As you can see from the dateline, this is a long, weird day. Just two days short of a year after I left the United States to come to India to enter into the holy order of sannyas, I return to California.
I leave Kolkata at 9:30 a.m. (8:00 p.m. Thursday in the U.S.A.) on Indian Airlines, and after flying for two-and-a-half hours, arrive in Bangkok at 1:25 p.m. local time. I have a three-hour stopover before I get the EVA Airlines flight to Taipei. The Kirkman family is on the same flight: Sanatani, Shuggie, Nilamani, and Devaki.
The EVA Airlines "Evergreen Deluxe" class is great. For just $100 more than the regular coach fare each way, you get a business-class-like seat (wi—ide, with oodles of legroom) and a bunch of other perks. We leave Bangkok at 5:00 p.m., fly for three-and-a-half hours, and arrive in Taipei at 9:30 p.m. local time.
Now here's where it gets weird: I explain this to nine-year-old Devaki three times, but she doesn't get it. We leave Taipei at 12:30 on Saturday morning, fly for ten hours, and arrive in San Francisco at 6:30 on Friday, the previous evening — six hours before we left Taiwan!
Srutasrava Prabhu and Janardan Maharaj meet us at the airport. We have dinner at Srutasrava Prabhu's house, and then Janardan Maharaj drives me to the Seva Ashram in Soquel, where I will stay for the next few months.
I am given a nice small room. It's almost midnight. I still haven't left Taiwan yet! I flop back onto my bed: it has been a long, thirty-seven-and-a-half-hour day!