Last months have been full of travelling, packing and unpacking. I take care of clothes almost immediately once I’m home, but bags, travel guides and bills from vacations have been laying around unattended up till now. Bit by bit I am trying to clear the space.
Today I came across maps - Cyprus, France, Liechtenstein. I love city maps as much as I love cities. It’s a kind of ritual to ask for a map upon arrival to a new city, to determine the historical sites area, the shopping area, the restaurants area. Then find yourself within.
I unfold one of the maps and look at the web of streets. In my head lines on the map transform in buildings, shop windows and street signs. I even remember where and how I got that map. I remember walking into the tourist office in Victoria on Gozo asking for a city map. I couldn’t hide a smile when I heard the answer: “We do not have city maps. We only have maps of the whole island.” My vacation maps are heavily used, worn out in a couple of days or even hours. This time all of them are free maps that I picked up at hotels, airports or tourist offices. In my opinion, cities that do not have free maps are not civilised enough.
I should throw these maps away. Keeping them is no use. But I can’t let them go. Not yet. They remind me of travelling, of the places I’ve seen, of the times with no worries. I try to think of some creative possibilities to recycle them, to let them stick around for a little longer. Internet suggestions are no use and nothing original comes to mind.
I take the map of Calais and cut it into a large snowflake. Then throw it to the bin together with all the other maps. That was easier than I’d anticipated.