In a foreign place
Something was bothering me, but I couldn’t think what.
I’d get this vibe. I might be standing in the lane, looking down towards the plaza while market stalls are still being set out. Staring at the flowers that crawl out of balconies, scatter like Christmas decorations over the streets. Or maybe I’d look up towards the blurry sky; the wire mesh ceiling of an underground, ‘invisible’ city.
Ek Naab – the city of ‘dark water’.
I’d watch the people wandering by. I’ve lived in the city for three months now, so they don’t bother to look twice at me. Instead I finally see their normal, everyday faces. The way they move sluggishly, as if through smoke.
It’s the air. In the city. It doesn’t move.
Finally, I understood.
There’s no weather in Ek Naab. No rain, no wind. I can barely remember what it feels like to close my eyes against a breeze.
Then this morning I woke up with a memory of England. I remembered a cold day in Oxford, a day full of harsh, icy wind. I was playing football in the park with some friends. Tyler, Emmy; they were there. I was in goal, as always. Getting cold, really cold, from the wind.
Not a particularly memorable day. But for some reason it is all I can think about. I can even feel the ache of cold in my ears. Thought I’d forgotten what that felt like, living in a windless city. But no. A flash of memory and there it is again. Amazing.
Why can’t I shake the memory? It’s an ordinary day of a life I’ve left behind. I miss my friends a bit, just like you’d expect… It really shouldn’t be that big of a deal.