It’s not because I had nothing going on at home that I packed everything away, and brought with me only the essentials (good raincoat, wool socks, Qtips) to the other end of the world. It’s BECAUSE I wanted to pack everything away and bring only the essentials to the other end of the world that nothing was happening for me at home. No one divorced me (however my crushes did ignore me) and no one fired me (that’s because I was working at a job that I had during my college years, and was fairly enthusiastic and skilled for all of it’s minimum wage benefits). I just wanted to go. SO I DID.
And I’m doing it alone. I’ve been dreaming of this since I was a little girl, and my mom would take me to the school she worked at when I had a Ped Day (holiday, President’s Day, whatever country you’re in it’s a day where you don’t have school but your teachers do!). We’d drive out of the suburbs and into the city and I was always giddy for my day of endless wandering and random discoveries. When she’d have to run off to a board meeting, I would walk around the deserted hallways of her school. It was an elementary school which was adjacent to a high school. It was an old, four storey Montreal building. I loved it. I’d explore around the basement of the elementary school first. Most of the classrooms on that floor had been abandoned because of the school’s shrinking population. I’d play teacher with my imaginary students and write on all the blackboards (remember chalk??? And blackboards?!?!) I’d browse through the abandoned second library and catch up on Nancy Drew’s latest discoveries.
Then, I’d go to the high school. They had the biggest library I’d ever seen in my whole 7 years of existence. It had high ceilings with 5 year old origami projects hanging from them. The tables where a beautiful, sleek oak wood and the SMELL IN THERE WAS THE GREATEST! After a while I would brave through the rest of the abandoned basement. I loved peeping into every room, seeing what else I could find. Yeah, no one was around. And it was a little drab, dark and scary. But any chance I got I would just…wander. Mainland China is my mother’s school’s scary basement. It smells different, it’s walled with concrete, it’s old and somewhat untouched. But nothing makes me happier than being able to open every pocket, and finding something new.