4. Space

wis 4
4. /Space/ 
En Route LIS - MAD 



6 days into the trip and the baggage status on the tracking website has changed from ‘not traced’ to ‘in-delivery’. By now I own a new Mickey Mouse t-shirt and a purple one and some underwear from H&M (because they’re the only place with big sizes alright!).

I asked the Portuguese speaking girl at reception to call Iberia’s customer care to inquire where exactly is it ‘in-delivery’. After a lonnnggg while, the person could confirm that it was now sitting in Madrid airport and it would take them 2 – 3 days to send it to Portugal. Ummmm…no. Keep it there, I’ll come get it. That meant cutting rest of Portugal off the trip. I had planned to make way via road back to Spain through Seville and up to Barcelona instead I now had to backtrack to Madrid.

I couldn’t get on the night train till 2 nights later. I couldn’t get on any flights either that afternoon on the web. Decided to rock up to the airport and Lisbon airport for a Saturday afternoon was chokers. After asking at every possible airline, I finally queued up at Portugal’s TAP for a hour and half long queue. Positive it was waste but I really had nowhere else to be. One seat available – business class, flight was in 25 minutes. I took it. It’ll have to go on the baggage claim. Apparently it was end of school holidays.

Business class wasn’t really business class. It was just 6 upfront seats in a different colour with cheese and wine platters and USB ports. But halfway on that 55 minute flight, my shoulders started dropping and my breathing slower, deeper. With the seat empty next to me, the extra legroom in front and the open skies of Iberia outside my window – there I found some space, space that I didn’t realise my body was craving for a sometime now.

And I don’t mean the shared rooms of the hostels I’ve been staying in.

Over the past year, my bedroom has doubled up as my office for TGP, my mother’s guest room skewed with folders and folders of documents on a ongoing 7-year old building arbitration case that I’m working on. For the life of me, I don’t think either of the parties even remember what the dispute is about anymore. My bathroom is full of wires for charging phones, iPods and battery storage. My bed doubles as the washing basket. The dinning table is where I write occasionally and the couch where I used to nap once upon a time has not caressed my back for a while now. Then there are humans…who slowly encroach your space till they completely take over and you can’t do a thing about it but stand and look.

Behind all of Europe’s medieval histories; it’s kings and castles and knights and wars fought, there’s only one reason – to protect their territory. To guard it, to keep it and to never allow anyone else to invade it.

And I…seem to have sent all my troops off to the pubs of Narnia.

How well are you protecting your space, Dear Reader?

Shyamni. xx

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