Getting ready

I am sitting in front of a sprig of quince blossoms, a gift from someone with an oriental eye for beauty, and a small vase with tulips and bleeding hearts, a gift from another whose life is all about gardens. Outside the birds are wide awake, blending their chirps into an unscripted morning jubilation.

More and more asparagus are poking through the soil. We are watching them like hawks because the asparagus beetle has already announced itself and it can dash our hopes of an abundant harvest. A cup with soapy water stands in the corner, waiting for the ennemy.

I am done with the Ayurvedic cleanse. We are instructed to add more variety to our diets, like one does with a baby trying out new foods, slowly and one at a time. The consumption of animal protein caused a reaction right away and makes me wonder how badly I need that. Alcohol is off limits for another week.  Luckily I am going to the land of rice and dhal and no tradition of alcohol. Such a diet suits me fine.

Sita was sitting in the yard sunning herself and reading about childbirth when I came home from work. She asked about my first delivery. I realized I could remember very little – such is the thing with painful experiences: the mind stuffs these into spiderwebfilled corners, far from our RAM. And so I pulled out my diary, book number one of many which contained a letter written to a friend, a faded copy of a typed epistel – a blow by blow account. I read it aloud, translating from Dutch as I went along. It was not the beautiful experience it was supposed to be, but life changing nevertheless. I think Sita is realistic enough to know that labour is indeed hard work.

I started to pack last night – trying to fit everything in a small suitcase that can be carried on or checked. I will only be in Bangladesh for 5 days, the other 4 days are travel, both long and straight through. My weak right arm argues for checking, the fact that the suitcase has to be transferred in Amsterdam and then Dubai argues for carrying.

I dreamt last night that I couldn’t find my ticket – my mind is still a bit behind the times, thinking that without a paper ticket one cannot get on a plane. I finally went to the airport trying to find out from some eastern European ladies on high heels when the next flight to Dhaka was. They were standing behind a high counter that forced them to bend over to be able to address their customers. The one who was helping me fainted and so I never got the answer. I am pretty sure I was about to miss the direct flight from Manchester by the sea, or wherever the dream took place, to Dhaka.

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April 2012
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