexicana flights tonight as “unknown.” There was a flight number, and a boarding gate, but where each flight was headed was anybody’s guess.

We’re in the air now; guess I’m really going! I’ve said a tearful goodbye to Karl and the kitties. I’m on my own, left to depend on the kindness of strangers. And cousins of friends. And friends of my advisor. And friends of friends of friends. (The world is really very small!)

Oh no, now I’ve got “It’s a Small World” in my head. But this is no gentle boat ride through Disney World. In fact, I don’t anticipate any boat rides in India. Planes, trains, buses, taxis, autorickshaws, maybe a motorbike or two.

It’s 2:45am in LA, 5:45pm in my next two ports. I’m safely in liminal space, countless clichés, lyrics, Star Trek lines running through my head. Guess all that’s left to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.

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