Homebound’s Traveling Journal #4: Going Home

A person has many homes. Defining which one has the biggest place in your heart is almost impossible. They say home is where the heart is, but home is most definitely also where you feel the most comfortable.

We did get breakfast at that foggy place far away. It wasn’t a good breakfast, but it was an experience and we drove off feeling slightly relieved not to have encountered anyone like Jack Torrence.

The last day on the road was a bit anxious, slightly dull but dining in the little café which was situated in the local library in the tiny town was delightful. We drove back to where we started in a sky fall I’ve rarely seen in Iceland. It drizzles in Iceland for the most part, often horizontally, but it rarely pours down.

For the rest of the trip we visited people I see too rarely. Each of them delighted for the visit, but offering various emotions as to how rarely they get to see me. It’s the curse of the expat, but I assured them that it was getting easier for me to fly, the flight over to Iceland was easy. I watched Lucifer (A series I’d like to see more of) and doodled, mostly unconcerned by the fact that I was so high in the air!

Then the time came to head home again.
It’s always good to be heading home. No matter how long you’ve been away, it seems. Being on the road is tiring and the shelter and mental energy you receive in your own home isn’t there to help you recuperate.

We expected to be home somewhere around two in the afternoon local time. That would be just after lunch Icelandic time.

No. The plane we were supposed to fly home in was faulty. And I’m EVER so grateful that they decided not to fly that one. But that meant delays. And we got no information. Managed at last to board the plane (Keilir) that was to bring us home instead, and the flight was actually almost as easy as the one to Iceland.

I watched two episodes of Lucifer. Imagine that. Fearful is receding, she’s living on the sidelines – maybe biding her time, but I hope not.

We landed in Copenhagen, at Kastrup – and waited for our baggage, and then we waited some more until I realised – the damned bags weren’t here, and they weren’t coming.

Two bags missing. The kid crying because her Lillen is missing (her favourite bear-brother-teddy). And I keep realising that everything I need is in those damned bags. But still no word of the bags. I’ll be hesitant to use Icelandair again – hesitant, but I did hear the callouts for the Dublin flight, with the “other” airline, that was to head off before our flight, a whole day of delays – and missing bags. I’m thankful that wasn’t me.

The tourism in Iceland is getting out of hand. The airport can’t quite handle the pressure I think, and the country needs to think about the way they overburden their infrastructure – though I mostly noticed the heavy tourism in Reykjavík, there were tourists in the rest of the country as well but it didn’t seem as heavy.

It’s strange going back to a country that’s changed so much, meeting people who also change. It’s strange to drive the roads I drove with my father all those years ago and felt him in every stone like a pleasant phantom companion. Then the places were often bereft of people, we were alone wandering through Dimmuborgir (as it should be!) and though it wasn’t exactly the same now I still got to relive those memories.

I am so grateful for those trips he took me on. I don’t think I’d be the same person without them. The richness those trips gave me is something I’ll never ever be able to explain to the fullest and now I have shared those things with my favourite people. And I have things to write – oh so many things to write.

One of the first things that greeted us in Sweden as we were heading home was a boy, approximately six years old. He had climbed on top of a statue, pulled his pants down and was pissing on the pavement far beneath him. It somehow seemed to put everything in perspective.

And it’s been priceless, despite missing baggage, delayed flights and what not. It’s all a part of the package. And now I’m home and it’s really good to be home.

It’s a pity we don’t whistle at one another like birds. Words are misleading.
Halldór Laxness, UNDER THE GLACIER


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