And like everything else this trip has also arrived at its end. I left Goa with a bitter taste in my mouth as I knew that I was not coming back. At least for a while. Arrived in Mumbai in the morning I went to my host house. Rintu is a nice guy from the north east of India that has moved to Mumbai for his studies and has not moved back. He smiles from down the road, a nice and honest smile that makes his round face shine. He looks more Indonesian than Indian so I tell him but he confirms that he is Indian. After a shower and a quick chat we have breakfast in his place and then we take a bus to go to the train station to go south where the historical area is. Mumbai is a big city but I like it more than Delhi. The weather is much nicer and people seem more relaxed. Rintu takes me around, we walk for a couple of hours and I’m in owe of the beautiful crumbling buildings, remainings of the British era. I take a lot of pictures as usual and the heat is quite hard to stand after a while. So we decide to go for lunch at a local unnamed restaurant where we have thali. My last one…
I was on the mood for beer so after a shower and a quick nap for dinner with Rintu we go for beer and food at a place nearby his house. The following morning we wake up early but we’re both very lazy so we chat, have breakfast, we take tea and chat some more and only at 12 o’clock we decide it’s time to go out. We go to a mall nearby (India distances) where we meet a couple of Rintu’s friends and where we shop the ingredients for the dinner that I’m asked to cook. Brunch was nicely offered and cooked by Rintu so for supper is my turn. I happily agree as cooking is always a pleasure to me. I cook spaghetti with vegetables in tomato sauce and Rintu is very satisfied. We chat some more and then it’s time to head out to go and get my 3.00am flight to Venice.
Parting time is a difficult moment for me. Although I know it’s good for me to go home it’s still very sad. These last 2 days spent with Rintu and his friends have been very good and made me think of all the good things I lived during the last 7 months and all the beautiful people I met along the way and that it will be be hard for me to readjust to “normal” life back in Europe, a lifestyle that I’ve often longed for during these months but that at the same time I don’t feel mine anymore. In India, in Asia people are maybe less “civilized”, trash is very common in the streets and hygiene level is not what we know. But people seem more carefree, happier, they dress in color and talk to each other. Once again Asia has been a good school of life for me. I learnt so much of myself, of the world, of the fact that I call myself open minded but in the end I’m prejudiced and racist as those that I judge. I have tried to get rid of all the conventions acquired during my life in a privileged society that considers itself better than the eastern society (unknowingly most of the times) but where we’re all stressed and grey, where the colors we use to wear in general reflect the status of our souls, grey and black. A friend of Rintu just got back from Paris and complained of the fact that people look sad and angry and they dress all in black (comment made also by a friend from KL).
It’s good to travel abroad, I know. And at every trip I realize how much I don’t know about life and about myself. Landing in Paris to catch my connection to Venice I shed some tears. I’m happy I will soon see my friends and my family but I know already that I will miss these last months. I will miss the train rides, the colors, the food, the smile on people faces, the interest that people have shown towards me (although at the time it was really annoying having to repeat over and over the same things). I will miss my portable wardrobe and the excitement to try a new restaurant, to visit a new city. It will take me some time to grasp the entire experience that I lived in the last months and probably when I’ll see the whole picture I will be taken aback. In the meantime I will try to enjoy my family and my friends that although miles away have been with me the whole trip.