Am back in cold, cold Philly. My dad is recovering very well and should resume all his normal activities in a couple weeks, for now he just needs lots of rest. It was really hard to leave this time, but I tried to convince myself, by way of explaining to my parents, how important my work is and what kind of cool science I am doing here. The truth is, I have yet to form any kind of bonding with my work. Heck, I was still working on specific aim #3 of my proposal when the call came and I had to pack up and leave. So things are very much in their conception stage, and I feel very little attachment. Perhaps, after a small amount of re-acquainting, I will be more enthu. Right now, I only feel a bit overwhelmed at all the catching up I need to do in order to get things back up and running. So overwhelmed that I'd rather crawl into bed and go to sleep, instead of getting out in the cold and going to the lab. A very familiar feeling, the repercussions of which I am all too aware of. So I hope to keep that feeling at bay and get my ass to the lab soon.
Until now, things have been pretty frenzied. When I got the phone call and decided to rush home, I first called my international advisor here to see if I could travel easily. If there's one good thing I did, it was getting my F1 visa renewed in Canada while in year 5 of grad school. (or was it year six? god knows! ). The valid visa helped me travel to India after graduating and take that long vacation few months ago, and allowed me to travel this time on my O.P.T with minimum hassle. All I needed was a new travel signature from my old school in Lutom: when I called them that morning, they decided to print me out a new I-20, sign it and fedex it overnight. Next I found a really nice travel agent at mahabazaar travels who found me a seat on a flight to hyd for the next day; and it didn't cost me any limbs. Then I had to stop my experiments at a stopping point, freeze down stuff and wrap up tiny things in the lab. Thanks to my dilly-dallying over buying a laptop, I spent some time organising my data onto usb sticks to take with me to India: I wanted to be able to work if I found the time, and I actually did get a small bit done. Then I had to pay off bills: I'd yet to set up my utilities on auto-pay. Of course, the bills had been lying around for several days, but if i didn't pay them off before leaving, I'd come back to a cold and dark apartment. I had to empty the fridge, clean up the apartment, do laundry, go to the bank (because I misplaced my atm card and didn't bother getting a new one for days: but then I'd need the cash in india) and other such tasks. I am thinking back to see how many things I could've avoided in the last minute frenzy if only... Sigh. Some things never change, I guess. But it kept me busy and kept the worrying at bay for most part. I called up a few of my friends and told them what was going on. M and her hubby both took off the next day so they could take me to the airport. I was ready to fly out the very next day with all things in place.
I am now tracing those very motions back. I decided to use a shuttle service to get back from EWR to Philly. Dave's Limo. They suck. I had to wait for two hours at the airport when I could've actually made the earlier shuttle if only they had told me. Sick with a bad cough, cold and all that good stuff, the waiting was not fun at all. I got home, went and bought myself some milk and bread. I emptied my mailbox and more bills are already here! I set up auto-pay for them this time. I just re-updated all my folders so that it reflects the work I got done in India before I forget. I will go the lab, thaw out those very vials I froze down over two weeks ago, and get started. Sigh.