I have been in Italy three times. The first time was with my scout group when I was 15. I can still remember walking in the small city near the border of Switzerland, even if I don`t remember it`s name. The whole atmosphere of the place was completely different from anything I`ve ever experienced before. I felt at home and free. It was like I was born to live in that country, and that feeling has never waned. My second trip was together with my ex-boyfriend, when we went to Venezia. Before we got there, we stayed at a camping site right outside the town for two days. Our tent went up for the fifth time that summer, and we settled down in the sun. The first night came with thunder. We could see the lightning from afar, and I put up my camera and took some pictures that captured the moment forever. I felt as energized as the thunder surrounding us. With forces like that, you realize how powerful nature is. You see the beauty of life, and it seeps into you like good memories with the people you love. The morning afterwards we slept in, and I awoke to the sound of Italy. A group of Italian youngsters were playing soccer right outside our tent, and the energy of it felt like I was right there, playing myself. Suddenly I heard one of the kids shout loudly “BRAVO”. I think that was the moment I realized that I had to learn the language that expressed life. Tomorrow I will do exactly that. For the second time, I am attending an Italian course together with a group of lively Norwegians, who for different reasons want to do the same as me. We learn verbs, words and pronunciations. We are still at the basics, but it makes every fiber in my body sing together with the words I love. I get goosebumps when I hear another perfect word, because to me, the language is exactly that. I know my love for the country and it`s culture will bring me closer to really learning all I can before I travel there again. My next goal is to visit Cinque Terre, a picturesque town where no cars can enter. I will walk around in the sunshine like I have done several times before, letting its culture envelop me like a soft blanket.
More: Cinque Terre
I have been on islands. To be more specific, I have travelled to Scotland and isle of coll. This is a calm and relaxed island. We stayed in a little cottage, and met some really friendly isle-dwellers. Everyone said hi no matter if they didn’t know us. They loved to chat, about everything from the weather to the fact that Scotland is still not an independent country. They smiled and looked like they had all the time in the world. Not something you see in cities around the world. I also went cycling through a flat and beautiful landscape. I could also read as much as I wanted, and wasn’t disturbed by the constant internet frenzy that normally haunt every second of my life. It was a pleasant bubble where I slept and felt well. In other words, I do recommend this little island if you need a break.
I have included some pictures. Hope you enjoy them
Another bus in front of me. There is a screeching sound in the background, a nice mix-up of Muslim vibrations from the mosque, and simply a loud weeeeaaaahh, fronting its never ending message to the world. My head is fuzzy, after just some hours of sleep, shortened by my roommate who got up really early and then just sat on her bed for 20 minutes staring at her phone. I tried a timid hello, but I probably looked like some alien right then, my right eye swollen after a piece of a contact-lens decided to have some fun. I’ve bought some tea, ice-coffee, juice and water (just a little bit thirsty). Some soft drink god must have disapproved of how I grabbed everything for myself and took revenge by turning my teacup around. I can hear him snickering somewhere, but I still don’t think I’ve learned the lesson. The clock is 8, my bus will head for the Vilnius airport in 20 minutes. My plane back to Oslo leaves at 09:45, thankfully the airport is just 5 km away.
I put down my phone, to let my thoughts roam for a while. I watch a green tree in front of me, noticing the wind tickling the leaves and get into post- morning mood (E. Grieg) at once.
I have a warm feeling running through me. jt’s compassion and happiness, cradling me in its arms as they tell me their memories. They remember a little girl from the bus ride from Riga, putting her head on her fathers shoulders, and then comes more glimpses from yesterday and days before that. I hear excerpts from emails recited inside, melting like Lithuanian chocolate. I remember her brown, sparkling eyes and compassion nods its head in agreement. Yes, it likes where my thoughts are, and especially clap its compassionate hands when we looked at each other in the cafe. It was a moment of silence, but with so many messages being sent back and forth. I grabbed one of them and said: I’m so glad we found each other (it sure wasn’t easy!). It’s like whipped cream on hot chocolate (yep, still thirsty), almost too good to be true
She let her curtains be drawn away several times, and out came precious collections of memories, retold with animation and respect for the ones in it. Her thoughtfulness was behind everything she said, no matter if it was telling about places they visited, people they met or people she loved. Her brother Emmanuel (the three E’s) was with us, also contributing with insightful comments of finishing his story. Sometimes they finished each others sentences, if they not continued it out of eagerness before the other was done. He was so calm, handling everything in the world. His violin shoulders not protesting against the task of bearing others in mind constantly. And further; They shined of ambitiousness that have brought them every possible experiences.
When she goes back to the states, there is more work to be done. I see her in my mental theater, in front of a white piano together with a student, passionately making sure they get her delivery to their potential.
A sound intrudes my reminiscence, reminding me to only take one piece of hand luggage unless I’m in classy business. I’ve thoroughly liquidized myself with coffee, drinking yoghurt, tea and water, feeling slightly nauseated by the rapid intake. Again, I see number 22 in front of me (literally) which amaze me since it has been around all the time during this trip, pushing me on and telling me I’m doing this for my own sake (22 is my birthday) . The clock was even 22.00 when we finally started walking towards our cafe yesterday, chatting about how we ran back and forth like Crazy, blind people. Slightly funny we could walk around each other like that: When I was pacing back and forth on McDonalds, going over to the cashier to convey a strict instruction; ‘
‘If they come in her, tell them to follow me). Maybe she was busy calling the crazy ward as they came in, cause our paths never crossed inspire of vigorous exercise for all of us (they sweetly thanked me for that later, lithuanians really love potatoes!)
We found each other at last. ‘I said to my brother, we won’t give up before we find her’. She smiled, probably dead tired from lack of sleep and a quite special and stressful afternoon.
One flight, hard bump in the head after one refreshing rain-shower and three bottles of tax-frees later, sitting and waiting for a bus I think I will not take. I thought I had time in Oslo to get my luggage, but seems like I must be extraordinarily fast if want to accomplish that. Nothing in me is turned on top speed, so if I find an earlier bus I will take it, even if I bought train tickets already.
The flight was spent in-between the skies and earth, in my own creative land. That’s where I build strange buildings (inspiration: Emmanuel) and think about stuff like: How funny would it be to actually smear yellow marmalade at on the singing ladies ? And that Ryanair use a lot of psychological tricks to sell stuff, but smear it over people so they feel sticky and just want to wash it away. Most of all I been re-living yesterday. How many details can one have from just three hours ? I am not sure, only know I’d take the Carousel again.
For now, the ride is over. I will walk on familiar ground again, but with my disorientation, I’ll never be sure if I suddenly walk on a new road.
If you look around, there is overwhelming proof of how fast things around us change. I can see men with grey hair, leaning on solid objects to feel safe. New music streams from the stores, and unfamiliar smells tickle my curiosity. There is even a skating hall in the middle of the shopping mall, surrounded by cafeterias and restaurants.
I started to think about this when I sat on the toilet earlier and looked at my cell. Today means that I can write, read and surf on the Internet absolutely everywhere. Another thought hit me: What could this lead to in a couple of years? In my minds eye I saw a young, stylish woman in a space shuttle, taking a picture of the earth and then posting it on the Internet. We want to see and experience everything, and also share it with the persons we love.
People say that something in the society is missing today. The net lures us into a cold room unfilled with real human contact. Robots fill our previous roles, while millions suffer from various tragedies. A mother holding her baby tight to her chest to protect it from the scorching sun and the sight of what humans are capable of doing to one another. It is hungry stomachs, kids who spend hours in virtual reality, violence and someone taking their last breath after years of sickening pain.
The sun still comes up, and we take another picture of it all. Where can we post it? Is there a Instagram with #picoftheday chosen based on how good it capture the diverse reality out there. Where can the mother with her dehydrated son let the world look at her dilemmas and even let them help her?
I sit in a black chair at the moment. Around me heat streams out from plastic mouths, making their usual sounds while drying wet hair. Right in front of me, blue fish swim around in a little aquarium, knowing nothin about the vast ocean and diversity there. A woman is combing my hair and people chat in their native Lithuanian language. I’m coloring my hair, because changes can be not only in our surroundings, but also on and in us.
The sun will soon wave goodbye again, before it goes to sleep and let the night be our protector. We thank the sun, and also the night. With it we are forced to put down the cameras, lock the doors and close our eyes.