Bjarni and Jane had secretly planned her visit, and it was such a surprise when I opened our door, and she was standing there. Living abroad is like life is divided into two worlds: the world (with all its people, places and habits) at home and the world in the new place. So it was so surreal to see Jane from home standing here when I wasn't prepared for it. But so so great to share what life here looks like and we all loved having her. Friends who pick up your kids and pour a whole lot of love out on them are simply the best!
A friend visiting calls for sightseeing and showing off some of what Boston has to offer. One of the first things we did, was to cheer for the marathon runners that passed by our neighborhood on their route Monday afternoon. We ate lunch in the sun and enjoyed the festive atmosphere, while the runners passed by. It was when we later got home we heard about the explosions in downtown Boston. We followed the news on TV and it was sad and frightening to see how the cheerful atmosphere had so suddenly turned to shock and disbelief.
From how I experienced it, the following days continued with surprising normalcy albeit the media covered the bombings extensively. We went to Cambridge and back to downtown Boston on day trips and aside from extra police on the subway stops and having our bags inspected at the New England Aquarium, things looked like they used to. Our plans about driving out of the city came to a halt Friday morning, when we heard about the lockdown in our neighborhood: we shouldn't leave our building. (The part of Watertown where they suspected the man to hide is about 4km from our place.) We tried to cancel our rental car, but nobody answered the phone at the car agency. It was closed down as was the rest of the neighborhood. We could hear police sirens and helicopters throughout the day, and the streets and parking lots around us were strangely quiet. Silja played with friends in our building, and the rest of us ate cake and changed between following the news intensely and having too much of it. By the time they finally caught the guy in the evening we were watching a movie, but could hear the cheers out on the balcony from people in the neighborhood. We had all been trapped inside the entire day, and it was such a relief for everyone when the drama and suspense finally was over.
I got two little ones keeping me too busy to follow the aftermath too closely, but there seems to be a strong sense of community and togetherness growing out of everything that happened last week, which reflects in the new mantra of the city and it's people: Boston strong.
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