I’m finally home after six months. Adjusting to life back in Montreal is both easy and familiar, and awkward and strange.
Coffee. Ah Montréal, que t’as des s’ti d’bon cafés!
Norway just doesn’t do caffeine right. Maybe because it doesn’t have coffee culture the way we do.
Water. But really, Montreal, your tap water sucks. Norway has the most pristine potable tap water in the world. It’s not just clean but delicious. I cannot explain just how it is that tasteless water is actually delectable, but trust me.
Cats. I missed mine terribly. When I walked in the door they both had a moment of surprised hesitation, ears perked at my voice and nose sniffing at my hand. The older one—with high anxiety and ailing health—has been sleeping on my head, purring loudly into my ear. I did fear (slightly, not wanting to give in to the panicked dread) that his health might fail due to my absence. I am clearly his human, and he has bonded with no one else quite like he has with me. Think what you may, but I regularly imagined him sleeping beside me in Norway, as it was therapeutic. They have barely left my side since I returned.
Heat and Light. This is the hottest and sunniest weather I have experienced since October of last year. When I first arrived in Norway it was dark for twenty-two hours a day. Even as the days got longer, it was cloudy and drizzling for weeks and weeks, and I barely saw the sunshine, with temperatures rarely over 16 Celcius (~60F). I’m suddenly dropped into a Montreal summer of muggy heat and sun. It feels good, even if my skin is reacting badly. I understand the evolutionary paleness or Arctic peoples, as they need to absorb as much vitamin D as possible. But skin freaks out when it’s been in virtual darkness for the better part of a year.
Over the coming weeks, I will update the blog with some of my adventures—I’ve been to Berlin, Tallinn, and Copenhagen—as well as a synopsis of my research in Norway. For now, I’m going to search and destroy the greasiest, cheesiest poutine I can find.
Vive le Québec illuminé!