the kathmandu airport is a series of security checks with numerous scans, pats downs and searches. we leave kathmandu on monday afternoon, and arrive, tired already, in bangkok early monday evening. the 4 a.m. wake up call the next morning means an early bedtime, but there is little sleep for me. an upset stomach, an uncomfortable bed, and desire to be home wake me regularly though the night.

the phone wakes us on time, and by 5 a.m. we are on the shuttle to the airport. a call to room service for a pot of coffee had yielded only a weak cup of instant nescafe, so i am still not fully awake.  the suvarnabhumi airport is already bustling. as it is our sixth time through this airport in two weeks, it feels quite familiar to me. after two preliminary security checks i am at the united counter, upgrading our seats to “comfort plus” for the first leg of out flight to vancouver (the extra five inches of leg room more a necessity than a luxury). despite my exhaustion, i don’t sleep on the flights home. instead, i watch an entire season of dexter, and nurse my uspset stomach….

i see the snow capped mountains of the north shore through the airplane window as we descend. the feeling of relief is both gentle and unexpected. i am home….

walking into yvr, i am struck by the light and the airiness. i am very used to this airport, but this time I see it with new eyes (eyes that had grown accustomed to the dark and bleakness of the kathmandu airport, its numerous odd security checks, and gruff rifle toting airport personnel…)

 leaving the airport, i wait for one of my travelling companions to retrieve her car from the parking lot, and i breathe in the welcome sea air as it cleanses my spirit.i think agin “i am home”….

 it takes me a while to adjust to being home. the two or three days awake were cured by a 21 hour sleep, and a stomache parasite by a dose of antibiotics. i still think about the heat, the dirt and dust, the traffic, the myriad of faces, the heat, the elephants, the laughter, the shopping, the heat, our guesthouses, thamel, khao san, my massage, the ferry ride on the river…


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