Saturday, 4 August 2012

A sense of normality ...

Mama is back from Brighton. Everyone can start living and eating again. Happy Kipps Life can resume.
There is nothing more hilarious than people telling the story of their experiennce in Brighton .

I can see her in gay clubs and walking home amongst the usual drunks that we don't even notice when we do live there.

'' There was this girl falling down because she was too drunk. I wanted to help her but she was too rude. Then the police came....


The best is when she decided to take photos of gardens on her way back to the station at 6am.

'' There were people sleeping in the Gardens Annabelle, LOADS of drunk people!''


The other friend was listening , slightly shocked.

Why do I think it's normal? When you live in Brighton you either embrace it or you move out.

I embraced it quite quickly and got used to the sound of drunks faster than the sound of the sea gulls eating fish and chips outside my window.

We all have a different idea of what normal means to us.

Normal : The way the average people live, how you should live your life to be accepted by others.
To me , normal life involves living with people from everywhere in this world.

Normal life invloves meeting 10 strangers when I go from my bedroom to my toilet. It is working where I live and live where I work. It is romanian women knowing better than me what is good for me.

'' Annabelle. Sit. You HAVE TO EAT pork . !''

'' But I'm a vegeterian....''

'' EAT NOW''

And just like that , there was meat in my normal life again.

My favourite words, usually only pronounced my mother once every 3 months were back into my daily normality :

'' Dinner is ready!''

'' Annabelle you need Man more often. I 'll make you sexy'' Big Sister says as I was deep cleaning yet another room yesterday. I smell of bleach and I'm wearing a baggy tee shirt with stains on it.

What's the point I think. I'm not allowed to sleep with ANYONE now. ( anyone=guests)

I made vows for Kipps.

That, also sounds like '' normal'' to me.

'' Wear this.. She throws clothes at me that she constantly buys for me in charity shops.

I'm hafl naked in reception putting them on. They always fit perfectly. She's ze best personal shopper ever ( contact me for details)

Normal life is bossing around my favourite dutch interns and THEN play nintendo DS with her fighting like sisters.
I met a few people for whom normal meant different things too. The one lady who retired on Thurday morning in the USA and was on the plane to Europe with a bike on Thurday night with no return ticket. Thats normal.The people walking from Canterbury to Rome with a 12kg backpack. Normal. People cycling to Scotland. Normal.

Doing a BBQ for strangers every Saturday is also normal for us.

Last night , I looked at the people we have this week. Backpackers from New Zealand, France, USA , German , Belgium. My mission is to sit with them and find something '' normal'' to talk about so it includes EVERYONE. Good luck me.

Backpackers are my specialty. I went on a ''professional trip '' ( that's how I call it now) to understand them better. In the end, their sense of normal was once mine.

We talk about hostels , bunk beds, the weight of the backpack, the lack of money , couch surfing, how we are never alone on a trip because we always meet people.

I also impress 2 or 3 cute male backpackers with my traveling stories ( who wouldn't)

'' I lived in a Buddhist monastery in South Thailand for a month. It was a concrete mattress you see. And there were scorpions and that''

The other staff walks by thinking :

'' Here she goes AGAIN''

Right. One day I will go travelling again and come back with new stories. Promise.

I always have to adapt my conversations to the people living with us. That's (also) the beauty of my job So this week, backpackers. EASY.

But last week ......

Flashback last Saturday.

'' Are all these kids eating? Where are the parents?'' I ask Mama, freaking out.

I'm out of my comfort zone. The hostel is full of ....... families.

Oh dear. What am I going to talk about ??????

This , to me is abnormal. You either have a family OR you live in a backpackers hostel.

'' How old are you I say to that little girl''

'' I'm 7 , you?''

'' 23'' I announce loud. ''33'' I whisper to her ear'

Annnabelle, no need for that. You are THE ONLY SINGLE PERSON HERE.

'' You're older than my mum!'' she says jumping on my back.

Now that makes me feel better.....

I probably was so much fun that I had 3 little kids following me EVERYWHERE by the end of the evening. they did the dishes with me , served sausages to people for me and did whatever I asked them to do ( the interns felt their job was in danger)

They had adapted to my sense of normality and were loving it.

'' Girls , this person is from Germany. Show me Germany on the map'' The girls were happily jumping on my bed showing me to different countries of the world.

There was no gap in the conversation. By the end of the evening I thought it was ''normal'' to have kids in my daily life at the hostel.

'' I'm gonna put the girls to bed '' I announce the parents whom I met the day BEFORE.

'' Sure, Annabelle '' they answer, sipping a glass of red.

The next day they gave drawings and present. How cute.

Kids love me. And then? I become their nanny.....

Lesson learnt : kids adapt to YOUR sense of normal. Does it mean that you can have kids and live YOUR life?

Wow. REALLY? Happy by lesson learnt. vision of normality slightly changed , I email my Canadian man back in Ottawa . We email everyday actually. ( the one I had a relationship with for a whole 48hours in June) , stupidly telling him about how cool it was to have kids in a backpackers' hostel.

It took him a whole week to reply, and he gladly avoided the subject.

SILLY ANNABELLE. Keep your sense of normal to yourself will ya.

Yesterday I went on a trip to the beach with my 58 year old Spiritual lesbian friend. We were happpy to have someone to talk about normal stuff to. Normal stuff such as past lives or spiritual healing. Things only witches can talk about.

It felt good to feel normal.

I then got back to the hostel and caught up with the craziness.

It felt good to be normal there too.
My vision of normal is changing everyday here. No, you cannot come into this life with your old thought patterns. Not working. You have to create a new sense of normality for yourself , change what you've been brought up to think to what you REALLY wish to think.

Then and only then , you will realise that living a normal life actually means : accepting to live the Life that YOU love.

The only norm is to do what makes your heart sink.

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