One of the first things my eye must to get used to: the sober colours everyone is wearing, and how pale and skinny everyone looks. I wonder if the colours look extra sombre contrasted by their pale faces. The clean cut preppy look. The colour co-ordination, the clean lines, and muted coloured fabrics; all astound me. No one is staring at each other either, or at me for that matter. I'm in an airport in Europe. I'm in Zurich, to be exact.
Another first thing I noticed, that I haven't been bombarded with in a little while: the fantastic footwear and designer handbags these tall scrubbed skinny pale women are wearing. I have a serious and almost pathological love/hate relationship with luxury. I envy Hermes and Cloe clad women, I dream of a Chanel watch, I long for a variety of designer handbags. The new Hermes messenger bag is too beautiful.. I drool over Miu Miu flats and Prada heels. I adored being at the 5 star Radisson Marina in Connaught Place, Dehli. Then again, l relish in my 700 RS (16 dollars, give or take) buffalo leather handbag from Kalkota that totally rules, or the cheapy cheap glass, brass, and 'gold' plated bangles that make me a veritable walking instrument, or paying 1000 rs (20 bucks) for an amazing hotel room with clean sheets, starched white and abundant towels, cochroach free floors, flat screen TV, and scorching hot water, that comes with the typical indian hospitality and warmth translated into free chai and beer (!)
Would I spend thousands on designer and 5 star hotels?
Of course! (head bob)
I feel dirty. Despite washing my face twice in the airplane, applying deodorant, and spritzing some COCO, both original and MADEMOISELLE. I feel like India is encrusted in my hair, my wrists, my beret, my boots. I miss it already, although I am enjoying the dirt free surroundings AND loving the toilet paper in public washrooms.
Another thing that struck me on the plane. Less food, smaller portions, and one measly lightweight sugar packet! Wha???? Where is my 5 course meal and obligatory sweet? My head bobs back and forth to the hostesses' cabin, waiting to catch a glimpse of one of them to ask for 2 more sugar packets, and if we we're going to be fed soon.
Swiss people seem to talk quietly.. laugh quietly...nod and smile in silence (I'm used to the spastic head bob accompanied with a ACHCHAAAAAH)
All is appearing muted to me.
People are so fucking thin here, holy. I feel like my thighs are expanding- because of the 2 bags of magic masala chips, and the mini 5 stars I wolfed down- just by looking at the small portions people are nibbling on, with the use of a fork and knife. FORK AND KNIFE: NOOOOOOO! I don't have a legitimate reason to eat with my fingers now.
Oh my god so many blondes roaming the airport halls. All with thin stringy straight hair. Ewwwwww.... All so skinny. oh god, I have been brainwashed by my 5+ months in Northern India: Give me boobs and thighs, give me a bangled wrists and lots of eyeliner, give me a black silk rope braid for hair, give me flowing, patterned fabrics that could only work in the subcontinent.
I am picking up on just how different India is. It's loud and honest and corrupt and bright and dirty and superstitious and generous and stinky and altogether INCREDIBLE. I miss it . My teeth won't. My sugar levels won't. But my disorganized nature and love of poetic language will.
When will I learn NOT to listen to The Magnetic Fields if I want to feel uplifted and sprightly? Ugh: total cry fest with onlookers and everything. Why am I even crying? I must be tired, yeah that's it. It's not the fear of the unknown, or my possible broken promise, nor could it be my tenuous relationship with getting back into my beloved India. Tired. Yeah. That's it. I look and feel like shit. I need a sugary tea. A greasy samosa. A head bob.
I'm as pale as my European neighbour.
As I am about to get up and exist the airport bar, I -without thinking- grab napkins to put in my handbag. As I release them inside the inner pocket, I laugh out loud. What the hell am I doing? There's toilet paper here, only.