Forced Vacation

I’m writing this from the lounge in Chennai airport, at the end of an 11-day business trip.

There are a lot of stories about the trip I’d like to write about, but I can’t because they’d disclose sensitive business information. (I can however write about our taxi running out of fuel and coasting to a stop outside Chennai zoo.)

Don’t get me wrong – being sent to exotic places is a priviledge, without which I wouldn’t have visited half of the places I have. So far they’ve sent me to France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, South Africa, 11 states of the US and Humberside.

But, but, but – travel takes me away from home, friends and family. I don’t really think of myself as someone who gets homesick, but this trip is the second this year where I’ve been away over a weekend – and unlike last time this is a country where I have no friends to visit.

And although I get on with my travelling companion, he’s not my friend. My patience for smalltalk is already perilously short. One more conversation about football over breakfast and blood may have been spilled.

Actually, interacting with colleagues has by far been the most tiresome part of planning the trip. For months I’ve been “that bloke who’s going to India soon”, and had to endure the “so, when are you off to India?” question on a daily basis.

I’m so very lucky to be travelling. It’s going to be one marvelous vacation.

The boss has asked me to bring something back for the group. Well, I’ve got some Loperamide left.

  
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