Some things never change. One of them is my inherited always just in time arrival to any means of transportation. The train leaves at quarter to? Then I leave the house at half. Mind you, I have never missed a flight and only two trains in 27 years (curiously enough both were going from Uppsala to Stockholm).
Something that is also typical of my life is that I have friends over until the minute I need to leave to move to another town. I still remember Nicola sitting on my floor with me in Stockholm 15 months ago until I was picked up to go to the airport. Today, Kajsa came by to say her goodbyes and Ingrid escorted me to the train station.
I spent most of the four hours train ride looking out of the window and after two and a half hours I knew I had come to the Ruhr area. How I knew? The train stations appearing used the old corporate identity of Deutsche Bahn. This is a mystery I must solve during my time in the Far West: why on earth does this region hold on to the Eighties so much? Especially when it comes to the train stations, this puzzles me because it so defeats the purpose of a corporate identity.
And now I’ve landed. It brings back the many times before that I’ve spent a first night somewhere. Locating a supermarket, finding the way home, putting sheets on the bed (in my case sheets designed by the Swedish Prince. Evelina gave them to me.) My temporary home reminds me of an upgraded attic chamber (it is so warm in here) and I still have to get used to the scarce inventory (the landlady itemized ‘two bowls, four spoons, five knives’) and the lack of a dishwasher, a sofa, an Ingrid.
Many people have written to me today to wish me luck. Thank you! I shall close with the most poetic line I received:
“Rhenfloden flyter glatt och väntar på dig”.
(The Rhine River is flowing happily, waiting for you)