In Motion

You know those days when you feel the need to write a blog-post simply because you haven’t in such a long time, and it doesn’t seem fair to keep your very small number of followers waiting any longer? This is one of those days. I don’t have any idea what this post is going to be about. It’ll have to be one of those famous rambles of mine. About nothing and everything. It might turn out all right in the end. But I doubt it.

Today signifies the beginning of the New Year for a very large number of the world’s population. It’s the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese horoscope. Incidentally, I happen to be a dragon-born. Yup, full-blown scales, fire-breathing, sheep eating and all that stuff. According to the Chinese, this is going to be an absolutely awesome year for me and my likes, especially in the career department. Dragon’s stand for luck, power, daring, they are guardians and protectors but also conquerors and warriors. Known for their giant ego’s, radiant charisma, vivacious and impulsive personalities and traits of that nature, I think just as much bad as good can be said for my reptilian pals and myself.

So far I’ve come across a ridiculous number of predictions for the upcoming year. On the one hand the stock-market should go up in the U.S and down everywhere else, there will be an abundance of natural disasters and lots of disruptions on the political and military front, with uprisings and protests and conflict between world-leaders. On the other, it is supposed to be a lucky year, one where you should proceed with caution but follow your gut-feel, where you should heed the advice of others yet make your own way. Basically, whatever you do this year, there is no way to tell if that is going to be the wise plan of action or not.

I do my best to live my life from tiny moment to tiny moment nowadays. For a very, very long time I’ve been stuck in the Then. The Then is a place where I have a career, where I have found a spot on earth that feels like home to me, when I have travelled all the places I want to go, know 4 languages, have been signed for a record-company, am a loving mother of 2 and sexy wife of 1 and still do my utmost to share all the good things in my life with the ones I love and the ones who need it the most. This Then that I have made up is such an awesome place that the me now wants to be there instead of here, and somewhere along the road the anticipation for the Then managed to kill off any of the enjoyment I could have felt in the present, and replaced it with impatience and a looming sense of failure. (The latter which is probably pretty much on the mark. Still trying to find a foundation which will cover that huge L on my forehead.)

Some part of my brain just forgot that even though some lucky people get all those things, they tend to get them in time, not right away. Certainly not at 23. Once I caught myself bashing my poor present with great stories of my made up future so many times, I realised it had to stop. Funnily enough, my school-work this past semester was very much all on the theme of choices, reality-check, wanting to be some place other than where you are and things of that nature. Writing a short paper on this topic, I came across a poem by one of my all-time favourite Swedish poets, someone whose poetry I have loved since a very early age indeed, and as a cryptic word of advice for the upcoming year, I have translated it for you, and will share it for you in these following lines. Because I discovered that as soon as you decide that the present is good enough for you, it becomes a lot more awesome. Enjoy, my dears!

In motion by Karin Boye, translated by me.

“The sated day, to me, never comes first.
The best day is a day of thirst.

Yes there’s a point and meaning to our road –
but it’s the way that makes it worth the load.

The best goal is to live from night to night,
where bread is shared in haste by warming light.

In places where you only stay so long,
the sleep is safe, the dream is full of song.

Rise up, rise up! A new day is at bay.
Unending is our adventurous way.”

A word of caution.

It seems to be somewhat of a trend here on WordPress to write about the past year, the way one of my favourite fellow bloggers did, regarding the lessons you learned and the things you experienced. Though in most cases when I attempt to keep myself up to date with trends, I fail miserably, I figured I’d give this one a shot. 

Tips for future me to remember

  • Yes, kittens are just as cute as you remember them to be. They are also vicious, selfish, loud, destructive and never asleep when you want them to be. And though they might be warm, fuzzy, soft, with adorable eyes and purrs and smell like summer-rain and honey a lot of the time, they can also be a tornado of claws smelling like litter-box and bad fish-breath
    Friend or foe?

    .

  • Attempting to recall, in detail, the worst nightmare you ever had, especially when alone in your home at 4 in the morning, is an absolutely horrible idea. Yes, you may be on the phone with a person who makes you feel reasonably safe and there may or may not be a katana standing next to your bed, but it doesn’t mean the panicky mess that is your brain and racing heart will listen to the voice of reason. So just don’t do that again.
  • Remember how you dyed your hair red, then dark brown, then something that was almost blonde, then dark-brown, then more red, then black and then how you tried for ages to get back to normal again? Look away from the Hazel Gold 601 missus. You are not dyeing your hair again!
  • Apparently, you can get more muscles and stamina from working out in your own home than you did when you went to the gym all the time. But without the high expense and the public humiliation. So just keep at that, it’s not so bad.
  • If you get the chance, invent a time-machine, go back to August of 2009 and stop the idiot on the back-porch from lighting that first cigarette. She doesn’t realise the gravity of her actions. Please inform her of how that puff will lead to many nights of freezing in the snow just so she can kill herself a bit more, and even more moments and guiltily moving as far away as possible from her non-smoking friends so she won’t blow second hand smoke in their faces. It’s not going to be worth it. Also, slap her for me.
  • The more you worry about your grades and doing well in them, the better you’ll do. It’s when you relax and get over-confident that you’re screwed. Also, keep double-checking with teachers when it comes to assignments and what they require of you. They’re bad at telling you that.
  • It is possible to miss people every single day. Now go get really rich so you can fly all over the world and see the people you love on a regular basis instead of sitting here missing them.
  • The end of the world will come and go many times, but the only thing that constitutes the end of the world is your own, personal end of the world. (Even if we all die, the world is pretty damn likely to go on. I don’t think it’s a big fan of us and won’t mourn our loss a whole lot, anyway.) My end of the world is the same day that books are no longer read or used. If you find me with one of those internet-book-pads in my hand, that is probably a sign of our upcoming demise.
  • Allie Brosh probably won’t write another blog-post in a long while. Don’t cry yourself to sleep over it, but rather treasure the rare times that she does.
  • Your friends are still the best part of your life and they will probably always be. So just take good care of them, and get better at keeping in touch. It’s not that f-ing hard.
  • Watching countless episodes of “House”, “How I Met Your Mother”, “The Office”, “Glee”, “Sex and the City” and “Black Books” does not count as being productive. Not even if you’re knitting while you’re watching them.
  • The blogging world is ridiculously exciting. Once you click a new post or check out a new writer, there’s no telling where you’ll end up. Be careful, be safe, but keep exploring.
  • Remember that dream you had where you had a bunch of cavities in your teeth? Go get a dental check-up.
  • You’ll turn out ok. At least if you keep thinking that you don’t have to worry so much about it.

Returning to and Older place

The other night, I came up with a brilliant blog-post. It was the best idea I’d had yet. I was already typing it in my head and I knew it was going to rock.

Then I forgot it.

So instead, I’m going to make a slight revisit to the past by posting something I wrote years and years ago. I used to be quite the busy bee writing back in the day. I know that is hard to believe, what with my recent lapse into “What? I have a blog? You want me to post something on it?” but there was once a time when I would write as many as 2 poems a week, maybe 3 songs a month, the scattered short-story and the three or so begun and as of yet unfinished fantasy-novels. This is nothing of that sort. This is what I stumbled upon when finding my old notebooks while looking for… a secret. So, straight from the brain of 17-or-so-year-old Amki, here’s my take on a flight from Sweden to the U.K. I would just like to note that a) yes, my English had a lot left to desire, still does and b) this was my first return to the U.K since I was 13, and I had missed it something horribly. Thus the nostalgic part towards the end.

Returning to Outer Space

It started at the airport already. A middle-aged man of some Mediterranean origin, a loose white shirt and a slight limp, but it was his expression that captured the most, somewhere between glad  excitement and anxious pain. My handbag continued losing pearls and I couldn’t realise I was really going. My bag was searched because of the nutritional supplements.

“Have you brought any coffee with you?” the security staff-member asked with a mix of busy and disinterested. “No, I don’t drink coffee.” (Side-note; things have changed. I am big on coffee nowadays). “Then we really must have a look” she said, watching as I unlocked the useless lock with the miniature keys on the “chicken little” key-ring, with eyes that bulge if you squeeze it.

Passport control nr. 1. “Going to London?” “Yes”. Where else? Naturally, I might have checked into the wrong flight. How could any human as concerned as me about anything not working according to plan make such a mistake? Going flying is really stressful, never do you hold on as tight to your handbag or extra-check the time as often as within those moving halls. How can time move slower just because you want to be somewhere else? The human mind really manipulates its surroundings. I do my usual combination of sideways glances and full-on stares, dealing them out in a fair flow over my to-be fellow passengers.

Passport control nr. 2. Fat stewardess with shrill voice and her whole nature screaming for human contact. Small-talk before boarding, and then seating second next to front. Three fruit gums and then we’re up, accelerating fast but taking longer to lift than I expected. English stewardesses, one steward, poor bloke had to run through the emergency routine. Cars shrink until they’re nothing more than specks, creeping turtle-like down the grey veins of Sweden.

Eventually, the clouds turn from bumpy gravel (stolen out of Paintshop’s flood-fill patterns) into soy whipping-cream, and reach higher altitudes along with us. Naturally, I wanted sparkling water. Obviously, just one bottle left on the plane. And of course, it sprays in large wet drops over my jeans and coat. Well, just a little of it. Land turns to sea, which turns to land full of wind power generators, (Side-note; if Gerard reads this, I’m sorry I mentioned that detail. If Tilda does, I’m glad) which turns into sea with horse-shoe shaped reefs and long, thin fingers of islands. The sun reflects in the wing behind me, and a fragile half-moon makes its way up front. This is heaven. Literally speaking.

The clouds have turned into a sturdy pattern of Greek yoghurt (not out of Paintshop) and at least one of the stewardesses has turned out to be of the Polish nationality – pointy nose, over-plucked eyebrows and heavy accent. “You wanted tickets?” Cards moving over the seats in an attempt to pay the best way. I enjoy my “fruit-bar” – chocolate covered hazelnut-paste, only fruit it contains are raisins, goodness, what can people say in order to sell a product? – and watch the ice-crystals that are spread lazily across my window. They’re taunting the sun. “Can’t melt us up here, can ya?” The cream clouds throw shadows on the monotonous yoghurt-land below. And we’re up here with the cream, floating atop the yoghurt as always.

Amsterdam soon. Holland from above is just like any European country. Modern cities like mazes when seen from the air. So modern that the buildings are ordered. It’s a shame to see, a city without history isn’t a city at all. A glint of gold in the flat ground when the sun hits a small lake or a large area covered with glass. Though perspectives change, you still turn the pictures around so they make sense, fit them in with what you’re used to on the ground. Sometimes we hit valleys and turbulence, then the plane shakes like a truck and your head spins. I don’t think your thoughts have and easy time following the rest of your head when you jump several metres at a time, at the speed we’re keeping. The clouds imitate the land beneath them; the yoghurt-clouds open up in cracks like rivers, give way to smooth cloud lakes and even and island out there in the white nothingness. Or maybe it’s the land beneath that imitates the clouds?

The landing was normal, the ground from the plane looking like a quilt of rich, red earth and gentle greens, cut through by tennis courts and suddenly a green spiral created by some overambitious farmer. Walking along the ever long grey carpet of  Stanstead airport, I somehow still couldn’t realise I’d really made it. What I wanted the most was to touch a tree or the ground outside, something firm that belonged to the land, something that I could relate to ( I did later on, when in London). (Side-note; I had really missed England.) So we took the train, and I got to watch a couple of young people that were on completely different wavelengths, the girl talked and talked, the man-boy watched her intently, nodded and looked out of the window whenever the girl stopped talking, too nervous and disconcerted to look at her in the silence. My fingers were constantly hefted to the handbag when we entered the subway. Very large parts of my life are buried in the folds of its newly sewn seams, and losing it is a thing I’m not going to do. One instantly notices how curious people get when they hear you’re not from England, but no-one dares to ask.

Then we got to the apartment, went a couple of places, went a couple of more places and went home. But it was the journey that mattered. The beautiful journey.

A little speck of dirt west of here

So this time I was thinking my excuse could be “there’s nothing to write about!” but then I realized there always is, you just have to decide that what you have to say isn’t as boring as you think it is. So that’s what I’m going to do. This is a post that I’ve been planning to write ever since before I left Newfoundland but for some reason I can’t explain it hasn’t happened yet. But it’s happening today!

 

Things I miss about Newfoundland

  1. The wind – it’s always surrounding you, pushing you back, shoving you forward, making your hair stick in the lip-gloss that you so foolishly thought to wear that night. It creates noise in the emptiest of spaces and a friend which is either bothering or comforting depending on the situation. Sure, with fall there’s quite a lot of wind in Sweden too, but it’s not the same.
  2. The people – I think everyone who has met Newfoundlanders can agree on that they stand apart with a nationality all of their own. Friendly people, crazy people, artistic people, often all three in one. They can be the most down to earth and sarcastic hard-working old men you know, of the most dreamy and hipster young girls. Whatever else, Newfoundlanders care. Sometimes with the frustrating nosiness of a Jane Austen damsel, sometimes with the angry passion of someone way too drunk on Lambs, but they do care. And if they don’t, they make damn sure you understand how much they don’t care about caring. And my friends, I don’t even have words to express how much I miss them.
  3. The junk-food – Oh Ziggy’s. Oh A&W. Oh Dairy Queen and Wendy’s. Swede’s might have a lot of food-culture and a lot of variation but we have not perfected the deep-fried greasiness that is at the heart and soul of a proper Newfie stogging-place. So in the middle of the night in Stockholm, drunk as a kite and dying for a dirty scoff, where do you go? That question has yet to find a good answer.
  4. My job – The difference between the job I – sort of – have right now and the job I had at Second Cup is miles apart. I loved almost everyone I worked with, here they’re a strange mix of crazy, disinterested or just downright annoying. I felt pride in what I did there, here I feel ashamed almost every time I serve a guest anything off the menu. I enjoyed the atmosphere created by the freshly ground coffee and soft jazz, here I want to tear my ears off when the same hit-cd plays for the 10th time over and the stench of something I’ve yet to locate in the kitchen slaps me in the face. Until I find another job I can not possibly be content to leave Second Cup behind :/
  5. The side-walks – yes, I know, I’m insane. When have I ever complained as much about the grey pathways of a city as when I lived in St. John’s? Yet the side-walks here are uneventful and even, without that constant risk of hooking your heel in a crack or stumbling on a piece of gravel the size of your head. (And I know that’s not gravel. You don’t have to point that out. But in St. John’s, that is gravel.) Where’s the life-and-death adventure of taking a stroll now?
Things I do not miss about Newfoundland
  1. Most of the weather – A lot of the time except for on some rare summer days, the St. John’s weather was crap. The wind which I loved so much would combine itself with a heavy downpour or smudgy fog or why not that wonderful sleet or rain-mixed snow? And then it would proceed to confuse us for the rest of the day, or weeks, with its unpredictability.
  2. The cheese – Except for on a poutine, most of the cheese was kind of like plastic and very expensive. What sane person would pay for a piece of expensive plastic on their bread? I never said I was sane.
  3. George Street on a weekend – Don’t get me wrong. The Levee at 345 is really awesome, a tiny late-night show at CBTG’s is great, but George Street on a Saturday around 11pm? Hates it. The population of the street around this time is either failed attempts at hipster-guys, i-love-hockey-so-much-i-will-wear-it-all-over-my-body guys, these-jeans-will-render-me-barren guys or the endless stream of fake blondes in the little black dress which barely covers their private parts on the wobbly heels. (The only kind of female who can get attracted to above mentioned boys, and even they need a solid doze of some disgusting alcohol in them before this happens.)
  4. Sears – Aaauuuuuugggghhhhh!!!!! I have to admit, and I am very embarrassed to do so, that even I have every once in a while in a moment of weakness, bought something at Sears. But just passing through it you get harassed by loud shirts, even louder over-sized underwear, angry old women and furious little children, all of which appear very threatening and like their deepest wish is to cause you bodily harm. Let us not mention Dollorama. This might be even worse actually.
Having been away for quite some time, it’s easier to look back and see what you actually miss and what you just thought you missed until you received the blessing of being absent from it for a while. What do you miss/hate the most about the place you live/have lived when you are gone?

The Journey

It’s time for the story of how I spirited myself away from the people I love so much to the other people I love so much on this planet.

Leg 1

After tearful goodbyes for the last week, I was finally on the actual plane. I was sad yet excited. I can’t really explain the pain of tearing myself away from my life and the people I have been so close to for the past 3 years in order to join the other people whom I love and explore the world as a student. The first part of my flight was joined by Lorapope, we discussed the contents of the latest “Cosmo” magazine, it was fun ^^ It still hadn’t really hit me at that point, because you know I was still in Canada and the flight was only a little over an hour. I felt rather fine. Like I was taking the bus somewhere. I arrived in the sweltering heat at Halifax and me and Lora said our goodbye’s, she was heading on to go meet LENORE! YAAAAAY! Personally I stumbled out of the plane, retrieved my painfully heavy luggage (no, it wasn’t that heavy but it was heavy for me :p) and then proceeded to drag it around the airport in search for one of those modern smoking-booths with the fans in them you know? I didn’t find one so I went outside to a place that didn’t have non-smoking signs. Halfway through my cigarette a lady came out and said there was “no smoking on the upper level, you have to take the elevator down and turn right”. Of course I forgot the last part of directions, so I just went down and outside and sat down on the grass. I called Gerard with the last 10 dollars on my phone and then had to escape as angry wasps interrupted my second attempt at smoking. Well back inside I bought a 3 dollar ice-cream and sat down to play Mah-jong Titans on my computer. (My laptop is kind of big. It gets a lot of “that’s the biggest laptop I’ve ever seen” when I bring it out). Then I decided that 4 more hours of Mah-jong Titans on a dying battery wasn’t what I wanted to do in the Halifax airport so I went and bought “Paradise Lost” by John Milton and got through the first 50 pages. After much waiting and attempting to get the weird non-verse that is used in this book, I got on my second flight.

Leg 2

Halifax to Keflavik in Iceland. In the lineup outside the airplane while people were trying to get into their seats a little woman, who was probably from Thailand or those parts, commented on my sweater. She thought it looked really nice. I do too. My oldest brothers fiancée knitted it for me some years ago, I wore it when I got to Newfoundland and I wore it when I left 🙂 I sat next to a nice old couple and decided to watch Avatar since I’d never seen it before. I must say I really enjoyed it, even on the tiny shitty screen embedded in the seat in front of me I jumped and squirmed at the wonderful special effects. Foreseeable yes, bad no. Though I did mostly like flying with Iceland air I was unimpressed by how they missed our row while serving people and then took forever to bring us two glasses of juice. I started getting tired then but wasn’t nearly tired enough to sleep. When we landed it was raining. Gone was the streak of gorgeous weather that had followed me so far on this trip. They instantly security screened us upon exciting on the old French-Canadian woman who’d sat next to me mentioned how cold it was. I didn’t feel it. It was early morning and Iceland, what do you expect? On the flight the stewardess had announced through the speakers that “personnel on the ground will help you if you have a connecting flight”. The only help I got was this one guy who told me that arrivals and people with connecting flights had to go in the same direction. After that, I walked through the airport a bit paranoid, and decided that even though there was no one to ask all the signs pointed towards that the flight I thought I would be taking was the right one and that I didn’t have to check in and that my luggage would indeed go straight to Stockholm. But then…

Leg 3

Well all those things did happen. However, do you remember how I said I’d had a problem finding those smoking-booths in Halifax, and how there in fact where none there? Well, I started circling the airport with my 9 pound laptop over my shoulder (I told you it was big) and after walking around it 3 times I decided to my dismay that there were none here either. And I didn’t want to spend money on iffy food since I had gotten a Starbucks frappucino in Halifax. So I walked back towards the gate that would have my plane next to it in 2 hours, and broke down crying. It was very embarrassing because if anyone came up to me and asked what was wrong I’d just blubber out “is there a place to smoke anywhere?” But I guess it had finally occurred to me. I was no longer in Newfoundland. I wasn’t even in Canada. I was alone without help and with 2 hours and nothing to do and I hadn’t had a cigarette for a looong time by now and I missed all my friends and I missed Gerard and I was just so so sad. So after attempting to stop crying for a while I walked into the ladies and cried a bit there. Then I walked back and sat sadly in the same spot for a while. Then I walked to the ladies on the opposite side of the airport. And out of the corner of my eye I saw it. Gloriously double-doored and with an airflow from outside through barred walls. A smoking-area. A place where people with a stupid and self-inflicted addiction to making their health worse can go to do just that. And I was so happy. It was a little sign of acceptance in a big world of “you are alone”. I can’t even explain. So then I got on my flight after that and endured the American lady on my right talking to her husband across the aisle on my left while some young girl was doing her best to poke her feet through the seat-back of my chair, despite my best efforts at pushing her feet back. And then I finally landed in Sweden, and Daniel and Jessica and Anna were there, and they had flowers for me, and they brought me home and made me food, and Tilda came over, and we watched Sex and the City, and I finally got to sleep, and all was good.

What do you love about travelling? What are your pet peeves? Is there any place you’d like to go especially? What makes you feel alone and helpless?

Ranting I

I’m going to make a little break in my regular columnist posts to do a bit of personal ranting about my life.

The past month or so I’ve been freaking out a lot about moving back to Sweden. Not because I don’t want to, just because I’m uprooting myself once more, stowing away my life in Canada over the past 2 and a half years and acting like that is ok and I’ll be fine starting over from square one. But square one is a scary, uncertain place to be. Even though I have a beautiful home lined up and a small handful of people I love dearly and have known for a long time, I still don’t know if I got accepted into the courses I need to complement with to get into university next spring, I still don’t know how hard it will be to find a part-time job, or manage my time and money, and find new and exciting people to develop friendships with.

For the longest time I’ve had the feeling that I am of no country. Though I am “fluent” in both English and Swedish, I’m not fully sufficient in either. I’m used to the Canadian cuisine now but it took a little while, there’s still a lot of Swedish food I miss but I bet I’ll get a hankering for poutine soon as I set foot in Stockholm. I forgot what day was Sweden’s National Day and then asked “what’s happening on July 1st?” I was met by laughter. I get reminded daily that I’m not a Canadian but I’ve tried so hard to chameleonize my way into the life here. Yet when I get back to Sweden I will be met by the same curiosity. “Oooh where’s your name from? What, you’ve lived in Canada for 3 years? What was it like?” My strange first name has already previously made people assume I’m not from Sweden, though I’m born and raised there by Swedish parents. I guess my brunette hair and dark eyes don’t really help the traditional Swedish look.

It’s just… I’d like to fit in sometime. But I guess with my original upbringing and weird little life story that is something that can’t be achieved by now. And the grass is always greener on the other side right? I bet if I did fit in I’d want to be different and exciting. Ah well.

Besides this whole Sweden vs. Canada theme in my life, my computer finally responded to my horrible treatment of him and went into a coma for 3 days. My boyfriend and a friend of ours had to come to the rescue and they finally reinstalled the whole system. So a clean start from square one even with my computer. It’s a funny coincidence. I also started performing at a tiny local bars open mic on Wednesdays and it was fun last night, though I ended up blanking on part of the events, a little too much drink in me perhaps. And I’ve been rereading a book that I read a long time ago and I still love it just as much, the first in a series of 7 called the “Foundation” by Isaac Asimov. Very good author, very good book-series. And finally, a constant theme the past week or two is I’m always tired. Always. I don’t know why, some nights I get sufficient sleep, some I’m bad to myself and only get between 4 and 6 hours. But when I do get enough sleep I wake up still extremely tired and just want to go back to sleep. I hope this will change soon.

Now I’m going to do something that does not require brainpower. I hope this counts as a blog post because it’s kind of just ranting and not very specific. But at least it’s a small update as to what is happening in my life and not just “what I think about this random thing”.

The Sidewalk… a meeting-place and parting-point.

First off, I’d like to apologize for not writing in what has been a rather long time, considering my previous frequency of posting. I’ve just been ridiculously exhausted of late, and so, since writing requires a certain amount of brainpower, it’s been pushed aside for other more basic things like trying to sleep, trying to smile and trying to function at work. Despite still being chronically tired, I will make a real attempt to post more often. Now…

Throughout my life, sidewalks have held a lot more meaning to me than just a slab of concrete next to a road, created in order to ease the trials of people travelling by foot. Sidewalks are the highway of humanity, where people are paraded on display to each other and where the strangest little stories are created. So in this belated post, my sleep-deprived mind will be rambling about sidewalks. (And for anyone who read this post and enjoyed it and didn’t think it was really stupid, I have a short-story that I wrote a while back about sidewalks, and I’d be happy to share that with you upon request).

Follow the current.

Few things will increase your personal navigation-skills as the sidewalk. From watching out for little children and dogs hidden behind other people’s legs to darting out of the way of that large biker who seems unable to step aside for anyone, it tests our alertness and agility in an unexpected dance-pattern. I really enjoy this neat little dance, because even though it is just getting from one place to the next, there are so many tiny trials and tribulations along the way, all disguised in the form of singular humans, that it becomes a small adventure to me. And just being carried forward in that stream of people struggling in the same direction as you is like an out of this world experience. If you have ever been to a large city, you know what I mean. The beat of the feet on the sidewalk is the true city’s pulse.

Look and let your mind loose.

One of my favorite things in the world is sitting down outside a cafe in a strange city and just people-watch. Just sneakily take a quick peek at people and then in your head asses exactly who they are, where they are going, where they’ve been just now and what their immediate future holds in store. Oh yes, 95% of the time the stories that come to mind will be completely off the mark. But even so, it doesn’t matter in the least. These are all strangers that you will only see and hear for a few brief seconds, and they will never have to be informed of the twisted plot that your brain just created for them. It’s a wonderful way to pass an afternoon, and get yourself used to the multitude of mankind that flourishes on the big-city pavement.

The physical aspect.

I am rather accident-prone. *coughs*. Well pretty damn accident-prone. Not that I’ve broken anything. I just get minor cuts and bruises on average twice a day, and if I move, more. I still remember with some fondness the story of how I was walking next to my brother on the flat sidewalk and all of a sudden just disappeared. I had tripped. On nothing. It was like my knees just bent of their own will. But not all places have smooth and easy to traverse on sidewalks. St. John’s where I live right now is actually quite bad for it. The front of my shoes are all beat up because of the cracks and snags in the concrete. If you walk in the right parts of town you’ll find people’s hand-prints and names scribbled while it was still wet and fresh. Downtown there’s a guitar, immortalized by the perfect shape it left on the pavement. And if you don’t look down to study the bumps and slopes of the grey landscaped in front of your feet, how are you supposed to find all those lucky pennies that have fallen heads up?

The journey.

From when sidewalks were just a path trampled through the grass next to the dirt-road, till when someone decided they would manifest it with concreted or stone, it has been the friend and confidant of people like me who enjoy to experience the world they are in while travelling through it. It gives us a chance to set our own pace, to meet new faces, to have those few seconds of smiling at a strangers dog as they pass you and the stranger smiling back. It’s where someone will stop to ask you for the time or a cigarette or directions, and you might end up having the most exciting conversation of the week. It’s the place where you see someone so outrageous you will have to hold your breath for several paces before you can burst out laughing without them hearing. It’s the place where you can get from one point to the next but make sure that you experience every single step of the way. I know I do.