This month of May has seen around 4 places: Chennai, Kothagiri, Bangalore and Ireland (chronologically)
We flew back from Sikkim into Chennai for the hottest months of the year. We were in Chennai for a couple of weeks and stayed with my parents. We came back with excess baggage filled with mainly books. Chennai was spent slightly sickly, visiting friends and family. I was furiously reading books, catching up on television I had missed out on, writing and playing board games with my sibling. I got some shopping done for my friend’s wedding that I was going to attend in Ireland: Bought a black tie dress (it took a lot of googling and chat groups to figure this one out: apparently it should come over your knees, not be too revealing and then there are bunch of exceptions to these rules, it’s quite an arduous task figuring out what black tie means.
My parents surprised us on a trip to Kothagiri (more accurately: to our aunt’s house 5 km away from Kothagiri and 14 km from Cunoor, in a tea estate) for around 3 days. There were eight of us (my family and my aunts family) in this lovely house and we spent our days drinking chai, playing board games, reading books and chatting with family (all things I have not done with my family in many many years). We went for walks and identified birds and we also went running and meditated twice a day. We drove to Cunoor and ate pizza and for mother’s day, we took over the kitchen to cook and clean. It was a lovely trip and the thought of coming back down from the mountains and the trees was quite a bummer.
I was in Bangalore over a weekend before heading to Ireland to meet friends and doctors. We stayed with my cousins in their fascinating house in Koramangala and their adorable dog Bamm Bamm. My cousin was recovering from a surgery so we mostly sat at home and binged on extraordinary homes other than visiting the pulmonologist for my lungs and brunching with friends.
I also signed up for a data science specialization course which has 10, 4-week classes as a part of it. The first one which I did over the course of this month did not take too much time and was quite simple.
The last of the places visited last month was Ireland. We went to attend a friend’s wedding on the way to Canada. We spent two weeks there. It was strange being back after 8 odd years with some things having changed and others not. There were many more people on bikes and people running in Dublin than when I was there last. But most things remained the same in downtown Dublin. The ultra-high density of people and bars. The smells of cigarette smoke from all these bars. It felt very surreal being back moving around the city with mostly muscle memory. Old shops had given way to new.
The wedding was interesting, it was my first catholic wedding. It was in an old Lutheran church and it got over pretty quickly but the reception/dinner went on for 6 hours. The madness.
We stayed at my family friends and they had a lovely dog Cindy and we became fast friends. She was the cutest Jack Russell terrier and made a lot of grunting sounds and was really quite loving and patient. I was quite sad to leave her behind.
In Dublin, I mostly spent my time going for runs, walking around downtown Dublin meeting old friends over various meals. We bought a few things (like a pressure cooker and some Isabgol) for the next journey we were going to take.
We spent a few days visiting Belfast to meet my friends who are living in France at the moment. Belfast is an eccentric little city with a high density of people and even higher density of churches. It has a lot of wonderful street art that have arisen due to it’s political history. Most of the time in the city was spent walking around and meeting friends. We went hiking to Cavehill one of the days, with the hike starting at Belfast Castle. It was quite a lovely view from up top of the city and you could see the zoo just below with its giraffes.
The two weeks went by very quickly and it was soon time to pack up and leave to Canada.