Letter From New York 04 06 15 Back in the US of A…

Late last night I arrived back in New York and pulled up to my apartment building 24.5 hours after I had left the India Habitat Center, buttressed by a few hours sleep and some good service on the flights home. I did a few things of straightening up and then slipped into bed, awaking just a few hours later but then I slipped back to sleep and managed to clock near eleven hours.

As I drove through New York toward the apartment I was struck by both the familiarity of the skyline and how alien it seemed to me, as if it had been centuries since I had last seen it.

It was a familiar route, one I had traveled often in the last years, going from JFK to the apartment. Yet, somehow, it felt different this time. As if I was approaching it from a long way off, as, indeed, I was.

George, the doorman, helped me in with my luggage.

Waking at six, I rolled over and went back to sleep until 11:15 and then got up to have lunch with Nick Stuart at Le Monde, one of our haunts.

It was a great introduction back into the Western world.

After lunch, I went back to the apartment, gathered my things together and went north with my good friends, Lionel and Pierre, who were returning from a visit to their New York vet before leaving for Baltimore. They wanted Marcel, their dog, to have a final looking over before they left.

In the meantime, I’ve had little contact with the outside world and its events.

I could go on in this blissful ignorance but choose not too.

However, there seems to be little of great consequence happening in the news – and for that I am grateful. Too often I look at the news and see word of some great slaughter somewhere.

Today, we have Rolling Stone magazine caught in a scandal of bad reporting on a Virginia rape case. Reporters won’t be sanctioned but lawsuits are being prepared.

Last week, as reported, Misao Okawa passed away, having held the crown for being the world’s oldest person. The crown then passed to an Arkansas woman, Gertrude Weaver, who passed away today.

It’s been a bad week for living old.

In not a bad week for some. McDonald’s is raising its basic wage though not enough to stifle the protests of many. Starbucks is offering college tuition to its employees though I can’t tell you many details, as the story seems frozen on my computer.

Kenya has struck back at al-Shabaab in an air attack on two of their strongholds, following the deadly attack on students at University in Garissa.

So the violence goes on, while I sit at my laptop putting together the day’s events, even as I attempt to manage my jet lag.

Arriving in Claverack, Lionel, Pierre and I went to the Red Dot. Alana, the proprietress, was genuinely glad to see me and I was genuinely glad to see her.

It amazes me that I am still alive after my Indian road adventures. I thought, for sure, I would be road kill on one of those trips across India by car. But I am here, alive, and better for the journey.

It is 11:30 at night in Claverack. In India it is 9:00 in the morning.

I am sure that soon my body will catch up with my time zone.

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