Perhaps it is the jet lag, and trying to get readjusted to a time zone some 12.5 hours earlier than India. So many “familiar” things seem so not familiar. The incredible width of the sidewalks. The orderly traffic. The salads! The chatter on the street that I understand without trying, like I am some newly minted mind reader. (Then again, the subject matter of the chatter seems odd and is mostly about buying something shiny or making plans to meet someone or being hurt that a partner has cheated on them.) Seeing my friends, so much the same, a little older and a little different. I worry that I sound like some inane Pollyanna discovering the joy of dewdrops on roses or some other sickly sweet BS. Then again, just about everything DOES make me smile with wonder. It is all so strange and wonderful. I am surprised that almost nothing smells of anything. I am surprised that people keep saying how hot it is when it is only 26 (79F) degrees. Everything has an almost eerie quiet here, especially with no car horns honking all the time. And it is so dry here. I never used to think of SF as dry. I took BART yesterday into the city from Berkeley during rush hour. I remember thinking how crowded it used to be, but yesterday it seemed cavernous, with plenty of space. I find it incredible to walk around, just walk around and not be stared at or have random “Yes, my friend!” or “You come!” shouted in my direction. I feel both less special for the lack of a certain kind of attention and more so for my newfound superpower of invisibility.