"And since you are so fucking strange, you actually got really happy of it" says my mum when she is telling the story of when I got a cover and pillow in Christmas present. We are standing in the old house in Laholm, the one now sold, packing everything down. Later we take the car and put all the boxes, bags and furnitures in an orginazed chaos in the new apartment in Halmstad. Their new home. And in a way mine.
It's been 13 days since I took the Norwegian Dreamliner from Bangkok to Hamburg, with one nights layover in Oslo. There was not time for much but enough to get my ass kicked in chess, get served some tasty "thai ribbs" and meet the most beautiful baby I have ever seen, Sebastian. Not that the competition is that high since I have hardly ever met a baby before. It is Eun and Thomas who two days earlier became parents and me a godmother. I still can't really wrap my head around it but oh, Sebastian was adorable. Even when he was screaming it wasn't too loud or annoying. A completely new feeling for me, known as Sarah - the babyhater.
The day after I returned to Oslo airport and jumped on another airplane that took me to Hamburg. Even though I was on european ground I was not yet finished with my travelling. With my bag of 19.4 kilos and layer on layer with shirts I took the challenge of understanding the German train system. A challenge I realised I had lost when the train I was on entered the last station, Lubeck, without passing by a city called Grevesmuhlen. Which were where I was heading to.
I guess I shouldn't have been that surprised once I finally got off a train in Grevesmuhlen it had taken me a few more hours than I had planned. The journey from Hamburg airport had taken me a little bit more than six hours instead of the two it was supposed to. But no harm done. My family and relatives still hadn't arrived and I could shower off these last few days of travelling without any stress.
The weekend was a surprise travel for my grandmother who turned 80 years old that friday. Even though the surprise wasn't that much of a surprise since she had been suspecting it for quite some time. She even had done some snooping around herself amongst my not-knowing-what-she-was-up-to cousins. I'm kind of happy I was on the other side of the earth and in no opportunity of getting exposed to it. Although she had figured the trip out in advance she still beamed happy at us all while we were cramped into one hotel room drinking champange and giving presents. It is funny how the weekend would end in almost the same way.
When myself, along with my parents entered the breakfast buffeet on sunday morning we were convinced that someone else had taken our table. It was filled with... What is that? Is that presents? It turns out that our sweet grandmother, mother and mother-in-law wanted to thank all of us. And since the trip hadn't been the surprise it was supposed to be, it had given her enough time to collect some gifts for everyone that she brought along. The weekend starts with us giving her presents and finishes with her giving all of us presents. She is a remarkable and wonderful person my grandmother.
Two or three car games later I enter Swedish soil for the first time in two months. My country greeted me with cold temperature (about 30-40 degrees colder than Thailand) and a sun that sets at four o'clock. And the 10 days spent here has passed without me really noticing them. We have been packing, loading cars, driving, emptying cars, cleaning, unpacking.. I even helped out with painting walls and laying floors! The floor buisness was a little more successful I must admit, while the paint ended up everywhere. Like on my parents dear living room floor (which must have something special about it since mother holds it so dear) and on my thighs. No, or yes, on my pants but also, more myseriously, on my thighs. On my skin. Under the pants.
So here we are. Yesterday mum sealed the deal and turned in the keys. The house of early 19th century is no longer in our family's possesion after 40 years. It stings. But the memories after all is not in the house, it is in our heads.
I will never forget how me and my grandmother spent time in her gallery painting, eating chocolate and listening to Greek music. I will not forget the eternal building of roofs, sundecks, dancefloors and chicken houses. I will never forget when I, as a teenager, got my own huge room with a small toilet and even an entrance of my own (even though I never ever used that entrance nevertheless still had it). I will never forget how happy I was when I bought my very first vacuum cleaner. Or how happy I was from the cover and pillow that I got for Christmas. I guess my mum is right, I was a strange child.
On second thoughts, maybe I still am.
As a little girl I was afraid of a lot of things. One of my biggest fears was drowning and I had numerous of dreams where Lagan (the river) outside our house had overflown and the whole house was underwater. Because of this fear I also have been afraid of sleeping on a boat. The sea sickness that hit me everytime I entered a boat also did not help and I avoided spending time on a boat as much as possible for the first 22 years of my life.
Thankfully I have grown, and even outgrown my fear. Or maybe it is more that my interests, passions and hobbies has been more important. So important that I actually forgot my fears. This is why it was possible for me to spend four days and four nights out at sea. Living on a Liveaboard with friends spending all day diving was awesome. I managed to tackle both my sea sickness and boat-sleeping-issues.
That Coffee Frappe gave me one nasty food poisoning and four days in bed. Once I was healthy up and going my friends were certified divers. So on a Thursday evening the five of us together with two Norwegian diving instructors boarded Manta Queen III. Four dives per day refreshend my diving skills and we got to see turtle, octopuses (THEY WERE SOOO FUCKING COOOL!! Did you know they change colour? Well they DO and it is AWESOME), clown fishes and lots and lots more. It was better than I ever could imagine. And the only thing we felt that we missed were a whale shark, a manta and a fat german tourist in speedos.
Monday afternoon we were back on firm ground and the world have been rocking ever since. The feeling when sea becomes land and land becomes sea. We jumped on a minibus that took us all the way to Phuket and Patong where I would spend my very last days in Thailand. Turns out that one day were enough for me, Erling and Anton to chase a beach where we could do some windsurfing, even though there was no wind on any of the beaches we visited. And one crazy night out is enough for me to lose all common sense together with shoes, phone and clothes.
So here I am, sitting on a brown not too comfortable chair, in Subvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok. My last night in Thailand I will spend on these hard chairs before I catch my flight back home at 9 o’clock. I will do one nights lay over in Oslo before I continue to Hamburg where I, one way or another, will get to Grevesmuhlen where my family awaits. I cant wrap my head around these last two month, how time just flies by. I still feel that I haven’t had enough, I am not satisfied.
The feeling of when home becomes away and away becomes home.
- I can't drink that kind of coffee. I did it once and it all came back out, Anton tells me when I order a Coffee Frappe at the bakery here in Khao Lak. I give him a look and thank him for the very important information while sipping on my drink.
A lot of nothing and everything has happened since last time I wrote. I was at Tiger Muay Thai, training four times a day, and I kept it up for a week. Energydrink was a savior between training sessions and I want to say that I slept very good at night. But I didn't cause of the footsteps echoing from either roof, walls or, well, inside the room. Every morning when I woke up there was a fresh little pile of dirt on the floor that wasn't there the night before, making me sure it was not only imagination. But it wasn't the footsteps fault that I left one week earlier than planned. After a kick in an elbow and a kick in a knee my toe surrendered, turning blue and swollen. And pointing in the wrong direction. It was the toe making me wanting to leave Tiger Muay Thai with its great training but with poor location.
I then did something I have never done before in my travelling life. I returned back to Lamai, Koh Samui. Never have I felt the urge to go back somewhere that strong and once my toe had given up, so did my inner battles of discussions. I spent one more week in Lamai with training and some last wonderful days with my people there while the rain was pouring down.
It was once again hard to leave once the week was over. But now I was heading for new adventures, waiting for me in Bangkok. Even though the trip with taxi, minibus, bus, boat and bus once again wasn't as easy as I had anticipated, and even though my travel agency agent told me that "I worry for you! Usual only Thai, noone english. I worry! I worry for you!" I still arrived in Bangkok 16 hours later. After being completely robbed by a taxi I came to Kho san Road where I met up with Caroline, Anton, Magnus and Erling.
My trip have since then taken a turn. During this week together I have been out jogging once. But with that said I think this was/is just what my body and mind needed/needs. In Bangkok we went to a roof top bar (at Thailands highest building), went in MBK (huge shoppingcenter, noone bought anything but some coffee from Starbucks), rode a lot of Tuk Tuk (with a questionable number of people inside) and went on a real ping pong show (making me completely speachless of what the ladies manage to fit inside their bodies while my friend next to me made big applauses shouting AMAZING).
At the time of writing I am in my hotel bed, sharing room with other people who enjoys a good tune in the toilet, in Khao Lak. Some of us are taking their Open Water Certificate, while we already certified spend the days at the beach or taking massage. Life is good.
But I should have listened to Antons coffee advise. Three hours after the warning and the entire cup of Coffee Frappe I am the one singing on the toilet. Or at least forcing my roommates to listen to music while I'm in there.