Tea, weddings and life

You slowly drift in and out of consciousness. You hear the shower and know that your husband is already up. You’re half awake now.

You try to plan the day ahead. What can you do to bring a little more spice to your day, to break away from the routine of living in a hotel? What else is there to do in a city that is not your own and yet already familiar? You try to cheer yourself up thinking that there’s only two weeks left until the end of your husband’s contract in Toronto and then you’re going back home. To your apartment, your stuff, your friends, your tennis lessons, even your own car.

You ponder that every time you follow your husband to a new city you put your life on hold and when you return home, you pick up where you left off. Just like that.

Your husband kisses you goodbye. “See you later”, you say and wish him a nice day, like your mother tells your father every day.

Later, while checking your emails and facebooking, you have an idea. How about high tea? Given Toronto’s English heritage it shouldn’t be difficult to find a tea room, you reckon. Google suggests the Windsor Arms Hotel.

Somewhat excited that you found something new to do, you book a table for later that day and get ready to leave the hotel.

You navigate your way through Toronto’s public transport system and confusing roadwork on Bloor Street and finally reach your destination.

You order a full tea (loose leaf tea, scones, Devon cream, preserves and tiny sandwiches), sit back and relax. You let your mind wander and it takes you to unexpected places. You remember your wedding day, your first dance with your dashing groom, how much fun it all was. The memories are bittersweet, though, because your wedding was also a farewell. You moved to a foreign country shortly after, leaving friends and family behind.

“You let it steep for five minutes and it should be all right”. The waiter’s voice yanks you back to the present. You pour tea with milk and two sugars as usual, butter a scone and slowly become aware of what’s around you. You eavesdrop on the conversation to your right and listen to the music playing softly in the background. Viennese waltzes. Wedding music! You smile to yourself when you realise it was the music that brought back all those memories. You danced to these waltzes at your wedding reception.

And you begin to wonder what your life would be like today if you had married someone else.

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Ana

Hi, I'm Ana. I'm originally from Argentina but I'm currently living in Dallas (USA) with my British husband. I'd like to share my experiences as an expat and as a traveller.

13 thoughts on “Tea, weddings and life”

  1. Muy linda entrada, Ana! Me recordaste un poco al personaje de Scarlett Johansson en Lost in Translation… y luego me recordaste mi propia historia un poco, ya que también mi fiesta de boda fue una despedida por el mismo motivo…
    Un saludo! Y te tocará Holanda alguna vez? 😀

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    1. Gracias Aledys:)

      Sabes que lo de Lost in Translation no se me habia ocurrido, pero ahora que lo pienso, es asi. Hasta estoy tejiendo una bufanda! No se si viste Julie & Julia? Tambien me siento identificada con el personaje que hace Meryl Streep.

      Si alguna vez nos toca Holanda, por supuesto que te aviso!

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  2. what if indeed?? A whole lot calmer….a whole lot more stable…but admit it -you would be bored!
    Seriously I hope the nomad lifestyle can calm down as the years draws to an end. Its tough enough having two “homes”..I can only imagine having multiple!

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  3. You’ve crafted a really heartfelt and evocative piece here, Ana. I felt like I was sitting there with you in the hotel dining room. There’s no doubt that you’ve made sacrifices in order for your relationship to work. I know firsthand how hard it is to move to another country for love. It’s natural to have days where we question our decisions and wonder what the alternate universe looks like – the one where we continued to live our predictable lives in our home countries. But as Louise mentioned, stable and predictable are boring! Enjoy this moment in your life – you’ll put down roots somewhere when the time is right.

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    1. Katie, thank you for your kind words. I don’t regret for a minute having married Sean but some days I need more predictability and order in my life 🙂 But on the other hand I get to do things and see places I would never have otherwise, so all in all, life is good.

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  4. I think lots of people will have diffent thoughts about your life from reading this from, gosh, she must be sad to have to leaver her home all the time, to wow, how lucky she is to get to go with her husband (my thoughts!). I really got a sense of your unsettled-ness from this piece. I was wondering how you felt about the “on hold” bits of your life.

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    1. Marie, that’s an interesting take on this post.

      I just hope people don’t think I’m whiny and ungrateful because I’m not! I am grateful for the life we have. Having said that, there are days when I miss home (as in my country, family, friends), our life in Dallas (our friends, our stuff) and feel I’m in a kind of limbo because although we’re in great places like Toronto, we don’t really belong there. I’m a perennial outsider. And on other days I can’t get enough of the city and explore every nook and cranny.

      These are two examples of the “on hold” bits: I’d like to join a French class but we won’t be in XXX city long enough for me to finish the course, so it’s a waste of money and time; I’d like to play tennis but I don’t know anyone in XXXX city and wouldn’t know which club to join (and I don’t have a car) so I’ll have to wait until we get back to Dallas.

      But as I said before, I have the chance to really know the city, more in depth than a regular tourist (sorry, traveller! 🙂 ) I can give the Lonely Planet and Fodor guys a run for their money!

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  5. evocative stuff, Ana! I feel like I’m getting to know you more and more through your posts. Moving all the time is really unsettling but you seem to make the best of a difficult situation.

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  6. i enjoyed reading this, and liked that you managed to express so much in such a short piece, especially the in last two paragraphs.

    i especially liked the intro, for me, waking up to the sound of a shower captures the experience of staying in a hotel, with the close proximity of everything around you.

    liked that your piece was honest too, very engaging!

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