My new friend Diego
Diego doesn't like me.
This is because the ski instructor always sends me first.
I am not the fastest skier, but he says I have the best technique. We were told skiing is not only about speed but Diego takes great pleasure in overtaking me on our way down the slope. He is not friendly.
On our last day we had free rides. I queued for the ski lift with three other boys. Diego was one of them. The others were friends of Diego.
As we were going to sit on the four seat lift, the three boys pulled back on the last minute. I was left to occupy the four seat lift all on my own.
I waved back to my not friends and got ready for a long lonely ascending into the Swiss Alps.
It was cold, snowing, and intimidatingly quiet.
As the snow was quietly falling and the wind was blowing, I visualised a map of Europe. I thought about where all my friends and family were.
The closest person was 1000 miles away.
Here I was ascending the Swiss Alps all on my own.
I sat quietly and confidently.
I knew my way down.
When I left the ski lift I took a moment to admire the scenery. I will not bore you but imagine this:
Bellow you, there is a thin but impenetrable cloud layer. In the distance, the snowy tips of the tallest mountains were poking out above the clouds. All this, and the glowing yellow-orange light from the early morning sun.
I literally felt like time had stopped. It was incredible.
I took several deep breaths and ran the several kilometres long journey quickly through my head.
I've skied on this slope before. There was one narrow path connecting two slopes, it was a tricky bit.
I payed close attention.
There is something to be said about skiing alone in a quiet, beautiful strange country full of strange people with their strange, beautiful, language.
I felt strong and free I felt the part of this fascinating scenery.
I wished my parents could see me now.
The biggest surprise of this ride was waiting for me at the bottom of the slope.
It was Diego.
He came up to me, with his friends, and said in a heavy French accent:
I am your new friend, excuse-moi