When my cousin was about two years old, she had said some words of wisdom beyond her age. She had probably gone to see the Durga Puja festivities with her parents, and came home exhausted beyond her limits. When they opened the front door, she, all of two, heaved a sigh of relief and said, "Uff, bari firei shanti!" (Translation: Sighs! Nothing as peaceful as returning home at the end of the day!)
Everyone had laughed out loud, since she was too little to be sharing such pearls of wisdom. But that became like a family mantra for us to repeat whenever we got home all exhausted.
Although I had a lot of fun in my almost 2-week long stay in the US (good conferences, great food, catching up with old friends and meeting new friends, etc.), I started to feel homesick by the end of the trip. I couldn't wait to get home. However, the travel back home took forever. The ride from Baltimore to the Dulles airport involved a car, two metros, and a bus. A 7-hour wait at the airport was followed by a 9-hour long red-eye flight to Turkey followed by a 3-hour wait, another 3-hour flight from Istanbul to Germany, and then another long car ride home. I picked the flu from someone on my way back, and every now and then felt that I was going to collapse. As I put my keys in the front door, the door seemed familiar. The smell of the carpet seemed familiar. The light switch felt familiar. I entered home and said out loud, "Uff, bari firei shanti!"
It's like the comfortable king bed, the huge rooms I stayed in, and the nice food I ate outside paled in comparison to this tiny room, tiny bed, and the comfort of some home cooked food. I woke up still exhausted and feverish, to this familiar view of the water from home. Nothing has ever felt better than coming home at the end of the day and watching the ships go by.