Part of travelling is the actual travel. The kind that makes you sick and tired, stressed and irritated. I have spend the last two days in trains, buses and planes; getting close to people and their sweaty smell, keeping calm replying to the hundred of questions asked by the american custom officers, having unhealthy meals at inappropriate hours (but I still believe it is oke to have ice cream for lunch, am I right?)
But I have happily made it to Montreal where I could hug my Cousine Bécassine, settled here with her boyfriend for a few years. Somehow, it is better than being home. You have that satisfying home feeling as you can speak freely and in the strongest »I come from the North of France » accent, and yet you are on the other side of the world eating a ice cream sandwiched between 2 chocolate chip cookies (yes. another ice cream)
I traveled back from Bergen to Oslo, through the snow. I flew from Oslo to New York, and finally from New York to Montreal. Few highlights in those two days : ice cream from lunch comes in first position, as it is the purest form of freedom. No diet, no rules, no one to hold me back, I am crazy like that. Second comes the flight New York-Montreal. I do not know if it was the flight attendant and his communicative happy mood, the adorable accent in the french words spoken by the captain, the complimentary pretzels or the view of Manhattan. All together, this final flight fixed all the little bumps of the last two days.
The ride from Bergen to Oslo was a never-ending torture. Next to me, the snoring beauty offered a 7 hours show to the very packed car. A group of students found this trip was the time to experience Jägermeister for the first time. And the juice I bought EARLY morning for my breakfast was made from concentrate. But I am happy to announce that I have now reconciled with Oslo. I had one last Norwegian afternoon before catching my flight; and I was not too excited about it. 10 days ago, I left the grey city with mixed feelings – I thought the place was just to be visited in winter, where it could show its rainbow colors. For a few hours, expecting nothing but a few streets to stretch my legs, I found myself in a cosmopolitan town full of life. Pulsating and yet peaceful, I walked the harbor where singing accordions lead my feet. In the park, happy kids put a smile on the exhausted faces of their parents coming back from work. The tiny and not inviting bridge around the corner actually opens to a square with sunny terraces where friends enjoy a (13 euros) beer. The sunlight reflects in the bright eyes of people all around, till late in the afternoon. Oslo, you got my heart back. So, I raise my glass to you and I hope to discover more of your secrets soon…
Though the flight to New York was the most time consuming event of the last days, it really was of no interest. The chocolate and coconut cake was oke, and it was fun to watch Mrs Doubtfire again; but really, it was just a long flight. In the waiting line to go through US security, time flew as I met an adorable dad and his two daughters. One of them was very enthusiastic when I started talking about my trip to Japan. While we starting talking about our love for travels and cultures soaking, Cute Dad’s heart went to my parents, whom he thought would be scared, if not scarred for life, knowing their baby girl alone on the other side of the world. I do not think they are, I hope they are not. They raised me with the simple idea that I should always do and act in order to keep all my options open. Be good, not to be successful (I mean here socially accepted successful); but to keep your options open. I took lots of different options over the last few years, and I believe that as long as they see me smiling, their hearts are filled with pride more than fear.
Boarding to Montreal, I have to leave the 2 years old who desperately wanted to share her banana with me. I did play with her and Elmo, but really the banana was one step too far.
Taking off, the skyline of Manhattan appears. It is quite majestic from here. Gave me the chills to see all those little boxes, perfectly aligned, creating streets where I once was running and cycling. I carry and cherish images of spring holidays, spent there with my partner in crime.
Soon the nature takes over and I am already dreaming of all the great things I will be able to see and do once we land in Canada. Hundreds of ideas are running through my mind, and as we fly over the Canadian border, I am over the moon.
Next week will be rich, I cannot wait to tell you all about it. Spoiler, I am going on a road trip to Quebec – Trois Rivieres – Mont Tremblant. But for now it is family time and I am very happy to settle down in a cozy place, with Pierrot the cat and homemade bread.