I’m out! I’m about! This morning I got checked for a last time. Body temperature was OK, a new sample of blood was tested (no need for an isolation suit this time) and came out OK as well so the employee who took the tests gave me clearance to leave the premises. I now have a nice stamp on my visitor pass to show to officials I have every right to be here.

After receiving my stamp, I was allowed to gather my stuff. It only took an hour and a half to get to Ballse, my hometown for the coming months. Finally I was able to see some of Pangheya from the car. The roads looked as if they’d been repaved last week, the sides of the road were filled with flowers in red, white and purple. Sheep grazing in the hills almost looked surprised to see a car passing by.

When approaching the city of Ballse the layout of the roads grabbed my attention. I’ve read about the extensive use of bikes on Pangheya, but I didn’t realize how the entire lay-out of the streets was designed for both bicyclists and pedestrians. Throughout the entire town. I’ve seen many people out and about, walking and biking too. I felt relieved to see so many of them actually. After two weeks of seeing only three people and not a hint of the existence of more other than these three, one could start to believe there was no-one else. In the coming days I can make up for my lack of social interaction, as my new home is very close to the city center.

The rest of the afternoon I got myself familiar with my new house. The driver was so kind to pick up to key for me before he drove to Porta Coron. He told me that’s the Pangheyan way of doing things. As the university is on the other side of town, it would be a waste to have to make the detour and back whereas his home is situated only a kilometer from the university. I thanked him wholeheartedly when he handed me the key before driving off.

The house is nothing fancy, but it has everything I need. A seating area, a kitchen with oven and microwave, a very modern shower room and a bedroom with a big bed. It’s all made of wood, with a light-blue colour on the outside. My daughter would have called it Elsa-blue when she was in that phase. It’s somewhat bigger than what we would call a tiny home back home, but as far as I can see it is pretty standard sized in Pangheyan terms. At the back of the garden is a small shed with a top to bottom window facing the garden. It’s the office space, just big enough to house a desk and chair. The garden looks very well maintained, by the way. It is filled with plants and many flowers are already blossoming.

After I unpacked my belongings and stored away my suitcase I took a long shower. I needed that. As the university provided me with fresh food in the fridge I didn’t have to worry about shopping for food just yet. I cooked myself a lovely meal, had a glass of wine and curled up into my new bed. I took some bedcovers with me, to make me feel a little bit more at home and at ease. No matter how experienced I got in life, there is always this hint of home-sickness at the beginning of any journey I take. My own bedcovers, with the smell of my own detergent, help me to sleep better the first few days.

Time to sign off for now. Looking forward to start exploring tomorrow.