A Long Day Of Travel And An Empty Apartment

September 24 — It’s time to leave Tel Aviv and head back to Belgrade. While I’m sad to leave Israel with so much I didn’t do, I miss Belgrade. I’m ready to go home. Getting there would require another level of patience.

Security at the Tel Aviv airport was much harsher than Belgrade’s. The questioning didn’t take as long this time. Going through the security check was a whole new level of intensity. We couldn’t remove anything from our bags without the person watching us and seeing where it came from. After filling a couple bins we were escorted over to another area and waited to be assigned someone to go through our belongings.

We weren’t the only people in the area and others were not as patient. I understand they have to do their jobs. When I was held in London I was not so understanding. Of course, the woman was terrible from the beginning. Here everyone is very polite. Courtesy and treating people with respect goes a long way.

Still, the check was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I had to take the case off my laptop and it went through the screener several times. I had some never opened, brand new snacks which they opened to see the contents inside. After a while of personal belonging screenings I got to go to the next station and be patted down and then get in the body scanner. Easily the most intense security process ever. Definitely makes you think twice about coming back.

At least I didn’t have to go through it alone and my fellow Roamer’s experience was worse than mine. Sharing the experience with someone made it funny in the end. Plus, this past week it was nice being with my old roommate again. She’s my girl and there’s never a dull moment in her presence. Unfortunately, she’s not my roommate this month. My roommate is gone.

Walking into the apartment was hard. As soon as I opened the door I could feel the emptiness. I went to her room which is next to mine to confirm what I already knew to be true. She’s not here. The bed has been stripped down because she’s not coming back.

As a sweet gesture she left me a bottle of wine. I wished her here to share a glass with with me. Unwind. Talk about our travels. I’ll have to wait for another time.

Something about being back in Belgrade makes me feel both restless and relaxed. This is my home and yet it’s not. There is so much I want to do here and I know there is not enough time. I’m excited about my trip to Dubai but not about leaving. With no one at home I went for a walk. The streets were the home and company I craved even though I can’t pronounce any one of them correctly.

I love the feeling of being home. Like sitting by the fireplace, it comforts me on this cold, rainy day. From the inside out joy arises and I remember the good not the sad. Now I can go home and enjoy a glass of wine like my roommate intended.

My end of day gratitude:

  1. Making it safely home to Belgrade.
  2. Being back in Belgrade.
  3. Having a year full of great roommates.

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