Last week A and I traveled to Geneva, we had a long layover in Amsterdam. And when I say long, I actually mean long, 21 hours long. 21 hours are a long time to wait, especially in transit. But we did the smart thing: booked a hotel near the hotel and actually took the day off to explore Amsterdam.
So we left Oslo early last Saturday morning and found ourselves in an airport hotel in no time. I guess, most journeys start off like that: slow and easy. We took the train into the city center and were immediately met with a heat that knocked the air out of our lungs. I forgot how hot cities can be, when the sun is beating down relentlessly and no air is coming through.
So far this summer, Oslo had little of any weather that anyone could call “summer”, unless you’re even further up north, than yes, Oslo is having a *heatwave*. That is, if you consider wearing cardigans, windbreakers and hats as suitable summer attire. So having 30 degrees Celsius in the shade was more than I could handle, which is kind of ironic, given that my mom was born and raised in tropical climate and I spent a good portion of my life in hot climate weather, but let me tell you, after a few years in Norway, I just can’t handle my heat like I used to. But I guess it’s normal to just get used to something else, right?
Anyways, so once in Amsterdam, A and I staggered around through the tiny little paths in Amsterdam and it is quite magical – even without any stops at the coffee shops… We wandered around for what might have seemed hours and eventually found ourselves in front of a Chinese temple: a unexpected little gem.
After a few hours of aimlessly wandering, we decided to go on a canal tour, which I would recommend for anyone to do, even if you’re not a boat-nut as I am. The tour just gives you a different view of the city, and it allows you to just sit back and let the world pass by. This picture, by the way, was my attempt of getting all 7 bridges in one shot, but turns out, we weren’t the only one interested in cruising the canals… And I guess, that’s normal too, expecting something wonderful and getting a not so perfect picture.
And that’s just it, isn’t it? I spent the past 21 years in the educational system (not counting the few years in between, where I technically attended school, although only somewhat successful). The journey started slow and easy and picked up speed along the way, knocking the air out of my lungs more than once, changing me in ways I didn’t even consider and still cannot fully understand. Every now and then I would stop and discover breathtakingly beautiful gems, but altogether I somewhat aimlessly got to where I am right now: at the end of a trip with nothing but a less than perfect picture. In about a week I will be defending my master’s thesis, and then… Well, to be quite honest, I don’t know what then. All I know, is that I am currently in a less than perfect situation, waiting in transit for my flight to call the gate and let the people board.
It’s almost like I am sitting in an airport, with my flight being cancelled and being on call, just waiting to get more information. Ever so often I check the monitor, to see if anything changed, realizing, that in the last five minutes, since I checked, nothing, absolutely nothing has changed. I could use this time wisely now and desperately freak out, yell at the desk-people which deal with delays and more-than-annoying customers, or, I could just do the opposite, take my time and consider my best option.
Coming to the end of a journey, waiting for the next window of opportunity is mind-boggling crazy, it shows you sides of yourself you didn’t even know existed. For instance, I finished a 1000-piece puzzle in less than 4 days, read about 15 books in the last month, front to cover, worked relentlessly at my part-time jobs and applied for full-time jobs that I thought would be lucky to have me, although they didn’t seem to agree with me, just yet. But either way, I am in transit, waiting for the next flight out of here, and to be honest, I don’t think I have ever been more terrified in my life. But that’s the most wonderful thing about it, honestly. I have also never been happier in my life, and I have never been more excited, more thrilled and most importantly eternally grateful that I get to wait in transit, that I am in the position that I am in, that after 21 years (plus/minus a few), I am at the crossroads and get to make a decision that potentially could affect the rest of my life.
But for now, you will find me at the airport lounge (also known as my living room floor from where I am writing this right now), sipping some coffee, watching countless airplanes land and take-off, people arrive and leave and enjoying every second of it. Because I have no doubt, that in the near future, it will be my turn to embark on the next journey and what could be more exciting than that? After all, we can’t all always stay in transit…