"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you, yourself,
~ Nelson Mandela ~
Ain't that the truth. Nelson always was good with words, I think it's because he had all that time in solitude on Robben Island to think...
Now, I can't compare myself to Nelson Mandela, no of course not, that would be silly beyond belief, but I can and do identify with the quote he said above. There's nothing quite like returning to a place that largely remains unchanged to recognize the ways that you have changed since last you were there. I experience that every time I move back to a place I've been - Toronto, Halifax, Peterborough. I sometimes experience this surreal, out-of-body type feeling when I step off a plane and walk down the streets of the new city I've been transported to. The sights, sounds, smells and sentations of the place I left behind are still so real to me, that to replace them with a whole new set seems strange. (We call what I just did alliteration. I'm quite proud of it). Sometimes, I can look at a photograph and the scene in it is still alive in my senses and I can't seem to comprehend the fact that I'm actually hundreds of miles away (or sometimes thousands) from where it was taken.
I'm back living in Peterborough now. I haven't lived here for about 3 years or so, and as I walk the streets I'm trying to access a mental map of the city that I created when I was 20 years old. The problem is, the map seems difficult to remember. It's like when you're learning a new language, and before you are able to come up with the word you're looking for in the new language, your mind processes through all of the languages in which you already know how to speak that word: "friend," "ami," "amigo," "padi," until finally you filter through to the right choice. My mental map of Peterborough is like that. It is superimposed on top of all of the other cities I have lived in (unfortunately all which seem to have similar street names...damn those Brits and their ubiquitousness). So, if you see me wondering aimlessly, don't be alarmed. I'm just trying to sort through my map and get a grip on where I'm really going.
No, I don't want to pick a city guide up from the convenience store.
But thanks for the suggestion.