I arrived some two weeks after my body. Talking about Tibet with a friend really took a big piece here and then schoolmates in a pub were the first ones to actually get some answers from me. I might be here wholy by now. And it didn’t pain as much as was warned. I haven’t cried not even once yet. At the same the normalization process of the society started to work very quickly. Things I stopped to take as granted there seem pretty normal again here and the ideas I was bearing in mind there sound a bit alienated now. Besides, the everyday stuff: I went to a supermarket, I flushed my shit with a drinking water, I cooked in a clean kitchen, I was deciding for what party to vote and could order and eat in a restaurant despite it was raining outside (at rainy days in India the water was even more dangerous than normally so I stayed on bananas). A tram ride to school was so exciting I couldn’t focus on reading: people walking on the street, people standing reading newspaper, a city with its cafes and galleries and shops and all, this is so cool! This will be so exciting! That’s the life I led and will lead now!
But then my hair was cut. That broke me. Samson cut. I feel insecure and the city boy hair cut doesn’t resemble from what I’ve come, it pretends everything is normal. It’s not.
Isla wrote me this in an email:
the feeling of being alienated. i think you have that. how to explain
it? remember when i was freaking out in prague in the winter, saying
that i feel that i don’t belong anywhere? people around me think i’m
strange, and i have nothing to hold on to.
i just thought this could be something that’s really giving you a
tough time now – while being on the road, you were naturally “the
fool”, you know, the strange foreigner, like you said yourself that it
was just cool for you to do stupid stuff and to point at people’s food
in the restaurant. this you can just laugh about, because it’s your
traveller role, you are in a way comforted and secured by the mask of
the foreigner. but now you are in your home country, in your daily
life, which somehow feels or is expected to be more “real”. you see
your life rather as a continuum, something you need to build up an
master, suddenly living day by day beside the road and getting lost
isn’t enough. and then it’s of course much harder to run into
conflicts, arguments, frustrations with people. because they are your
“own” people, your country men, schoolmates and friends and even
family. it’s tough, because you’re still somehow the fool but you’re
not protected by the traveller’s label anymore. you’re just you, and
it’s much harder to face the discussions as you, and it’s much harder
for people to accept weird stuff from You, who should just be a normal
diplomacy student in their minds.
but you can make it, and understanding where the difficulties come
from is already making them smaller.
well, all that above i was just guessing, partly writing about myself
and partly about you, i don’t know if you feel like that or not. do you?
Yes, I do. But no big drama. Some things are hurting you, some other empowering you, you are building stuff with people you love and are cautious with people who disagree with you, you know, the usual.