After seven weeks it was time for Adia to leave us. We were thrilled when she announced plans to come to Dhriti’s wedding in India, and even more delighted when she told us she would come to Sri Lanka for three weeks as well. In mid-November, Adia began a one-year sabbatical from her job as HR Manager for Elections B.C. so she had the time to travel but it meant that Geoff would be without her for the duration. He was not able to come to the wedding as his brother was getting married the same day in Canada.
We had a great time with Adia in India, especially shopping for clothes for the wedding and then getting to wear them to all the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from the relatives. After the hectic wedding scene, we were happy to be able to retreat to Sri Lanka for three weeks together; enjoying the warmer weather, the great food, and especially those quiet moments that only happen when others are not around.
February will bring yet another birthday for Adia, and it struck us that she has been living away from us for almost half of her life. She left to study at the University of British Columbia in 1995 and after graduating, she lived for a short time in Calgary and then moved to Victoria where she met Geoff and they made their home together.
We are a close family even if we don’t live close to one another. Email and video chats have made is easier to be apart for long periods of time, and we do spend some weeks in Victoria each summer visiting Adia and Geoff or renting accommodation nearby. However, Adia and Geoff like to plan short trips while we are in Victoria because they love to have us look after their cat Maizie, while we stay in their apartment. It’s a win-win for everyone concerned.
For these reasons, you can see why our three weeks in Sri Lanka were so very special. However, all good things must end and it was time for us to let her go back to her own life again. When Adia booked her flight to India on Japan Airlines, she also booked a flight for Geoff to meet her in Tokyo for a two-week visit there. It’s their first time in Japan and I know they will love it, especially after being apart for so long.
We had a little scare for a couple of days. As a consequence of an American being alleged to be involved in the attacks in Mumbai one year ago, the Indian government made an announcement that tourists who had multiple-entry visas to India would have to stay out for a minimum of two months before they would be allowed back into India. Gasp! The three of us need to return to Delhi to take our onward flights; Adia to Japan in a few days and us to Jordan in mid-February. What would we do if we were not allowed back into India?
I’m sure the phones at consulates all over the region were ringing off the hook with worried travellers in Nepal, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. However, a few days later there was a clarification that tourists who were using India as a jumping-off point to visit neighbouring countries would be allowed to come and go two or three times without being denied entry. Travellers would have to show confirmation of their flights out of India. This would not be a problem for any of us. Phew!
On our last day together, we started by going to a beauty salon. Adia had her eyebrows threaded for one dollar and I splurged and had my toe nail polish changed for just two. Last of the big time spenders! Our Chief Financial Officer waited patiently in the foyer of the salon, looking at a People magazine from 2005. Talk about being up on the news.
We walked around the corner to the Coconut Primitive Café for lunch. As the name suggests, it’s a bare-bones operation, but the food is delicious. We ordered ‘rice and curry’ which sounds like a simple meal, but is really a huge plate of rice and several dishes of delicious vegetable curries accompanied by a basket of pappadums. Adia has never found an eggplant dish she likes, but this place prepared an outstanding eggplant curry that the three of us couldn’t get enough of.
There was just enough time for one more dip in the pool before the taxi arrived to take us to the airport. The photos I have uploaded here are of her last swim. I thought she might be more sad to leave us, but then of course she is excited to be on her way to see Geoff once again. Parents are important, but with a man in her life like Geoff, we just can’t compete.