Phew! It has taken us about 3 (hard) weeks to kinda settle down here in super quiet Sanford, Florida. India is already a fading memory; cannot believe we divorced each other not even a month ago. Coming back is a stressful delight but we are very fortunate to have a very supporting Amina Bhabhi and her wonderful, welcoming home; we would be miserably lost without her hospitality and generosity.
From the moment I land at JFK, to my connecting flight and the drive home from Orlando airport, I look at my surroundings with dazed awe. Yes, I am zonked with jetlag from flying 20 plus hours but unbelievably elated to be back in the USA, my home – interrupted for 3 years due to a bad marriage to India.
My brand new home takes an extra week to complete final touches; we move on May 14 to an eerie, empty but beautiful house that echoes every time we speak. Or fart for that matter, even. Now that almost all furniture is in place, this house looks and feels like a home – alhamd’Allah. This is a brand new community with only 22 homes planned; ours is only the 2nd one populated.
Husseini Islamic Center is a stone’s throw from our home; Maaha Zainab and Alihussein walk to it for Saturday School or prayers sometimes. It is absolutely quiet and still outside, only lush green and ponds of water. Miles and miles of forestry greet me when I run in the mornings; no, no stray dogs to bother me, no, no dog poop to look out for, no, no humans defecating openly, no, no inzzy’s, not one, no, no gutter stink, no, no vehicles hooting away as if there is no tomorrow, no, no spitting of paan or gurka….
Yes, lots of startled squirrels; some squashed to a pulp by passing vehicles, a dead armadillo, bored cows, uncaring horses busy with stuffing their mouths or with student riders on them. Yes, plenty of cow dung smell…did you know there is a company in Hamburg, Germany that is planning to market the pong of cow dung in a can? This is true, and it be priced a cool US$9.99 for about a weeks worth of wafts. Perhaps I can offer them raw material from here in Sanford? A harmless green snake startles me this morning; it seems more scared of me than I of it. Without realizing, I get close to Lake Jesup and run almost close to the thick swamp near the water. A sign warns me of crocodiles, in and off water.
I turn around and run back…in a hurry.
I missed you, good old USA!