Delhi, Dharmshala, McLeod Ganj, Dharmkot. New friends and newer friends over masala chai. Deodar forest in rain. Mist rising. Monkeys on a cold tin roof, scorpions in the corridor, beetles inside clothes, slugs the size and shape of fallen leaves. Clean, spare, sharply elegant—Vipassana. Silence. Thank you for all the blessings, they came in handy.
When your cousin offers to meet you at the airport and drive you to Abruzzo, don’t even pretend to defer. As you will learn from the passenger seat, to say “driving” in Italy is to say “a lot of close calls.” A tunnel on a two-lane road may admit just one car. Passing’s no fun senza risk. In small towns, main roads are closed on Sundays so neighbors can chat in the street. Memorize multiple routes.