Where were we? We found ourselves safely ensconced at the Marriott at Cambridge, right there, like 10 steps from Ames St. This T-Stop was the site of many musings in the past life that we used to lead. The Coop we passed every day and wondered longingly if we would ever be able to afford the shiz inside without guilt pangs. The maroon and grey stuff bedecking the walls, we saw, and admired. The Au Bon Pain in the corner, we visited, periodically, grabbing coffees and snatches of conversation.
How does it feel to go back to a place you lived in for long? Just fantastic, thats how it feels. Its been ten years now (or thereabouts). So its a good mix of nostalgia and loss of memory of the details. At any rate, we were back here couple of years ago, family in tow. This time I was alone, somewhat, and like totally a free bird. I ate less than I needed to. I drank just enough to satiate the cravings for Guinness. I went back and forth from Harvard to Kendall/MIT at least a dozen times, most of them, just for the heck of it.
Yes, I had a conference to attend. And attend it, I did. I sat in on a lot of presentations. I was duly impressed with some of them, struggled with the accents on some of them. I wore a sari to chair a session and that went very well. Its a new green silk (no zari), and one of the rare ones that I have worked hard to procure (thanks for walking all over with me, searching for that one, mum! Everyone loved it!). Though I slowly progressed down from Silk Sari to Jeans through the course of the conference - in my defense, after the barbecue on Day 2, everyone was really super informal. I was almost overdressed on Day 3 in my black shirt/pants/belt/shoes - thankfully it was warm enough to avoid a jacket. So finally on Day 4 I gave up and went with Jeans & a button down, which hit the spot well in terms of comfort. And since I did the sari thing on Day 1, I felt just fine and not guilty about it. I upheld my culture yo, for like a whole long day through a morning session and poster session and get-together with ex-research group, and everything.
High points? I ran by the Charles. I ran by the Charles. Oh My God. That was so awesome, I cannot tell you. I have dreamed of doing that for a while now. Ever since I got this paper at the conference, I have dreamed of that. As we struggled through a semester and a summer getting shiz ready for presenting, I have dreamed of that. I got out of the hotel and down Ames and crossed Mem.Dr. and BOOM at the river baby. One day, I was out at 6 am. The hotel desk guy was like 'huh?'. I thought I would be all alone. But no. Lots of folks. True, lots of folks overtook me, heck, I didn't care... The next day, I had company in the form of the crazy MSB. A little later in the day. Lots more people around. Not that it mattered to me. Got a bit further along the river that day. Legs felt free and light and just awesome, even got a hoot from passing construction workers in pick up truck. So ha for being 37 and running with a good dose of 'this is good because this is short term can't wait to get back though' in the head.
Yes, MSB & I ran in a race. One of those local things that start at a pub and end with free booze. Legs were dead that day (it was a few hours after I landed, actually). I felt my age. I got tooled on a lot, but who cares? There I was plodding the streets of Somerville. The free beer was not all that. I took a sip and gave up on it. That was on Sunday, and it was a long run because we ran the 2 miles to the race venue (got lost, asked a cop the way, cop asked us 'How you going to get there? Bus? Car?' 'Run' I said, in my deepest voice). Ran the 4.1 miles of race. Walked back 2 miles to hotel (got lost again, semi-on-purpose, drank some limesoda, hot favourite of mine). Good Sunday long run/walk. Proud of myself. Yes. Even though my legs were pretty dead. & I ran a 9.13 pace. My goal was <40 mins for the race, and that, I met, with spare change. Good enough.
Met lots of young and old friends. Have snippets of memories and conversations stored up for a few years now. And the little cousin of mine that I met for the first time? Was totally awesome. Has the family nose. Hell Yeah!
Back at the helm here, this morning I ran by the other river. Adyar. Smelly as hell. Did I feel a twinge of regret at what could have been? No, not really! I felt like I was running in my pettai, at home. Wherethemusicsplaying.