Note from the editor.
Jacob’s unique storytelling style goes perfectly well with his character as a friend.
For about six months he’s collected impressions and anecdotes which are now part of an ongoing series. Jacob posts new episodes every so often on his blog at Indigenous Routes. I’m a huge fan of this project; starting today his stories will be reprinted here on Analog.Cafe (as they become available).
Note that we are starting with part two of his series because part one has been lost, we’ll reprint it here should it resurface again. This episode begins when Jakob has gathered all of his travel possessions into a backpack and took a flight from Toronto, Canada due Mumbai via Amsterdam on May 16ᵗʰ, 2016. He is to meet and travel with his long-time friend Suraj, who now lives in Mauritius.
Last Skype call.
Travel Milestone and Europe — CHECK!
Something big was getting started, and it felt like I was going to be a part of it… I think it’s the terrible music that kept me going.
The Week I Leave:
Before I forget, the moment that felt like a milestone was my last Skype call with Suraj a couple of days before my flight out. We talked, laughed a lot and he pulled out a big map of India that we hammered out some more ideas on. That BIG, NICE, DETAILED map would stay safe and sound in South Africa. Because you can’t risk bringing a HUGE GEOGRAPHICAL GUIDE WITH YOU WHEN YOU'RE TRAIPSING ABOUT! A MILLION MILES AWAY FROM YOUR HOME COUNTRY!! NAAAAAAA NAAAAA!! THAT WOULD MAKE TOO MUCH SENSE!!!
We’d both later have a good laugh when he’d realize he left it back there. That call made the trip serious/real though. Last words over the internet, seeing him through a screen. In a measured amount of time he and I were, after 10 years, going to be seeing each other in the flesh. In a place we’d both never seen or been to. Something big was getting started, and it felt like I was going to be a part of it.
Flight to Amsterdam.
The battle begins! Trying to push my clock as far and as hard as I can to match my destinations’ time zone. Doing all the math was making my head spin.
“Started at this time in Toronto, it’s this time in Amsterdam so it must be this time in Delhi. Wait what time is it in Toronto now? Translate Toronto time to Delhi time. What time does my phone have? Toronto or Amsterdam? Do the number of hour sin the air matter…”
Super tired, I managed to ‘trap’ up and down the Amsterdam international terminal to “Kilos in My Bag.” I think it’s the terrible music that kept me going. It’s funny ‘cause Pearson Airport, Amsterdam, and (later) Heathrow were all under renovations… Caught my first glimpse of something priced in Euros which made me happy.
I’M HERE! (with a proud sigh) EUROPE!.. for two hours…
Tried to get as much walking/‘trapping’ in as I could, the next leg was going to be nine hours. Our flight plan would take us over interesting countries and some places that had me thinking “Nnn..no. Not here. Nononononononono...” and “Whatever happens it better be quick! Bring it motherfucker! COMEON!!” But we made it through with no problems and just a little turbulence.
That brings me to Mumbai! Coastal city that was lit up that night. Bands, busted up by rivers that run through it, of orange city lights that bounced off low hanging clouds. You could tell there were hills around there by the elevation of some of the lights. Wow! I was getting pretty excited and, probably stir crazy, to get off the plane and plant my feet in a new world.
Here we go!
✪ Read Part 3: Mumbai to Delhi.