How to divert a traveler

I have a mini traveler in my house. An unwanted guest you can’t just tell to leave. In a way he/she is just as much of an explorer as I am and it makes me think about how locals see me when I am wandering through their town.

bsantos_MouseWell, this mini-traveler is a mouse. While I’m sitting on my bed, reading blogs and even now I’m writing about him/her, I see it walking through the hallway. Or worse: it comes from under my bed, circles the room like a crazy person and then disappears again before you can make up your mind about what to do about it. This is one curious creature that seems to be getting more adventurous every day.

It started when I saw a strange hole in one of my fabric shopping bags. Then I found a stray cookie in that bag and my mind made the connection: mouse. I didn’t hear or see anything for a few days, but then I started noticing it in the hallway. I thought it came in underneath the front door, but now I’ve discovered this hole in the corner of my bedroom. There is a little gap he/she made in between two plinths and I am pretty sure it moves around behind the room’s plinths. It has infiltrated my life and is gaining strength, but can I blame him/her?

When travelling I am constantly interfering in people’s lives. I remember living in Amsterdam, commuting via Amsterdam central aka tourist central, and constantly being asked questions. Where is the Rijksmuseum? How do I take the bus? Is this the Dam Square? Sometimes I just don’t want to deal with this while I’m leading my normal life. On the other hand, I’m always happy with a helping hand when I’m somewhere unfamiliar myself. When I visit a new place I stop and stare, I observe people, I take photos, I ask questions. While I’m doing this I am probably in somebody’s way, annoying someone with more questions or invading someone’s space.

In a way we are all like this mouse sometimes. As we see more of the world, we gain confidence and aim to expand our horizons even more. This makes me think. What do I do with my little unwanted friend. I don’t want to crush his/her dreams of exploring the world, but maybe I should guide it to another part of it, say the neighbours. I guess I’ll start by cutting off access to my room. I’ve got to score some wood and fix the baseboard. To you little mouse: good luck on your next adventure.

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