When we first arrived at Chennai airport after a long, long flight from Melbourne, I thought “holy hell, this place is a dive, what the hell have we gotten ourselves in for?”. The airport seemed cold – in decor, not temperature – and dirty and slapped together with bits and pieces from people’s back sheds.
Which is pretty much how I see a lot of Chennai. Especially the shop fronts. Bits and pieces of stuff. Everywhere. No design or plan. No aesthetic.
But when we came through the very same airport again, four months later on our return from Sri Lanka, it looked different.
It seemed cleaner and bigger and less shocking. It’s not as if it was better in comparison because I loved Sri Lanka and it was much cleaner than anywhere I have been since January. That wasn’t it.
Maybe after four months of living in India I have seen much worse than the airport, so that first impression has been replaced by the everyday filth.
Or maybe it looks better after a one hour flight than twenty-ish hours of travel.
I remember years and years ago watching The Mask with Jim Carrey. I HATED it. But then I watched it again and thought it was hilarious. A different mood and different situation changed my perception of the movie completely.
It’s no secret that I don’t like it here. I don’t hide it at all. But walking through that airport felt like coming home.
Not in a home is where the heart is kind of way. More like a familiarity thing I guess.
It was interesting nonetheless. Interesting to see how something can go from disgusting and shocking to feeling like home with just a shift of perception.
Have you ever had a complete change of perception on a second viewing of something?
Or am I just a fickle nutbar?