A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon the book shop Travelling Through near Waterloo station here in London. It was the location of a meetup event where I learned about the difference between physical travel and travel with the mind. Similar to falling in love with another person, I had left part of my heart between the various travel books. So this weekend it was time to return.
Visiting Russia has always been one of my dreams, maybe a close Russian friend from childhood had implanted a secret desire. I look at the country with continued fascination, never adopted the depreciating opinion unveiled by several Western newspapers. Thing is, Russia isn't the tourist spot number 1, at least according to the internal search result of a couple other travel blogs.
I'm determined to go.
Emma, the bookshop owner, shares her favorite books regarding Russia. You can definitely tell she is enjoying working here, carefully searching for the best stories. I grab a chair and browse through them, look up and admire her collection of travel writing.
Eventually, I grabbed Teffi's From Moscow to the Black Sea and felt certain it would get me closer to learning about the world's largest nation.
I wave Emma goodbye and until next time. I'll mark the January event in my calendar, that's when the next Philosophy Cafe meetup happens. As I close the door, I'm thinking how a traveler would feel to have their book published and standing in Emma's shelves. Or in other words, if the shelf could tell a story, what story would it tell?
Outside, I stumble into the owner of a beautiful old timer. He allows me some insights into his love for old cars. "They used to look all different, now they all look the same." I'm traveling through the Lower Marsh market, finish up my Christmas cards and bump into some fellow photographers.
It just happened, I am in the flow. It's crazy what bookshops can trigger. December days are short but chances to find golden lights are quite high.
I turn around and bump into an old vintage store where jazz is coming out of loudspeakers. Feeling I'm falling, it says on the wall and time alone will tell. The mannequin is lost in thought and so am I. My mind drifts back to what Emma had said, that she felt she would open up her book shop and she made her dream come true.
I'm wondering at which point exactly a dream becomes reality and am pretty sure you can never really put the finger to it.
Underground Station: Waterloo