Dust from India. Gave me a small-world moment then. The closest I've been, physically, to another country was standing on San Juan Island across the water from Vancouver Island, Canada; the farthest I've been out of the United States is somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic, in international waters but nowhere near any other land. (And come to think of it, how far was I from the ocean floor? I MAY BE OVERTHINKING THIS.) I've been closer through communication; that's really it. I've been on phone calls with coworkers in Bangalore, back at my hospital transcription job that I had from 2004 to 2008. Plenty of emails with them, too. Communication's important, of course, so we know what people Not Us are thinking and so we can respond thoughtfully, but a physical connection: that hasn't happened as often with me.
Maybe it happened the past two days in a dusty warehouse where I was getting sweaty and dust-covered so that, eventually, Starbucks customers can enjoy the tang of ginger. I like that. I like small-world moments.