Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Mahindra United World College, Maharashtra, India


I arrived at 3am, five days ago. Although it seems like weeks now.

The flights melted into one long, yet suspiciously short journey across some 18, 000 km: 

Canada's West Coast to India's. 

Sun Ra Arkestra: an old shot, not mine. But they still provided a mesmerizing,
otherworldly performance, for free, to thousands in downtown Chicago. 

With an unexpected and very welcome twenty four hour stop in Chicago to breathe some non-conditioned air into my soar throat, and to catch Sun Ra Arkestra play a free show, befriend some wonderful strangers and generally develop a soft spot for a surprisingly friendly city.

At 03.00 in the morning, after some 3.5 days in transit, I find my home for the next year: a small flat I will be sharing with a young Chilean graduate from UWC Singapore and a kitten who is clearly drunk. Felipe, whom I have not so much as seen a photo of or exchanged emails with, has left me little notes that guide my sleepy self towards my bedroom. The mattress is stiff, and comforting after four months of cabin living / tenting in British Columbia's Sooke Hills. I ambitiously set my alarm for 07.00, and fall into sleep.

Soon enough I am up, feeling oddly rested. I shake sleep aside and head outside to explore this new place with a morning run. By the time I make it to breakfast, my body has realized how hungry it is, and takes it out on me until, a few servings of delicious Indian breaky later, it is satiated. And it is only 07.30. Lost between time zones, I had set my alarm an hour early. Happy for the quiet dining hall, I ease into my first day, meeting all the people who have guided me here over months of email conversations and eager skype chats. The jet lag, mysteriously, is nowhere to be seen.
September 06, 2014

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