Sunday, January 31, 2010

One Foot in Two Worlds

I'm sitting in an over-priced upscale white-tablecloth mostly-Westerner's restaurant in New Delhi, India, listening to American pop and rap on the sound system. I'm on my new laptop, connecting wirelessly through the terribly slow wi-fi. Outside the restaurant doors there are great huge oxen pulling enormous loads of who-knows-what, which get off-loaded a sack at a time on the skinny shoulders of the cart driver, as it has, basically unchanged, for millennia.

I've flown to Delhi just a few days ago, moving out of my tiny in-law apartment where I'd lived for six years in the upscale Marina district of San Francisco. I drove a 1988 VW van and lived like a college student, while a house four doors down sold recently for almost three million dollars. (With no view!) I might have as much luck getting an invite into that house as the cart driver has of getting invited to lunch in this restaurant.

In my mind it was pretty clear that I didn't quite fit in in the Marina district of SF. But do I fit here? Now that I've given up my SF life for one on the road, am I the traveler who visits India, or am I the traveler who visits San Francisco? Where's home?

So enough of the wandering wonderings and onto the facts as they exist: what are my plans, now that I've given up my apartment and come to Asia? I'm going to a 10-day open retreat starting Feb. 9th, and I'm going on a 40-day silent meditation retreat starting March 15th. Other than that, and following that: I have no clue. I have a 10 year Indian visa, but that only allows stay of six months each, and between visits a new law requires the tourist to be out of the country for two months before returning. That will encourage me to see other places that I might not otherwise, so it's a mixed bag. I'm looking into projects where I could volunteer and might make a difference. We'll see. Beyond some ideas for this summer, it's a foggy gray wall, like a San Francisco summer day.

I've uploaded some photos from Delhi. You can see them here:

Stay in touch!

Much love,