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Today is the day the group goes home.  Some professors are staying behind, two students are going together to south India, two international students are going back home elsewhere, and I have a 4AM flight tomorrow to Warsaw via Moscow.

I woke up early to pack and was impressed that, even with all I have and bought, I really don’t have that much stuff.  One friend is taking a painting I was given at Motherly Love and a book I was given at DRI.  When I arrive in Slovakia, I plan to ship a box home with my saris and gifts.  After France, I may ship my hockey gloves and skates back too because I won’t need them when my friend and I hike in the UK.

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My India swag – wearing some of my new Harem pants.

This morning was a mess, though.  I was packed and ready but my roommate was not.  I waited for her but we ended up holding the bus up by about 45 minutes.  The others all fly out around 10PM tonight and, with rush hour coming at 5PM, we’re under a real crunch.  The drive is about seven hours between Jaipur and Delhi.  We were thus rushed when, after a few hours, we finally got a break for lunch.  After lunch, we were requested to remove the curtains from our bus, making the bus that much hotter.  Ever since a recent raping here, curtains are apparently not allowed.  We continued in our warm tin box and the construction continuously diverted us.

We had a quick lunch break at a restaurant in a random, tiny hotel along the route.  We beat the rush hour traffic after and arrived at Delhi’s International airport at around 5PM.  Everyone else had a flight at around 10PM except for me and three others.  I had an international flight at 4AM, one girl had an international flight at 1PM, and two girls had domestic flights at 5AM.  We thought we could all stay together until we were told we couldn’t enter the airport until six hours before our flight.  We had to say goodbye to the others and wander into the visitors section.  Just then, the domestic flight people were told they had to go to a different terminal and couldn’t wait for us.  We split into twos.  I sat with the one girl as she slept on very uncomfortable chairs until about 9PM.  She went to check in four hours before her flight, not wanting to wait anymore.  Then I   was left alone.  I waited until it was within six hours of my flight and walked inside.  I was warned that I couldn’t go back out if I went in.  I went in.  I asked where to check in for Aeroflot.  “You can’t check in for three more hours.”  And thus I laid across three horrible chairs and my lumpy book bag for three hours and woke up to my alarm with bruises on my neck from my vertebrae grinding into the plastic and metal.  I could finally check in.

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My henna as it turned out from last night.

Inside, it was miserable.  I was bored shopping as soon as I started.  The bar I went to didn’t have food I wanted and it had only Budweiser and Corona for beer, none on draught.  I settled for a bizarre Bloody Mary, bottled water, and gave up.  I sat for over an hour in my waiting area, staring at the floor and daydreaming because I couldn’t stand to sleep on the chairs anymore, and finally was called inside.  I watched as rude Indians just shoved and cut people off in line.  It was a mix of Indians and Russians.  Finally, I took my seat in the most uncomfortable airplane chairs I’ve ever sat in and was anxious to listen to Taylor Swift on the monitor.  My flight was six-and-a-half hours, I could hardly sleep, and I only had nightmares about flying and skydiving.  Finally, I could see Moscow below.  Just like when I was in India, I could neither read nor understand anything…but now I was alone and it was intimidating.  June 4th was just beginning.