Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 23. Adelaide.

Pierre's voice sounds instantly familiar. He has only spoken for a minute---I am still at the beginning of the video---but it feels like I've heard more of him now than I have in the last 23 days, what with the timezone difference, the inconvenience of always being at a place where either someone else is in the room with me (hi, sis!) or someone else is within earshot (hi, half of the postgraduates whose joint office is behind mine! and the two neighbors who share the paper-thin walls on either side of my office! It has been lovely to hear all your Skype conversations!).  On screen, Pierre is moving from place to place, from his familiar, long and narrow kitchen to the familiar supermarket, back to his kitchen and to... Zoe's kitchen! Who is speaking in German! 

A few minutes later, then comes the ever-endearing Gaston! His hair is longer now---after all, it has been 23 days---and he also spots a noticeable beard. It is so strange, yet so familiar at the same time, to see them all speaking in different languages (French, German, English, back to French, English, French...) and to see them banter with each other, the way they did. Back during the days when Brussels was home, when the daily grey sky was the norm, when I wore layers of clothes and still felt the cold at the tip of my nose, when Flagey didn't take 37.5 hours and three transit airports to reach, when conversations were easy and friends were nearby, some of them literally three steps away. 

It is hard to describe how much this 15-minute video has done for me. I am extremely grateful, for being able to see my dear friends moving on a 21.5-inch screen (live action! well, live at the time anyway!), for a Jamie Oliver's recipe being prepared from scratch with multilingual commentaries (and an almond cake as a bonus!), for the lovely reminder that somewhere on the other hemisphere there are still my friends who have taken the efforts to prepare this video for me, for the implication that while I am here trying to settle down in my (re)new(ed) life by myself, I am not alone. 

And, for the motivation to start writing down bright moments again, because moments like this is why life is beautiful.