The pilot announced we were landing soon and I awoke from my unexpected nap. As I descended the plane and we walked onto Tunisia soil I said audibly to myself and Amel “ I wonder if I was supposed to have a Visa to come here..”
I think we were both a bit nervous as I walked up to the customs counter and handed over my passport. Without even glancing up the agent grabbed it, flipped through and gave it a stamp. Relief.
Two years ago I was standing in the downstairs neighbors kitchen reading the odds and ends stuck on her refrigerator. She was a journalist for a paper and I had come down to share in a impromptu potluck with random friends. There was a “how to write a good short story in ten steps” clipping and still to this day I think of #4 – “Make your character go through hell so the reader understands what they are made of”.
I can only give one instance in my life this title of “hell”. Everything else that falls close can only be titled as maybe “purgatory”. This odd space of “in between”.
Elation – Italy, Sicily, Tunisia. New countries, memories and experiences. I really am addicted to this life and travel. I just want more time in each space. It is never enough.
Yesterday we spent the day walking through the medina. Once the shopping started it couldn’t be stopped. I think for sure I will have to buy a new suitcase just to get home. Haha.. Oh well, I did need another small one anyway. Amel’s parents are delightful. More than actually. As I shop I purchase things for my someday home. I will have it at some point, no? I ask myself if I should leave it in Paris? Or take it “home” to Ca. Or will I just have to transport it back to Paris If I ever am able to get a visa there.
We are with Amel’s mom who has spent her whole life in Tunis. She walks through the city and knows someone every corner we turn. She tells us stories of her childhood and gets the best prices for us.
I sat and watched the fireworks over the Eiffel tower for Bastille day with FrAlex and friends. Our view was mostly obstructed because of the trees. We passed around a bottle of champagne each taking a swig from the mouth. I had my camera of course. The photographer in me knew I should have staked out that “perfect spot” days ago for that “epic photo” to say “I was here and look at what a great photographer I am capturing this moment in time”.. but the human in me just wanted a moment with friends as “Sarah” and laughter and the experience of that memory shared. And so I did just that.
It was my last day in Rome. I had finally found a place to rent a vespa and and ride around the city. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face as I gripped the hand bars with terror. The insanity that is the traffic somehow just makes sense. Within the chaos of cars, buses, motos and pedestraians there is a flow. Amazing. I walked home after my 3 hour drive around Roma and happened upon a boutique selling handmade leather goods. I fell in love with a small bag. It was more than I really wanted to spend though after looking at it for 10 mins I left and decided to think it through before making a hasty purchase. I walked the Trestevere and after stopping for some Melon and Buffolla I made the 30 min walk back because I had decided it would in fact be a good purchase. The lady was moved that I came back for it and gave it to me 10 euros off. We parted ways with smiles.
I landed in Paris and messaged Eloi to let him know if he needed to leave he could just hid the key for me. He said he would be home that evening and was waiting to welcome me with wine. I changed my outfit at the airport and took a taxi. He had made dinner as well and we chatted for a bit finishing the bottle. He proposed we go out to play ping pong and before we knew it the time had passed and we were stumbling home at 4am after a crazy night drinks and dancing nearby. As I passed out in my bed I sent him a text thanking him for the fun evening. My heart was so happy.
I had purchased tickets online for the night tour of the Vatican. After ordering the most expensive beers ever at a café near the entrance, Jerroid and I made our way around feeling like we had broken in. I loved this feeling of having the entire place to ourselves. The guards were bored and unexpectedly one gave me his number. HA! It felt like a movie more aptly titled “a night at the Vatican”.