Like No Where Else in the World
The cleaning lady paused for a second as she found, while tidying up Room 218, a piece of paper, apparently thrown away, that had been covered in colourful writing. Every word had been written carefully in a different colour - red, blue, yellow, orange and brown - as though by a grade school child. She read: "No where else in the world does it smell so good as on the Vigiljoch." The cleaning lady picked up the note and saw that it had been written on the backside as well:
No where else in the world does it smell so good as on the Vigiljoch. It smells like childhood, freshly cut wood and my uncle's german shepherd, who always ran around from person to person in our strewn out hiking group until his tongue was hanging down to the ground. It smells like ice-cold mountain creekwater that gurgles out of a small rivulet into a hollowed out tree trunk trough from which we greedily used to drink from on hot, sweaty summer days. It smells like stiff leather knickerbockers that we had to wear because that's what people wear. And it smells like half-dried out cow patties that are still warm and moist underneath, and which we used to throw - in those pre-Frisbee days - with great enthusiasm and accuracy at the legs of uppity young boys: smack! Those wanna-be heros and boasters suddenly turned back into little boys who had to hide their tears under the protective bosoms of their mammas, to our amusement.
And it smells like the clear rosy Vernatsch, that famous local wine that flows so smoothly, softly and in suitable quantities down the throats of our parents. Or perhaps it smells more like the soul of that wine wafting from their laughing mouths into our disgusted noses. Vernatsch made them do some pretty crazy things: once, instead of comfortably taking the gondola down the mountain, we were supposed to take a short cut down into the valley, since one of the Vernatschified hikers had parked his car down in Ultental. But this short cut turned out to be a near vertical descent through the woods. I panicked a little climbing down from tree to tree, then I slipped, sliding down on the seat of my pants on a sled of autumn leaves until breaking with sudden yells of pain from the chestnut spline nuts stuck in my bottom. So we did reach the valley more quickly than expected, where an entire company of guardian angels were waiting for us to look over the swerving steering of our parents driving back to Lana.
It smells like a hay floor, sleeping bags that are too warm, stolen looks, a crackling battery-powered cassette player that devours tapes and, afterwards, nighttime ghost stories.
But above all, it smells like weightless blissfulness ...
The cleaning lady placed the note carefully back on the chair, as though it were a very valuable and delicate object. She opened the door to the terrace, breathed in greedily the fresh air and closed her eyes. All of a sudden, a certain smell surged and swelled within her insides with an untameable energy. She smelled the palm trees of Djerba and the ocean sprays of salt thrown by the wind; she smelled the colourful sounds, fabrics and spices of a bazaar and the wavy air above the hot red earth of Africa. Surprised by herself, the cleaning lady laughed, closed the door and said, "So true: like no where else in the world does it smell as good as in our memories."