Nerves – Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

As soon as we left the plane I could notice a difference in the air. Perhaps it was the 20 hours of flying but I just couldn’t get enough of the familiar fresh clean pureness into my lungs. As we made our way through the airport Max commented on how new and clean everything was. I had to stop him from taking pictures…it was just the airport after all. Boy was he in for a treat.

After going through the border control (where the guy welcomed me back after listening with amusement to where I had been for the past two years), we grabbed our bags then went to meet my Aunt for lunch. Somehow we missed her and after hanging about for a few hours we decided to make our way to the bus station. I picked up a newspaper to see what what going on and Max got excited about all the technology store flyers. Things are quite cheap here in Canada compared to Argentina and I could see his eyes picking out all sorts of new `toys`.We opted to take the public bus system rather than cab or shuttle which worked out quite well. Only $2.00 compared to $50.00 and we got a nice tour of Vancouver in the process.

The sun was shining down and temperatures were in the high 20s to my delight. After two buses and a skytrain, we got to the Greyhound station with hours to spare. We were both quite tired so we planted ourselves on the grass in the park across the street and Max had his first meal in Canada. It was only Subway but he loved it and asked for more to take on the bus ride. I guess he was approached a few times while I was fetching the food. One person wanted to sell him pot, another wanted to buy and then one lady tried to give him a hamburger. His comment when I returned were that people here were `a little weird…nice, but wierd`. It was a little like having a pile of personal shoppers because of the number of transients wandering around selling stolen goods.

The 16 hour bus ride was not as bad as I thought it would be and they played a movie I wanted to see so the time flew buy. I was a little disappointed when in Kelowna we stopped for a short break but Max wouldn’t let me run across to the Tim Hortons for fear of leaving me behind. I resigned myself to my seat and told him that he was the one missing out…Timbits are sooooo yummy. By the time we hit Jasper, the sun was already coming up over the Rocky Mountains and Max was in awe.

The early morning air was crisp but I went to stand outside anyway when we stopped at the depot. Ahhh…how I had missed my mountains. They were even more beautiful than I remembered but the novelty wore off quickly as it hit me how close I was to home. I began getting really stressed as I couldn’t control all the clips that were popping into my head showcasing the past two years. I wasn’t sure how to feel. I really was excited to go home but somehow it seemed that the closer I got, the further my trip became. I couldn`t shake the feeling that I was losing something.

Once we entered Edmonton I distracted myself making mental notes of what had changed and what was still the same. We pulled into the bus station where my sister was waiting to pick us up. I couldn’t help the tears but but then all of sudden, I was jerked right back into the familiarity. It was so bizarre because aside from feeling a little more aware, I was exactly the same as before I left. I knew where everything was and the little Canadian-isms came back to me in a second.

I mean, I didn’t expect some great transformation but I did think I would feel something more. Some kind of enlightenment or perhaps I would at least feel that wonderment that I had in a new place. But nope, all of a sudden it was like trying on an old pair of jeans. The only real surprise is that they still fit. The more I moved around, the more that comfortable predictable air settled around me.

I tired of that sensation quickly and turned my focus to Max who was emitting an energy somewhat like that of a curious child. His eyes were pie wide and it seemed he could not drink everything in quick enough. I held his hand and in that moment I identified a new feeling. You know when you have seen a really good movie and even though your not the type to see movies twice, you want to go with your best friend just to share it with them? Well, mulitply that by a hundred and you`ll have an idea of how it is to share your whole world with the love of your life.

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