WORDS ARE TRIVIAL
OCT 26 – NOV 3
TRAVEL WEEK II
More and more, I am coming to realize that words make experiences so trivial. I am sometimes afraid to put words down on paper because it feels like I am putting a permanent stamp on how I feel just to document something to look back on. I am unsure how to accurately capture my past travel week with Noah because words don’t seem to really do justice, but I will do my best.
This past week, I was in Amsterdam, Lille, and Paris for 8 days. We were in Amsterdam for barely over 24 hours, and then hopped on a bus to Noah’s hometown Lille, situated right next to Belgium. What I loved about this travel week is that we did the most mundane things one could do basically anywhere.
In Lille, I would roll out of bed whenever the sun woke me up, usually 9 am, then shuffled to Noah’s room to wake him up. Every morning, we ate pain au chocolat with a glass of soy milk, then shuffled back upstairs to watch an episode or two of Rhythm and Flow on Netflix (highly recommend, you won’t be disappointed). I sketched Noah’s room. I made chicken scratch of all the detailed mess staggered in a weirdly comforting and intentional manner of sorts. We blasted music on his Bose and danced while brushing our teeth. We crunched on leaves and hopped over rails to catch the next tram. I met his high school friends. Sort of fell in love with them. We made cheese fondue.
It was really different to see Noah in his own little element. For him to share his home with me and to see how he thrived in his environment – I felt privileged and happy to be in the same space together. Despite being in Copenhagen for over 2 months, I found Noah’s home more comforting. Perhaps it’s because I am so comfortable with him that I trusted I would be taken care of when in his space, no matter how foreign.
We took the train to Paris on Wednesday. Again, the most mundane days continued (except in a new city now!). I continued to roll out of bed at 9 to wake up Noah. Of course, lots of pain au chocolat for breakfast, but we also cooked some of our meals. Honestly, cooking is really fun when you do it with a friend. You sort of affirm each other’s insecurities and indecisiveness (we are both so so so indecisive, it’s actually really problematic…) to make something edible so we can sustain ourselves! We did a good job, I would say. Then, brushing our teeth together with funky bops and dance moves. Finished Rhythm and Flow, which thankfully had a satisfying ending. I attended Noah’s standup show! I couldn’t understand a single word he said, but the crowd loved him. Anddddd there were lots of strolling, metro riding, mindlessly venturing, and conversing.
I always seem to have some of the best conversations with Noah. During our trip, we talked about changes (we noticed in each other and within ourselves as well as those happening around us). There were moments of existential crises (of course, but it was in a jacuzzi, so I guess that’s fine). We talked a lot about love and admiration, not to quote Birdman, but stemmed from Birdman. I should mention that we also watched Birdman. We talked about our families and friends. There were also sparks of political discourse, environment issues, yaddah, yaddah liberal arts students stuff.
There was a moment, though, when we were eating our leftover stir fry on Halloween and kids knocked on the door. We froze and stared at each other in silence hoping they would go away. Just then, I thought it was really funny. I said, “I can’t believe we have reached this age in our lives where we are finding joy from eating leftovers on Halloween, when we used to be those kids!”. It’s really strange to see priorities change as you grow older. In all seriousness though, I love having leftovers and I loved eating my leftover stir fry in the comfort of Noah’s apartment. I am also a firm believer that leftovers get better with time.
I have also learned that I am not a big fan of traveling and partaking in typical tourism to see all the landmarks. I don’t really find value in hitting all the big monuments or museums just for the sake of doing so. What made this trip so special is the fact that I was in the presence of someone I love dearly with good food and decent weather.
This week passed by way too quickly. I am deathly scared of the upcoming weeks (only ! 6 ! left ! How crazy, but also really excited to go home ah !) because I know I am going to hit the ground running. These few weeks will be very very hectic, especially because I have 3 final exams coming up in 2 weeks and I am unprepared.
Here are some things to look forward to:
My friend Elise from home is studying abroad in Dublin and she is visiting for 4 days. London and Barcelona are next on my list, and I am excited to take things slow now knowing how I like to travel. I hate to reiterate, but I am just really excited to go home and see my friends back home.
Oh, I almost forgot, I also saw The 1975 in Paris and that was an insane experience.
Until next time,