Thalys Amsterdam – Paris

Green hills floating by. Three hours in the Thalys to Paris and this is the first time I look outside. I actually look at the world outside and realize I’ve locked myself up, trapped in small affairs. I’ve been sending emails and making phone calls as if I am preparing for a major event. All I do is getting two weeks of absence organized. Abstention from a narrow life with small affairs. Ahead of me there’s two weeks of looking outside through the windows of my soul. The world around me is about to open up, beautiful, much anticipated. I will devour it like the first bite at the end of a long day of fasting during the Ramadan. Tomorrow, or in my case after two weeks, the fasting will continue and the world closes up again. But now, the time is now. 
My outfit surely suits the organizational preoccupations better then the alluding adventure. A little black dress, classic silk scarf and moderately heeled espadrilles topped off with gold lacquered leather and black velvet adorn me on the first haul of a segregated journey towards the two Congo’s. The first leg is Amsterdam-Paris by high speed train. To be continued tomorrow morning with a very early flight from Charles de Gaulle to Istanbul. And from Istanbul onwards to Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a territory as vast as almost entire Central Africa. I am excited. Take off being formed by the said lush green landscapes of Northern France. Until within minutes an incoming call pulls me back into the narrow world. The grand father of a friend of my daughter’s, the one where she’s supposed to be staying during the first couple of days of my absence, this morning died unexpectedly. The landscape outside evaporates as fast as the Thalys is speeding. As if it was just a site we crossed, visible for as many seconds as it takes the Thalys to pass by it. Instead of a full three hours bearing the delightful potential of dreaming away, enjoying green hales and dales floating by. I am pulled back into my much less enjoyable micro universe. Condolences and arranging another refuge for my thirteen years old daughter involves another set of phone calls, emails.


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