Bridging the gap

Construction of Oresund Bridge

My first honeymoon began in Copenhagen, on a chilly morning of September 3, 1996. I got out of the train with a sense of relief, after a 24 hours long journey from Italy. One thousand and five hundred kilometers from there, a girl was turning 15, that very day. On my side, I just got married, my long hair were tight in a ponytail, and I could not imagine that one day I would have dated anyone else: not the blond teenage churchgoer celebrating her 15th birthday, nor the then-thirteen year old Russian girl, the girl living in Serbia, the two who eventually became medical doctors, and the many others I will not mention here.

Copenhagen looked so “Nordic” to me, at the time. Clean and well organized. People dressed up casually, paid everything with their debit cards, and walked unperturbed under heavy rain — no one carrying an umbrella. Girls were really cute, museums really expensive, the weather really unpredictable.

Sweden was (and still is) on the other side of the sea. I remember, one night, seeing from Copenhagen the lights of a city with a mysterious name: Malmö. There was no bridge, yet, connecting the Danish capital to the Swedish territory. Sweden, that day, was out of my reach: a physical distance. Today I know that — the missing bridge — was also the metaphor of a journey. A journey that I was yet to begin.


Thousand miles

I had to walk thousand miles, fly the four continents, sail the three oceans, before I could actually cross that bridge. Nowhere in my imagination I could foresee that one day, I would have owned an apartment in Malmö, I would have had a job, on the other side of that strait, I would have married in Stockholm a girl then still living in another continent. Most of all, I could not have imagined that, in 2015, I would have written this story while my Swedish daughter was sleeping on my chest. My girl, born on a chilly morning of Autumn, at the Malmö city hospital.

Turns of life are still surprising me. None of the predictable ever comes true. It is the unthinkable that keeps knocking on my doors. I look now at my little one, and I wonder which paths of life she will walk. It is my responsibility to prepare her for the journey, wherever it takes her.

And then, just to be amazed for the bridges that are not there yet.

Inaugurating the Bridge: wannabe-Queen Victoria of Sweden kissing the Danish counterpart.

Inaugurating the Bridge: wannabe-Queen Victoria of Sweden kissing the Danish counterpart.

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