I miss being a stranger in new places

I miss being alone in a crowd

I miss beds that are too soft, too hard, never right

I miss dodgy lodges with flimsy doors

I miss cabbage on pizzas, and sugar in curries

I miss the post-long-haul-flight pimple that always appears on my left cheek, an inch from my ear lobe

I miss wasteful toiletries in tiny bottles

I miss food in tin foil

I miss the snore of that tired old lady

I miss the screams of the hungry baby

I miss knocking knees, fighting over handrests

I miss breakfasts alone

I miss the joy of finding a bidet when I expect only a roll

I miss drying my undies over shower cubicles

I miss the drags, the trips, the sips, the puffs

I miss making eye contact and exchanging smiles with people I will never meet again

I miss not being understood

I miss gesturing, only to be misunderstood

I miss being ignored in hip places

I miss being noticed while being stealthy 

I miss watching people as they watch me in crowded trains

I miss intimate confidences with people whose names I’ll never know

I miss saying I am too busy; not this time; may we please…

I miss so much of my life that doesn’t require being in one place

I miss being not responsible daily

I miss texting miss you

I miss receiving them too

I miss VFS visits

I miss going through security again because of that one tube that escaped the clear plastic

I miss Hatti Kappi, the elixir that says I have landed, or that I will flee

I miss me

I miss missing homemade idlis

I miss missing applying coconut oil on my hair before every shower

I miss missing hugs and kisses

I miss missing the bum hose

I miss missing the familiar

Even as I loved the unfamiliar

The side view photo alone is from Mathaf archives. The ones above are mine.