11/5/2010 | Delhi , India

Diwali in Old Delhi

I had connected with a fellow Moorpark-ian, Gene, who was now an ex-pat teaching at an international school in Delhi.  In a “small world” encounter, he had been at Moorpark High the same time as me (though a year ahead), later he took a class on South Asian history from my dad while in college, and had taught in the school my sister now teaches at (but left just before she started), yet I had never met him until a few months ago in India.  He and his wife had graciously hosted me in their Delhi apartment, which was an indescribable step up from my typical Delhi dwellings in Paharganj.  In the diplomatic “Berverly Hills” of Delhi their apartment functioned as a halfway house (a little island of America)  for me now on my way back to California, breaking me into such comforts as hot showers, clean sheets, and even Mexican food (Gene, of Mexican descent, serves up what must be the best Mexican food in Asia).

The morning of Diwali, and my departure, I went with Gene and another expat photographer friend of his, for a photographic wander around old Delhi.  The flower sellers were out in full force with marigolds lining the grey streets with golden color.  The busy markets, ripe with photographic opportunities were packed with shoppers buying their last minute Diwali decorations, sweets, and gifts.

I was excited as I rode the bus to Delhi’s new Terminal 3 wing of its international Airport.  It was 3 years and 9 months to the day after my dad had dropped me off at LAX for a flight bound for Hong Kong.  As much as I enjoyed life on the road I was looking forward to being home (for a few months anyway).  I’m sure I would have had different feelings if I had been heading home to look for a job and permanently settle down.  In that case there might have been a touch of fear mixed in with my excitement, but as the situation was now I was just looking forward to seeing my family and friends, having a wardrobe of clean cloths that consisted more than 2 pairs of hole ridden pants and 4 dirty T-shirts, and of course the food, beer, and wine.

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