Coming home

And so it ends…

One day of packing, 12 hours on a plane and many tearful goodbyes later here I am back in the mother city. I decided yesterday that, if I could marry a city, I would marry Cape Town. An ocean bluer than your imagination, tall, beautiful people everywhere, delicious wine, cocktails and beer at affordable prices and food that I would sell my soul for on every street corner. At first I could not really remember what tempted me to leave for 6 months.

Coming back I had deja vu of the feeling I had when I arrived in Stockholm. That these two countries that, from a view before you leave, do not seem so different, can be so, absolutely contrasting. The first, obvious difference is the weather. A swedish summer is a hot winter’s day in Africa. It is said that 7 consecutive days of above 0 temperature marks the beginning of spring in sweden. Coming from having to wear my biggest coat and three layers under, dragging my luggage through snow and seeing gloves and a scarf as an extension of my skin, landing in Cape Town was…slightly overwhelming. I slept with my fan on last night and today was a “cold” day, as compared to the previous few weeks in Cape Town.

The next thing was the scenery. Both beautiful countries, Stockholm is marked by the archipelago, with water running everywhere through the city, with barely any hills and a many parks and trees. A stark contrast with Cape Town’s large body of water (called the Atlantic Ocean), Table Mountain and streets that cause a shortage of breath when you walk for a few metres uphill. I remembered this today as I was sweating, walking back to my house, just having went to the grocery store. Cape Town streets are steep.

But more than everything I felt a little…out of place. A bit off my game. Almost like I am on holiday here. It is probably because this, for me, is the beginning of 2012. I would like for these past 6 months to fit neatly into a box (as if life works like this) and get on with real life now. I have to find a job, fit myself back into a routine and re-adjust my life to fit into this new season. It’s crazy how a place can be simultaneously very different and make you feel like a stranger, while at the same time you feel like your heart has come home.

I have very mixed emotions about being back, but mostly, I am loving it. I also feel like I might be a bit wise (only time will tell), like my mind has been cracked open a bit wider as to the rest of the world. In so many ways it is always a good experience to meet people that are different from ourselves, to go places where are the rules are changed and things you take for granted (like being able to deposit money into your own bank account for free) are suddenly challenged. Somehow Cape Town has become both very small and very large at the same time.

I will have to wait and see where all these new life experiences need me. I’m sure this feeling of wanting to run away and never leave again at the same time, will eventually subside.

For now, I will try to catch up on lost blogging time. I want to write about Norway, Germany, Prague, Spain and rolling in the snow in my bikini. All these experiences need to find their way onto paper within the next few weeks, if only to honor their memories, or for me to look back onto a few years from now.

For tonight, good night Cape Town. I love this city.


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