Time to go home

It is a weekday morning and peak commuting time and yet the cab drive to JFK airport is pretty smooth. As we weave through the traffic, we can see the roads leading to Manhattan getting clogged up, but our roads are clear. We have plenty of time. We cross the Triborough bridge and pass familiar landmarks. Nidhin comes with us to keep us company. The poor kid falls asleep on the way. He is starting his holiday job at one of the biggest libraries in the world, the New York Public Library. Many of the institutions and buildings in NYC are familiar to most as countless films have been shot at these locations.

We pass a giant billboard advertising Naloxone, an antidote to opioids. It requests everyone to carry the drug in case they come across a drug addict who has overdosed and stopped breathing. My first thoughts are “only in America”. However it is no laughing matter and opioid addiction is a real problem and described as an epidemic here. Reading the BMJ, there are concerns that the problem may be spreading to the UK as well.

This must be the longest we have stayed here. The week it went all too quick. The sight seeing trips and shopping were just side shows. I came for a particular purpose, the graduation. I had wondered how the day might go. Will the women be like the ladies you see on American shows like ‘the real housewives of NYC’. In the end the women I did get a chance to speak to were indeed just normal people with no airs or graces. It was a pity that I didn’t realise this a little earlier. I felt that I didn’t have anything in common with them to talk about but there was plenty. Some have the gift of the gab, I don’t. Starting a conversation with a stranger is always difficult for me, but if the other person is willing to listen or show some interest then topics will open up.

Talking about listening, and listen indeed I did. Families, we are here for each other, however far apart we live and the visits are reminders of our bonds and strengthen them we did.

I have just finished watching ‘The Bridges of Madison County’ as we start our descent into Gatwick, a film I have watched a few times before but still enjoy watching. It is the first time I note the poem by Byron (The sea) at the end, is he just talking about the beauty of nature or is there more to it? I must have a look at it in full.

They mentioned that the airflow in the new ‘no frills’ Boeing 787 was designed to make us feel fresher than the older flights and I didn’t believe them. But it actually works. There is no bloating, the skin feels better and I don’t feel as tired. The future of air travel looks and feels good.

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