This entry was written by my fellow traveler, Po-Ling, aka The Real Po-Po; She, Sabina and I traveled in London, Germany and Norway together.
As we sit in sardine like proximity of complete strangers on Scandinavian Airlines, raindrops trickle slowly down the glass pane windows of the airplane. Sabina and I are leaving Oslo; our vacation has officially come to term. We have been fortunate with sunny weather nearly through the entire trip, but on this day, our departure date, the clouds of Norway weep for us. Travis, the third of the traveling musketeers, is already en route to the UK.
I think back to the past 16 days, and I remember only good things. Perhaps it is because this trip has been filled with nothing but good memories. My snarky sarcastic side lies dormant on the sentiments running through me. Is it possible this vacation has actually made me somewhat of an optimist?
Our plane is now taxiing towards the runway, and all I can think of is the word bittersweet; how perfectly it describes the mood in my heart. The raindrops are streaming past the windows now, faster than before. It's time to go home. There's nothing we can do now to resist the G-force hurdling us farther and farther away from the foreign lands we've come to love. Well, nothing short of a terrorist like take over attempt on our part. Let's just face it, sitting in the middle and by the window in row 27 is just not conducive to storming the cockpit. I think our efforts are better spent trying to infiltrate the water closet.
This trip was special because of the characters involved. I said characters because we each played a role. Sabina was the matron navigator who, like a student council president, kept us on track. She was also the universal translator from whom I learned Norwegian from. (Her Norwegian lessons had backfired when I caught her telling her uncle that Travis and I were being childish.) Travis was the token male, who often was our bellhop. Of course, he was much more than that, he was also quite the doorman and courier for small pieces of trash and empty containers. Oh, I kid, I kid! Travis provided us with very entertaining stories from his past and unsolicited random facts about Velcro. I also shared in the entertainment role by my willingness to pose in compromising photos. And, by that I mean cheesy, touristy, slightly obnoxious PG-13 photos. On the other hand, I was the timekeeper with a watch tan badge of honor. At night, after I set the alarm clock, I became the intermediary between Travis' snoring and Sabina's protest.
Many memorable moments were had on the trip. Such an example was a miscommunication at one of our host families' house, where the hostess thought Travis wanted her to do his laundry. She was quite indignant about the request and punished him by making him sleep on the dog couch and holding his socks hostage. Travis, in good boy scout fashion, made ammends, and we all had a good laugh over it. Sabina was the eternal klutz, and I was there to laugh at her every near tumbles and falls, like a good friend should. She was particular great at teaching us the idiosyncrasies of each European shower. We were never scalded by hot water nor frozen by icy blasts. On the occasions when we went clubbing, I told people that Travis was my adopted gay brother (but only to guys because he was salting my game).
Now that we have finally boarded our connection to Chicago, the bitter part of separation has subsided and the sweet memories are surfacing. Shakespeare said it best, "Parting is such sweet sorrow."