Crazy-bat Ladies

“DF, can you help me.”

I was distracted, over tired, I had just fumbled through an interview with a man that my friend would spend the rest of the evening teasing me about. I looked over and she was sitting on the bench, her shoes in her hands.

“I can’t tie them up, can you help me put them on.”

I squatted down, helped her get her foot in her ‘manly’ shoes and tied them up.

“Do you want your pants rolled up too,” I asked and without waiting for a reply, rolled up both her pant legs.

I imagine we looked like two 90 year old women, helping each other out, laughing at the randomness of not being able to tie our own shoes. But here we were, less than halfway to 90, not being able to tie our own shoes! 🙂

Laughing, chatting, almost falling over myself I noticed him quietly sitting in the lobby waiting and in the process of his waiting, being entertained (badly perhaps) by our laughing and non-linear conversation about nothing.

“She’s my best friend, from Sweden,” I explained.

“Well I am Canadian,” she clarified.

“Yes she is Canadian but she’s originally Panamanian,” I cut-in

“Oh,” he said, looking at us with a sideways look that I interpreted as ‘These girls are crazy-bats!!’

“Her husband stole her to Sweden,” I complained.

“He’s not Swedish, he’s really British, but he was born in Sweden,” she added, as though that would make it better that she now lives in Sweden and not Canada!

It doesn’t make it better and this morning after dropping them at the airport, I felt a tinge of sadness when I unlocked my apartment door. Yes, I got my bed back – but I am also the winner of an empty house where the joking and the sometimes serious conversation is left hanging in the air like a dream.

To wonderful friendships that hurt a little when we have to say goodbye but make up for it the days we get to spend together.

Sunday Procrastination

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Packing is boring.  I used to be a great, light packer until I met my travel buddy.  She introduced me to the idea that one should never give up on the luxuries of home just because you are traveling.   And so, I have become a compact but complex packer – see further, random details here.

All day I’ve mentally been going through a list of things that I need to pack for my upcoming trip.  It is almost obsessive.  At one point over Sunday morning coffee, off in day dream land, I caught myself murmuring “that’s funny” to my coffee companion.  Have I learned nothing.  She didn’t seem to notice or maybe it was the language barrier but when our 1 hour coffee turned into 4 hours, she evidently, graciously, ignored my senseless comment.

The clock is ticking.  It’s getting close to bed time.

I dig my suitcase out from the bottom of my closet.  It is sitting, open mouthed, in the middle of the living room floor.  Clothes started to pile up in the middle as I tossed them in.

Now is time to roll, purge and close my case.

The front pocket feels heavy?   I dig my hand into the case and pull out piles of paper, maps, receipts and now I know I’ll be up until midnight!

My last trip.  Neatly preserved in my suitcase.  A treasure!

I want to go back.  I can feel it in my bones.

#københaven #goteborg #egeskov #helsingør #kronborg #helsingborg #vadstena #stockholm #uppsala #gamla #løvestad #malmÜ

Canada Post

Sending a care package of stuff has never been so adventurous as when I dropped by the local Canada Post outlet a few weeks ago. It was a simple, flat package filled with important papers and it needed sending.

Either it is not as straightforward a process or else I did everything possible to make it the most complicated mailing event EVER.

What I needed:

– a package delivered to Sweden, no Switzerland, no Sweden – too many countries that start with “S”. My great grandmother was from Switzerland, my best friend lives in Sweden. I have yet to visit either country. That’s a reasonable enough explanation for my mix up?! Ya?!

– a tracked package, it would make me feel better knowing at what point the package became MIA – reasonable enough.

– a signature upon reciept, again who doesn’t imagine hiring a forensic Scientist who specializes in analyzing signatures … to catch a thief?

Simple enough.

After hearing the available options “International”, “Express”, “Priority”, “Signature”, “No signature”, “Tracked”, “Not tracked”, I chose a method of delivery.

He rang up my order, I paid.

The printed paper postage spit out of the printer. The clerk started preparing to apply it to the package when I stated to myself “she’ll have to sign for this then when it arrives.”

He stopped, looked up at me puzzled, “No, this is the International Priority Mail, this one you can track but a signature isn’t necessary.”

I was confused. He was confused. I probably did say the words “Priority Mail” but meant a method by which a “Signature” is required which translates to “Express Post”.

He was patient, refunded the “Priority Mail” and rang up an “Express Post”.

He handed me paper work to complete, no fancy printer postage for “Express Post”. The form was somewhat confusing, so talking as I wrote,

“Ahhh, mmmm, where I do I fit this long odd address in…well at least I can identify where the Country name goes,” and I moved my pen over the box with the name Country in the top left hand corner and said proudly, “SWEDEN.”

The Canada Post guy almost jumped over the counter, raised his voice and sharply intoned, “Did you just say Sweden!”

“Yep,” I responded and continued writing.

“You realize you asked for postage to SWITZERLAND,” he evenly replied and continued, “make sure you don’t mail yourself home tonight, I am afraid at this point you wont make it”

And with that he began a second refund and a re-ring on a third mail slip.

Candy Goes to Sweden

Candy Goes to Sweden

whatsapp poop‘Just remember, Little Miss Full-Of-Yourself, the most important days of your life will be the days you don’t forget.’ Claire McCaskill

The time has come and gone. I hugged her goodbye Monday. I wasn’t going to think about what it meant to stand in front of the security entrance, hugging my best friend. That way the tears would stay buried under the practicality of the situation; she was en route to the next chapter of her life and I was so proud of her. Walking back to my car however, I couldn’t stop the tears.

It’s tough saying goodbye once, I am learning it doesn’t get any easier a second time around. My consolation both times? Memories.

The days we laughed together, cried together, the silly jokes we shared, the days we helped each other up when we’d fallen down. And just like the first goodbye changed my life in unimaginable ways, I am prepared this time!

We had 7 years together and after a skeptical start on my part, we became best friends. She’s friendly, optimistic, delicate, warm and ready to see the world through her rosey-shades. Honestly. I, on the other hand am naturally pessimistic and skeptical of anything that seems too-good-to-be-true.

She was too-good-to-be true.

I only wanted to get to my bedroom without having to interact with the bubbly girl with perfectly coiffed hair. Did she have any flaws?

There was something seriously wrong with this chick and I didn’t want to catch her disease.

Problem is, her disease was highly contagious. Not even the lock I subsequently installed on my door could innoculate me from her infectious positive energy.

That’s how it started. Her cheerfully introducing herself to me, extending her hand. Her belongings scattered around her feet. A huge warm smile on her face.

I took her hand, it was the only polite thing for me to do. I grunted something in her direction and escaped into my room.

I can’t tell you why she kept working on becoming friends. I can only guess that she wasn’t going to let no little-miss-skeptical ruin her Canadian experience. No, she was bent on bringing me along on her adventure.

And so over time we became best-friends.

I’ll miss her being a car-ride away, being able to meet up for evening coffee runs, sitting around solving our problems. But I look forward to stepping off a plane in a new country and visiting her new world.

I’ve learned many life lessons from her however, the most important lesson: just smile and wave babe, smile and wave, they’ll eventually come around…I certainly did. 😉