Stranger in my hometown

 First of all thanks to whoever I need to thank for having arrived at my destination safely. Since the Swissair crash I have never been comfortable on a plane anymore, and this time only Petula Clark’s “Downtown” managed to distract me from my worstcase scenario images.

The cool thing about this direct flight to Switzerland was that 80% of the passengers were on their way to New Delhi (no there is no New Delhi in Switzerland, the plane’s second destination was India).
My vegetarian meal turned out to be a chickpea curry with rice and as I asked for a cup of tea, I got “Black or Indian tea?”. I didn’t quite get the question and was about to answer “Ceylon tea if you have it”. Stuck with “black” and it wasn’t until the next row where the flight attendant changed his scripting to “Chai or Black tea” that I clued in. Bummer, would have preferred Chai.

Anyway landed without much of a delay at the new (3 years old) terminal and now of course I don’t recognise anything of my former workplace. Well time didn’t stand still while I was away.

Luckily I still recognise a friend of mine who shows up unexpected to welcome us as well as my Dad, who as dependable as a Swiss watch has never missed an arrival. It’s good to be home.

Once at my parent,s house I have to inspect every room. Things look so much smaller than I remember them. I haven’t grown in 2 years so I don’t really understand that. Somehow my memory must have stored my childhood images of my former home. The family ‘banquet’-dinning table now seems Ikea size. The stone stairwell that used to seem like Mount Everest when on the way to bed, now takes no energy, and the backyard that used to fill castles, soccer fields and snowball battle grounds isn’t much wider than the back yard in my house.

We take an evening stroll through the village and although we come across many faces, I don’t recognise any. They however seem totally at home, and curiously check us out. Even an accent free “Gruezi” won’t do the trick. I stop at my deceased Grandmother’s house that used to be the heart of the village. The renters don’t love the house the same she used to and the missing shutters, overgrown garden and unswept front of the house where we used to sit on the bench and chat with anybody on their way to the stores, saddens me.

But I pick up her spirit and like old times, it’s good to see her. As we continue our walk back to my parents home I think to myself, yes, things have changed, but whatever I carry in my heart won’t.

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~ by spasmicallyperfect on September 21, 2006.

3 Responses to “Stranger in my hometown”

  1. Wonderful post, SP.
    Glad you arrived safely.
    The idea that over time things change in size and in memory is perceptive. It’s distance and time that give us a unique, albeit sad, view that was once solely ours.
    Again, deep meaning here and a wonderful post. Now go and relax…
    btw- the chickpea curry with rice sounds awesome.

    ~m

  2. Hi from Europe M.
    Two days later I am taking in more than I can process in writing. I am also relaxing, excited about the new old view on life, excited to learn about how time has enriched both my life and people close to me. And as always amazed about the timing of life, better than any Swiss watch will ever be ;-).

  3. I just love it when things are done right.

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