Homesickness has me in it’s inevitable grip. Yesterday I ended up talking with a professor for over two hours and she asked me how I feel here and it took a lot for me to not just begin crying. You don’t break into tears in front of Oxford educated professors. I’m pretty sure that’s a rule. I did try to wear heels to class, for some reason that seemed like a good idea- my horrible ankles, ruined after so many injuries and falls, failed me shortly after I hobbled into the library, and thankfully the cynical side of me tucked some flats into my purse. It was fun being 3 inches taller for a while, though, and you never know until you try. They had free food yesterday on campus so I obviously took advantage of that. Finding optimism in the little things, like the cold air coming in from the open windows on the bus, or feeling how warm your sweater is against the chill of the rain, or the snug comfort of well-fitting rain boots- these are things to focus on and draw power from. How satisfying it is holding a warm mug of tea in my hands, seeing my little plants slowly grow, these are all beautifully worthwhile things to concentrate on instead of wanting to be elsewhere.
Mountains, mountains, mountains, and ocean.
That is the upper part of Washington. Clouds hug the landscape, and the humidity immediately made my curls larger and more gravity defying. My mum and I got into Anacortes and found a pub, where I drank my last beer on American soil for awhile, and she sipped a Baileys. We had drive 14 hours that day, through the smokey wasteland that was Montana and Idaho, into rain soaked, windy Washington.
The next morning was ferry time! The truck was loaded, and we climbed up the stairs to the upper decks to prepare for 3 hours of gently rocking boat transport. My face was whipped by wind and rain as I stood outside while the ferry navigated through the San Juan Islands. The ferry docked at Friday Harbor, it’s last stop in the States, and then crossed an invisible border into the land of Canada.
When we docked, a border officer asked us what we were there for. The rumor that Canadians are crazily nice is true, even when they have guns holstered to their sides and are bedecked in black uniforms. Within 30 minutes I had the most ridiculous, embossed visa stapled into my passport- it was literally an 8.5×11 piece of fancy paper. I laughed- visas are normally pasted on a single page of your passport, and now mine was fat with a folded visa that was about six times larger than most. Canada, you’ve got a lot of land, a lot of resources, and a lot of nice people, why do you need such large visas? When I showed it to Hannah over Skype she almost cried laughing because it was so absurd.
I will share photos of Victoria soon! I’ve been walking all over town, finding parks, paths, and the harbor, along with restaurants my student budget will not allow me to try.