"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.