I was seriously stressed lining up at the check-in. A doubt came over me, what if we actually needed a visa for Russia?! I mean I knew we didn't need it, I had checked it, but had I really checked it? I didn't remember doing that. It was a long time ago, and there had been so many little details to think about and look after in the last six months. I had not checked lately, what if they changed the regulations and we now needed a visa? It happens you know. They keep changing regulations. They are not like natural laws, man-made rules are capricous, depends on the person at the top, occupying some post. Good thing we don't have to worry about that when it comes to an object falling on the ground. We know that something will fall if we drop it. Not that we like the idea. We don't necessarily have to like the fact that our precious whatever gets broken. But there is so much solace in knowing that it will fall every time, that the rule doesn't change, we don't need to bother every time to see what will happen. There is solace in predictability. Well, quantum physics says it may happen, that an egg scrambled can become unbroken once again. But somebody has yet to see that happen.
What about the luggages? We weighed them at home but what if our scale is wrong and we have extra weight?
Well... That one is not much of a problem. It is only a matter of money. We pay the fee and be on our way. The visa problem is serious. Carlo has a visa. Russia asks for it from Italians. I ask him if he asked while applying about the Turkish being visa free. Of course he had not done that. My husband is not like me, questions do not come to him naturally, he doesn't know about getting information, double-checking. Anyway, if there is a problem, he can fly. We, with Lara stay behind. I wonder if the Russian Embassy has an expedite service? If we can apply for it on Monday, get it Tuesday and head to the airport to make it to the Trans-Siberian train before midnight?
What if we can't even start the trip after saying we'd be making it?
Okay, let's not rush ahead and come to scenarios before they tell us we cannot fly. Let's just wait to see if the woman at the counter says anything.
When so much depends on one thing, when all can come down like domino pieces, it's difficult not to stress. And this line doesn't seem to move!
Nothing happened. We made it.
Funny thing... I thought it would be easiest to pack Lara's bag. I was going to put all she had into the luggage, done. Ha ha ha! Turns out she had much more than I thought. When you go out to the market and find things for 50 cents or a euro, you tend to exaggerate apparently. We played put on-take off. Not to carry along things that were tiny for her. Luckily, she cooperated. I thought it would be harder to make her do all that. But I found an important point: You have to make sure you don't put on something she likes or may like a lot. Save those things for the last. When I put on a winter dress that was big for her at the time I bought it, she liked turning the skirt around and did not want to take it off. She said she was going to dance with it. She turned round and round, singing, making up songs.
After a while, I said “Okay, come here now.” She said she was not finished yet. I said “It's hot, that's for winter,” she said “I am cold.” It was at least 30 degrees. And of course, in winter, when it was so cold, she went around with a tank top saying she was hot. All for looks! She is such a girl. Takes after papa... the vanity.
Anyway... In the end I found myself face to face with a huge pile of clothes. They didn't seem much in the drawers. But once you take them out... Well... I don't want to think how much stuff I have in my drawers at the moment! Trouble is... Once I was so easy on giving things away, now I tend to be a keeper. (I cannot especially give away things belonging to Lara.) Is this what they say “those who sleep with dogs will rise with fleas”? But why didn't my husband wake up with the fleas? Why was I to be the one turning into him?
I met him when I was down to the basics. Then Carlo started saying “Ah, this is nice. Ah this is nice,” whenever we saw something. Okay, you are married to an Italian, the mother a tailor, they are interested in fashion. I said okay to buying just to satisfy my wonderful husband. Then it got of control. As it usually does. I found myself with a dozen jackets of all kinds. Whereas beforehand I had two: One for winter, another for mid-season. So I started saying back to him, “There are so many nice things in the world, you cannot accumulate them all. If you do not need something, you only buy when you say 'Ah, that's so wonderful, I cannot live without it.'”
I know... It's not only because of my husband. I live a solitary life here. Away from everybody, away from the city. Away from the maddening crowd... I was stuck in the house for almost three years, I didn't change my clothes day or night for a year and a half. I deemed myself happy if I could wash after a week and put on a fresh outfit. The sleepless nights did not end. Then, slowly, I started coming to my senses. This summer, when I could go out with my daughter on my own and I had the car as Carlo got the bike, I started going out to the market every week. For an outing. To see people. Started going out means started buying. They were so cheap, it was just a cup of coffee, less than half a liter of milk. By the way, I never used artificial milk or baby food or a bottle for Lara. Nursed for 38 months. So I could splurge. And they were so cuuute! Those colorful dresses, shirts, skirts. I was jealous and often wondered why they don't produce those lovely stuff for grown-ups. It's a very good business idea. Whoever gets it from me, would s/he pay me a royalty please? Just a bit is fine.
Living with someone who mirrors you in any way (but who you see completely upside-down compared to you), is sometimes hard but often fun and enriching.
Travelling with such a person can be a real proof of your love and commitment. How would you arrange your shoes if you think of taking a picture? Of course there are at least "two" ways of doing it, but you can be sure that yours is not the right one!