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I am about to embark on a great adventure, check back for updates.
In a few days, I leave for India. It has been a lifelong dream, ever since my mother went when I was little. She took a bus from Germany, traveled the hippie route through Afghanistan and landed at an ashram in Bihar. I was nowhere near as exotic. I, alas, was in Oakland, trying to to be a good girl and hide my hippie past from my disapproving new family, my biological father and his new wife and her daughter. I was really confused by this strange new world, so unlike the freewheeling, drugged-out, artistic life I was used to. It had its terrors and its charms, but i was 8 years old, and it was all I knew. That is a very long story for another time, this is about India.
Mother sent packages and letters back. I didn’t speak to her for a year. Things were both more simple and more complicated, you couldn’t just call someone, a long distance call was a big deal, people yelled into the phone, “I’m calling Long Distance” when really it was only across on only America, not the whole entire world. It was a smaller world. The packages arrived covered with stamps and markings in a script of tangles and barbed letters. The paper was thinner, crisper, than we have here. It smelled rich. Like camel and sandalwood. Something rich and earthy. They smelled like pepper and rotten wood. The crumpled, leathery packages were beautiful and full of promise, even sitting there, unopened on that suburban matched dining room set, with the
Tv blaring. It was the old world I was used to.