Friday, March 30, 2012

This World Is Not My Home ...

It was the longest day. Planes were cancelled and overbooked and delayed because of the Frankfurt Airport union workers' strike. Raj drove us to the Bangalore airport at 10:30 on the 27th night. It was awful waving goodbye to him - he sat there for long moments in the vehicle, just watching Dad walk away.

We got checked in and then sat for a moment to regroup and relax as we waited for the plane that would be leaving at 2:20 a.m.
Curds from clay pots in the Bangalore airport -
there is no flavour like it!
What a way to send us off! Thanks, Raj and Arenla ... xo
The last thing we ate in Bangalore was curds (yogurt) out of clay pots that Raj had given us as a special treat from our favourite curds place, K.C. Das Sweet Shop.

Then we went through security - ladies to the left, men to the right - and sat at our gate while the powers that be tried to configure getting wheelchairs onto an enormous jet with no ramp or jetway available. 

We eventually boarded and flew to Frankfurt without incident. But upon deplaning, I found that I had been separated from Deb and Dad, who had been seated further to the front of the plane than had I. Deb came after me where I had gone to wait in a holding area; and then we couldn't track down Dad, who had been whisked off to some other holding area in his wheelchair. No one could tell us where he was, or even where our flight was going to be departing. Finally, in desperation Deb flagged down a woman driving a cart. She looked past Deb at me - "I know you!" she exclaimed. She was the same one who had contacted someone to tell Deb where I was. Within minutes she brought Dad to where we were.
Waiting in the Frankfurt airport

And then we waited. And waited. Our plane was now delayed for five more hours. The airline fed all us passengers a meal in an airport restaurant. And then we waited where we had been told someone would pick Dad up. We tried to make sure that we were on track for a wheelchair or a ride. Finally someone told us, "We are tracking you. We know exactly where you are. Don't worry - someone will be along to pick you up 45 minutes before your flight leaves."

And indeed someone was - a delightful young man who had held this job for exactly one month, but who had been in training for four years and who was taking Japanese studies at university. He admitted that things were still a little bit stressed at the airport and that new people had had to be brought in.

The biggest sign in the Frankfurt airport -
no wonder ...
But we made it onto the plane and all the way to Calgary and through customs without any difficulties.

Sonnie and two of the sisters were at the airport to greet us and we made our way to Debs' house.

We are content to be back and are getting over our jet lag and easing into our routines again. I've been frantically working toward Carswell's year end and am getting ready to hit Costco and Superstore in a couple of hours. We'll have butter chicken curry on Saturday and roast beef on Sunday at the TH. Dad will be speaking at the Prairie Tab on Sunday night. Debs is back to work on Monday morning. I have a list of stories I want to share with you.

But still ...

But still ...

This time it was particularly hard to leave India. It was one of the best trips we have taken. The spirit in most of the places was so incredibly sweet this year. The children were more engaging than ever and stole our hearts. We reconnected on new levels with some of our friends, the brothers and sisters of our childhood.

This bisection of who we are, this not being sure of where we belong, this ache when we leave and when we arrive ...

This constant, almost unconscious yearning for what is not whichever side of the globe we are on ...

And then at about 1:30 this morning the words of the brusque German official came back to me, this time in the understanding tones of the ultimate Third Culture Kid: "We are tracking you. We know exactly where you are. Don't worry ..."

And, for this moment at least, I can be at rest. 


  1. Glad to see that you made it home safe! Looking forward to reading the stories..unfortunately a trip to the TH will be a while...quarter-end is upon me :{

  2. Nice to have you back in town... See you in the morning....

  3. A wonderful piece Karyn! So glad you are home safe and sound too.

  4. Curd looks yummy!

  5. The world as an airport - landing, longing, loving, linking, leaving. ... So glad you made it home - where the cycle begins all over again, only this time you're the one who reassures the travellers, "I know you; don't worry!"

    And so it goes, and so it goes. And God's the only one who fully knows.

  6. I'm so glad you all got safely back to Canada. I really miss you here and hope we will have another time to be together again soon!
    Lots of Love, Chloe

  7. Welcome home, at least to this home! What a beautiful story, thanks so much for sharing it!


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