For this second blog post’s title, I wanted to take a page out of Into Thin Air. This is my acclimation process as I navigate different terrain than Everest.
While my family and I usually visit relatives in India every other summer, it’s still a bit of a jarring but no less exciting experience being back. With so much happening around oneself, whether the differences are big, small, or unexpected, it’s hard to keep up sometimes. The lifestyle varies, the interactions are different, and the language, while familiar, isn’t ingrained.
Part of (if not most (if not all)) of the experience is just absorbing it all in. The people, animals, cars, motorcycles, bikes, buses, trucks and autos were an adjustment… Just to cross the road. There are big adjustments and small adjustments from work norms and washing clothes to food and finding a good gym. From the formal shirts in the sticky heat, to the hot coffee after 6, you can find yourself grounded in the turbulent fish in the tank at work. Albi, our favorite fish, will sorely be missed. But besides the deep sadness of Albi’s passing, it’s been exciting exploring Madurai and forming connections with the various people, organisations, and food here.
From my fellow CASI interns to the bodybuilders to our fellow residents at our hostel, my experience is rich with the many fun and driven people around me. Small stories like cheese dosas and late night motorcycle rides connect us in deeper ways than we could’ve expected from this summer. But with the summer whipping by me in the wind, sometimes it’s nice to take a moment to just breathe.
I walked the streets and tasted the golden sun that lay across the city.
-My Name is Asher Lev
Just some alone time in Madurai helps me reset whether it’s at a Walker’s Club or exploring shops. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle of your own thoughts in an environment as vast as this. But it’s also easy to get lost in the good company of others, the sleeping cows, and the hustle and bustle surrounding the brightly lit shops of Anna Nagar. On this episode of Lost, I guess I’m just wandering.