I came to realize I never stopped dreaming of that place. The building itself, the neighbourhood, the little square where we used to play with my cousins. I’m still wandering around this place quite often at night in my dreams.
One day, though, I got this postcard from Japan. My very first postcard from Japan. From Noriko, a Japanese mum. It was a Nausicaa postcard (if you never watched this Studio Ghibli anime, now you know what to do tonight). It was everything we needed to start an epistolary friendship between the poor 27 years old unemployed French girl that I was and this Japanese ukulele player housewife.
We tried to do the maths in the car. How many years had it been since I was here for the last time? 5 years? 7 years? Years are running fast. And the Anjou region is far from Alsace. At least, that’s how I used to consider it. How does it change your conception of time and space when you take a year time to travel around a whole country like New Zealand?
I burst into laughter, and talk and talk about the New Zealand’s landscapes, about how easy it can be to travel once you make your mind about it. He tells me about London, Egypt, and those little dreams he has secretly stored in his heart. I can tell that he’s drunk too, Jason, for he’s sharing his secrets with any random woman that comes along in the streets.
I went through 2016 with flying colors… Of skies.
I leave it and yet I come back to it. Strasbourg dazzles me, bothers me, and mesmerizes me. This is the city I chose to settle 8 years ago, between a wholehearted love and uncontrolled desire to leave. Fair enough, it seems like I have this city under my skin.