Towards What, Madame?

Yesterday was that day. One of those three days within a given year when I fly home from a Finnish holiday.

The flight from Helsinki to Geneva lasts two and a half hours and the entire way, to my amazement, I sit in my seat and I think why. Why am I leaving? Why am I going? Why am why flying out of here?

I bury myself in this special little confusion because the landscape that’s so quickly disappearing, suddenly feels like the fabric of my sense of ease. It’s like my sense of security and identity slips away and I just sit. My comfort, my history, my language, my towns. Exactly what am I doing in this pathetic steel tube? Excuse me but where do I think I’m going?

Towards what, Madame? Where you rushing to?

Language lessons, I think crossly and huff. Mis-friggin-understandings, chère Madame. Cultural barriers, language barriers. And worst of all: humour barriers! Embarrassing gaffes, silly faux-pas, awkward silences and little coughs, the lot.

So I fume passive-aggressively on row 9 or wherever. The seatbelt binds me to my spot.

It’s not that I don’t want to go back to the man who’s so excited to have me back. Believe me, if anything or anyone in this traveling lifestyle is home, he’s it – he’s home! The language we reunite in is just right. No humour barrier, no barriers of any kind. Just a (mostly) cheery sweet peace and a gentle flow. No gaffes, no awkward.


But sometimes – for about seven and a half hours in a year – I do wonder why our home has to be so far from where things come easy!

I hear the prettiest language in the world spoken everywhere in the luggage hall and it today it drives me crazy.

Then we drive through streets and take turns and suddenly arrive. I lug my suitcase in the lift and out again, or he does it, and there we are! It’s not our own, it’s not permanent. It doesn’t look quite like us, this first floor flat in a Swiss lakeside suburb. And nothing’s yet faded in my prescious holiday book of memories…

‘Go to sleep’, he offers cheerfully (with years of experience). So I sleep the morning away. When the sun starts to warm the blinds later I wake up. And I’m over it.

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