Kastrup airport is a quiet place at night. The silence is so thick in fact, that I felt the need to check whether it was open all night. It was. So, reassured, I found a group of benches already pushed together and claimed it as my bed for the night. It stayed quiet well into the morning. Kastrup smells infuriatingly of cinnamon rolls in the morning. Delicious (I suppose) and unjustifiably expensive from an American’s standpoint. I did buy a [delicious] sandwich (Copenhagen wins best airport food) for my breakfast.
The contrast of Copenhagen to my previous environment was apparent in more ways than one. For starters the brown bag sandwich that cost six meals worth of southeast Asia fare. Another was how…clean everybody was. I felt horribly under dressed and unkempt compared to the slim clothing lines and tidy haircuts of my fellow airport humans. I also realized I was the only one in the entire airport occupying the floor. No more Thais sleeping on bamboo mats on floors of trains, no more Vietnamese squatting on their stoops. Nope, everything clean and orderly and first class. I was out of place. I hadn’t been, at this same airport, at the beginning of this trip. But time and experiences change you. In ways you don’t understand while you are experiencing them. I really do believe it takes going back, to realize the ways in which you have shifted.
“Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends.”
I believe the veracity of that. It holds as true for traveling as for anything else. You spend all this time having these great adventures and meeting interesting people and seeing these incredible sights and trying new foods. Inevitably the end of your trip arrives and you return to whatever your normalcy is. But…the journey you’ve completed hasn’t actually ended. You collect all of these experiences in your being. And you are transformed. The things you have witnessed, the people with whom you have shared time and exchanged ideas, and even the foods that have passed through your body are not trapped in some past moment. They are a permanent part of your self.
Sometimes these endless manifestations take tangible form. Like adapting your cooking and eating habits; such as beans on toast becoming a comfort food, having noodle soups for breakfast, or developing an addiction for Crabbie’s. Or maybe you’ve been captured by the market or the motorbike culture, and you incorporate that into your life back home.
a + b = c
Sometimes though, in forms less tangible. In ways which entwine themselves irrevocably into your thinking, and in manners that will ever dictate your actions. There are scars of permanence that cannot be traced, they merely exist.
? + ? = c
Nothing ever ends.The whole process of flying back continent by country by city was mind numbing and tiresome. Blessedly uneventful, though. I arrived back safely in my home state of Washington to a near perfect Pacific Northwest sunset and the beautiful sight of these two faces.