If I were to judge the trip solely on the travel itself I would be writing a fairly dreary piece. It began with last minute packing, scrambling for food before the flight, arguments with my spouse and cramped planes due to a Detroit football club flying home – and this was just the flight itself. During the transit my Dilruba was broken and my bags taken (fortunately by mistake) and finally being forced to wait in the hotel lobby for a room to open up (one finally did shortly after settling down to breakfast). In my frustration I had posted all of this to my facebook wall as a somewhat angry rant - which was inevitably seen by my tutor at Raj Academy stirring great concern for me. Needless to say that I had a touch of guilt for the trouble I caused her but at the same time because of my broken instrument I was convinced the whole venture was a bust.
It was early morning when I arrived at the Detroit airport and I just can't sleep on planes - so the allure of the soft hotel bed was much more than I could resist. It was still not yet time for my wife to get up back in Eugene and therefore; calling home was out of the question. I fell asleep for a couple of hours and was then woken by my phone ringing – the envoy from London had arrived and was concerned about me. I assured them that everything had worked out with the exception of my instrument being damaged. They then requested I come to the lobby to meet everyone, and thus I ventured out of my room.
Downstairs at the hotel things were bustling with activity, turbans and scarves everywhere. I had only interacted with my tutors via Skype (only twice before) and through phone conversations so I couldn't be exactly sure who was who. Introductions were made and I had the privilege of meeting Professor Surinder Singh from Raj Academy – he enquired about my health and well being and assured me that my instrument could be fixed (which it was the next day). The worst part of the trip was over and fortunately with no major incidences other than some (in retrospect) small frustrations. I wasn’t exactly sure what was happening the next day but I was told that a taxi would be taking us from the hotel to the gurdwara and to be in the lobby before 7:45am and I should rest up.