Back home safe and sound, despite the snowstorm that hit just as we were landing. Still recovering from the 22 hour flight and lack of sleep for over 34 hours (add another 19 hours if you include the 3 hour nap i snuck in the night before). Will update blog soon, but in the meantime, enjoy this exchange between me and my grandfather:

"so, baji, have you ever been to london?"

"yes, many times. although, i am going to scotland and ireland soon with my friend and i've never been there."

(nods head absently, not really paying attention) "have you ever been to wales?"

(stunned look on my face and long pause) "uh, yes."

"baji, have you ever heard of a town called Merthyr Tydfil?"

(shock, longer pause, burst out laughing) "uh, yes. i was BORN there!"

(totally ignoring me) "it's got one of the strangest spellings of a name i have ever come across. i learned about it a long time ago. M-e-r-t-h-y-r T-y-d-f-i-l (notes my look of total disbelief). seriously! i can show you where it is on my atlas."

(mom cutting in as she gasps for breath after laughing so hard) "the only reason you know about that town is because i wrote letters to you from there when i lived there and your granddaughter was born there! you didn't learn about it from school or reading about it. it has nothing distinguishing or extraordinary about it!"

(smiling contendly) "yes, it has quite an odd spelling."

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