Halifax, or the journey home

26 Hours.

That’s how long I waited in Frankfurt for my flight to be arranged. Because all you can wish for after the stupidest of check-ins and waiting in line for hours, is to be told, seconds before you board your plane, that the flight’s cancelled.

Fun times

Sweet, I’ll get to chill in Frankfurt for a day. Said nobody ever.

If you read this Mareike, thanks for making it a bit less boring. If you read this Anna, thanks for conveniently being in Frankfurt that day so we could say bye (and for helping me buy underwear since the airline decided to also hold my luggage).

At least I had company, considering the weather in Frankfurt
At least I had company, considering the weather in Frankfurt

The morning when I had to fly to Frankfurt from Munich, to get my transatlantic flight, was riddled with obstacles like the S-Bahn being Kaput and me waking up still half drunk from one last round of goodbyes to my friend Alexandra then Steven and then Ezgi. I woke up still oozy, only to realize I had not packed ANYTHING and had to leave in two hours. I packed a year’s worth of crap in my suitcase and my hiking pack.

My Friend Jara caught up with me and we managed to make it to the airport. She waited with me until I could not postpone any more getting on that plane to leave Germany. A bit of tear jerking later, I passed security realizing everything I was leaving behind.

When people tell you it’s much harder to come back home than actually leave, believe them.

That realization slowly sinking in as the plane was floating off the tarmac, with the fact that while I was going to see friends and family I had not seen in a year, I was also leaving behind a city I grew to love and people I held dear.

Little did I know my stay would be extended in Frankfurt.

When my flight left the next day, I relived that fifteen year old emokid moment again. Only really leaving Germany behind this time.  Thanks Condor Airlines.

Halifax

I was greeted at the Halifax airport by a lovely couchsurfer that was to host me in Dartmouth, right across downtown Halifax with the ferry. It was already late and I was tired; She drove us to her house, we had a great chat and called it a night. The next morning, on her way to work she dropped me at the ferry and gave me enough coins to cross the narrows separating Halifax from Dartmouth. I hadn’t changed any of my Euros back to Canadian Dollars. Ugh.

halifax (3 of 1)
View from the citadel hill

I spent the day walking around with my gigantic hiking backpack and luggage on wheels and eventually stopped at a spot with wifi, ordered a coffee and chatted with some friends that were in Montreal until my friend Kara was done with work. We met the summer before through my German friend Mary when she came to Montreal. I couldn’t host her the whole time and so she stayed at a hostel. That’s where she met Kara and introduced us (a few beers helping).

Kara had relocated to Halifax for work with her multiple cats and I was eager to see what she was up to. Between pints at the Lower Deck bar on live band night, going out for food, exploring the city and having a cold Alexander Keiths at the brewery, Halifax struck me as a gorgeous coastal town on steroids.
Nowhere near the size of other big American cities, its downtown areas still had enough tall buildings to feel like, well, downtown, but its wharf, boats, and coastal breeze still felt like a tiny village by the ocean (this and the fact that lobster everything on the menus, lobster Poutine anyone ?).

The Haligonians (the demonym of Halifax denizens) also made me feel back in Canada quickly. Everyone saying hello to each other, people holding doors, a guy paying my ferry ride when it turned out I was missing a dollar. . . Everyone was just so. . .Canadian.

With about 400,000 people living in and around the city, it remains what could be called a big-small place.

Russian bar buskers
Russian bar buskers, a collaboration between Australian and Canadian artists; “Third wind”

To make my short stay in the capital of Nova-Scotia even nicer, it was the Halifax international busker’s festival when I got there.

What’s a Busker you ask ?

A busker is someone who acts as a street performer. Be it music, theatre, magic, poetry, acrobatics. Name it. It’s simply performing in the streets, for people, and receiving gratuities for it.

So every time i was out of the apartment, a feast for the eyes awaited on the docks, be it the gents in the picture above throwing each other in the air or Aerial Manx, an Australian Acrobatic Sword Swallowing Contortionist well known for juggling fire while swallowing a sword and holder of Guinness world records like double neon tube swallowing; there was always a nice blend of comedy and acrobatics to keep me entertained.

A few days later I was already boarding the train for what would be a 26 hour ride. . .

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