This post is part of the Travel Series – reflections and muses based on the cities I have lived in or travelled to. If you are looking for recommendations on food, things to do and the wows of a city, please go to other travel blogs.
As inspiring as every trip may be, warped with sights and laden with myriad camera and Instagram opportunities, my favorite place is to come home to my apartment, kick off my shoes and venture in my Bear Room, brushing past the wall of dangling postcards from around the world as I enter.
I sink deep into the red chaise longue by the window, the first significant procurement I had made since I started earning money. I had made seven individual trips to Galeries Lafayette throughout a few weekends during my time in Paris to tip the ambivalence into purchase. It has since been reupholstered from aubergine to velvet pink.
The chaise longue sits next to the wide windows and I can see buses and cars down on the main road overtaking each other by an inch. I stretch out, throwing the keys on to the darkwood dressing table on its right. There is a mess of suitcase on the pink rug in the middle of the room, but I don’t care. I look around, mesmerized by the jigsaw puzzle collection of Jimmy’s illustrations festooned on one wall. On the opposite wall sits a tall bookshelf housing my Jimmy illustration book collection to complement. Old editions of the Concise Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus stampedes silently on the bottom shelf, reminding me of the days I used to write with pen and paper and flip through paper version of dictionaries, instead of pressing ⌘+R.
Bamboo, a two-year-old Shiba, a Japanese fox-like dog dating from the days of the Samurai, runs from wherever she slumbered towards the Bear Room. Her paws pitter and patter on the tiles, while her reddish brown bum sways from side to side, as if still deciding whether to run, bound, jump on me, or do all three at the same time. Her bushy tail has a white tip, and it amazes me how she can coordinate wagging, sniffing at the suitcases, and sneezing simultaneously.
She huddles her head into my lap the looks up, poking her white face into mine, absorbing the new scents I brought from my last destination. She gives me a lick and then gazes at me from under her café-latte coloured eyelashes, as if to ask, “where is my treat for today?”
Perhaps tomorrow I will feel overwhelmed again by the thought of staying alive, seeking to hide from invisible threats and responsibilities. Perhaps in a few days, lights in Sanlitun Village might blur my vision and shock me with an amalgamation of panic attacks and delusions of men dressed in black stalking me.
But for now, I will engorge the safety of the Bear Room, where only things that make me happy exist in silo. Res ipsa loquitur.