Watching and waiting

Among the things that makes traveling joyous- is how much it allows you to walk. You can walk aimlessly through days, and even nights, through train stations, and air-conditioned malls, and lesser known city streets, and crowded streets with many tourists and back alleys with rats. You can stumble out of bed, linger- for your legs hurt from so much walking, and then embrace the city by foot, once again.

You can watch people. You can watch lovers peck and children run and parents fight. You can look up a new restaurant and walk two hours to find it; you have all the time in the world. When you land up at the restaurant and it is closed, you will hardly be dismayed.  When you are traveling, you have all the time to find.

People, and places will never disappoint you. Or maybe, you will never disappoint them. You have an energy that is palpable, that is forgiving, that is yearning. You will look at everything through a lens called time’s a waiting: everything that was once impatient, now lingers.

You will wait at bus-stops for buses that never come. You will take the time to read the street signs. You will watch people queue in lines for trains and wait your turn for the next one. You will stand although there’s place to sit. You will look for flower stores at train stations.  You will stop, then stare.

I was always a little afraid of traveling alone. Always a little wary of landing up in a country of unknown unknowns, all alone.

I finally did it. I finally packed my bags and travelled alone. As it turns out you are hardly alone: the world is full of old friends, and lost connections, and someone you may know, if only you try.

And when you don’t, there’s watching. And, waiting.

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