4:30 AM

“One man’s romantic sunrise is another man’s hangover.” We will be lucky to feel the essence of the saying as long as we get up early enough.

The rolling wheels of my suitcase are cracking the oozy path, crisp and repetitive, at 4:30 AM. I am walking in the darkness towards the night bus stop. Distinctive groups of passengers are crammed into the bus. The party animals keep yelling and throw up at the prepared bags after a long night of revelry. The night shift workers trudge their way back home, completely unconscious of the surroundings. Some early birds, who have just refilled themselves with enthusiasm for a new day, are embracing the fresh breeze leaking through the window.

There comes a stewardess from KLM (whether the description “licht blauwe” or “felblauwe” fits more to their unforgettable uniforms, has been once heatedly discussed in my Dutch language course), neatly dressed in the standard code. It is a signal that I am sitting on the right bus, not doing a sleepwalk. She politely says “Dank je wel” when I leave a more spacious seat for her and her large suitcases. The bus saunters down to the busiest international hub, every department of which already starts functioning (cafes, restaurants, shops, counters, etc). All the passengers hopping off here are most welcome. I pretty much like this perpetual machine, diligent and well-organized.

Yes, now you know that I have an early flight to catch today, for a summer school in Rennes. But it is such a frustration that a thunderstorm in France has failed the second flight of my itinerary.

The ensuing story of how I descend then on a new city–perhaps a village–I have never heard of, and one and a half hours’ coach to the airport of my destination, and another one hour’s pray for the punctuality of the airport-downtown connection bus, and again two hours’ sitting in a cafe waiting for the hotel owner to wake up from her nap, is aha, too trivial to be further elaborated. Now it’s 6:30 PM. Finally I manage to curl up in a bed, even though my French is too shitty to be understood and the same problem coincides with the hotel owner’s English.

Energy sapped…pfff. Good night.

June 2014, Rennes.


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