Suddenly I found myself in Dalarna, the province that often is cited as the best for celebrating the Swedish summer. I was not going here though, and I won’t stay. I was sitting on the train from Sundsvall to Stockholm when we suddenly stopped in Gävle and the train hostess said “the rail is broken further on, we have to take a detour to Dalarna and for you who are going to the airport there is a taxi waiting outside ready to bring you there.”
We stood still for a long while. I walked along the platform in the bright sunshine and went back to the train when the hostess called us. It was quiet. Peaceful. Someone in front of me was sleeping deeply, breathing heavy. Behind me a clock went on and on “tick-tack, tick-tack, tick-tack”. To my left a woman called to make arrangements to fetch her newly passed away fathers belongings at the nursing home in Stockholm.
Everyone’s lives were continuing, despite the train standing still on the platform. But my mind was stuck in Africa, my thoughts always lingering on different moments. As when I met my friends in Joburg again, or when I sat behind the bike-taxis in Malawi, or when I climbed up to Livingstonia and nearly fell backwards off the cliff because my backpack was too heavy for me… or when I sat in all the sand in the Sahara, singing. There are so many memories, and every day I am remembering more things. When I had the malaria, I lost a big part of my memories from the past years. But it’s all coming back, one moment at a time.
We arrived in Stockholm about two hours late, and my thoughts went back to the bus ride to Mbeya in Tanzania. Driver: “we’ll be there at five pm.” Then there was the breakdown. “We’ll be there at six.” At six pm: “we’re almost there.” At eleven pm: “we are in Mbeya ma’am, thank you for choosing our company.”