THE DAY I WAS MISTAKEN FOR A HOMELESS MAN
As happens almost every day in my life, I woke up early in the morning to see and do more. Outside the snow was shining with the reflection of the sun. It was October and I was in Trondheim, Norway.
I went to the tourist office to ask what I could do for the day in Trondheim.
– Today the weather is so good; you should get yourself on the tram and go to the mountains, there is one every hour. – She said as we were looking at the map.
I took her advice! I caught the tram until the last stop, where many other people got off, like me. A few meters ahead I found a place where families stop. There were people on sleds, people having picnics, pets running around, a day well spent in nature. I stayed there for a couple of minutes, looking around and laughing at the people falling from their sleds, before setting off for a walk. I began walking and followed some of the signs which/that appeared on the way – the tram driver had told me that if I followed them I would get to the other side of the park, and from there I could take another tram back to Trondheim. I was almost always alone in the middle of the snow and trees, once in a while some groups of people or even someone alone doing cross country skiing* passed me, all of them said: “Hi”, some even stopped and stayed there for a few minutes talking to me. In some places the snow was above my knees, I had good snow boots but I had jeans on, and they were as hard as a rock because they got frozen. In the middle of nowhere, without seeing any signs for a long time, and where everything seemed the same, white, trees and more white, I decided to go back to where I had left the tram. Without ever getting lost, which is weird, because I always get lost everywhere, I arrived at the tram stop four minutes before the last train left!
It sure would have been fun to spend the night there, alone, in the cold, without food! That was close!
I left the tram and stayed at the bus stop waiting for the next bus to take me to Paola’s house, a student from Venezuela who was having me to stay in the university residences. We had arranged to meet for dinner together. I didn’t make it on time!
Sitting at the bus stop I was shaking (from the cold), I couldn’t feel half of my body, and my hands couldn’t move. Also, I had a huge beard, and my hair looked like I had just come from the war! A woman and her daughter passed me, both of them looked at my eyes, and a few seconds later the young girl touched on my shoulder and gave me a burger that she was carrying with her. I began laughing and couldn’t stop for a while, after I said that I appreciated her offer but I wasn’t hungry, I really wasn’t, I had food in my backpack and to be honest the cold didn’t let me feel anything else. She didn’t understand and kept the burger close to my face, so I took it from her and said to her mom:
– Thanks so much but I’m not hungry at all, I’m just freezing because I spent all day in the snow and don’t have warm clothes.
Mom smiled and translated for her daughter, who wasn’t more than four or five years old, in… Portuguese! They were from Brazil and they had been living in Norway for many years.
* It is a way of skiing where skiers rely solely on their own movements to travel along: going down, on the flat, and even climbing. In Nordic countries, as well as being a competitive sport it is also used as a way of transport to go to work, etc.
This as all the other articles on this site are translated by my good friend Devo Forbes!!