letter twenty to gioia: the wait is over

my dearest,

you’re back! you’re here! yay! and what a wait it’s been. i don’t think i’ve quite realized that summer is basically here, the last few days being as busy as they were, but i’m sure it’ll settle in at some point. the last week of my first year of studying at toni was a bit of a whirlwind (including a grand total of six train rides from basel to zurich and back again) and passed in a flurry and i’m only now beginning to realize what it being the last week means. not only will i not be at uni again until september and therefore not see many of my classmates, i also missed the chance to eat one more vegan cookie or lay in the sun in the rooftop garden or visit the cute little houses along the limmat one last time before heading off into the summer. oh well. maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be. maybe partying into the last day of the semester and wearing sunglasses during your last presentation to prevent people from seeing what only three hours of sleep do to your eye rings is what it’s actually about.

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rooftop bbq

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the last iced coffee at toni

and let’s be honest, it’s not like i wasn’t excited for that last day to come, bringing with it the prospect of a lot of summer adventures. so after packing my suitcase and prepping my room for mara, who is going watch over it the next two weeks, nora and i took the train to basel and now here i am, just like you (something i still can’t quite believe). i’ll be spending the next few days working, standing guard while trying to be as friendly as possible to people trying to touch things they’re not supposed to touch, trying to prevent them from taking photos of things they’re not supposed to take photos of and telling parents to keep their children from climbing onto works of art, but at least i’ll be here, in basel. (only a tram ride away from you and your hugs. just sayiiing.)

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so. atwood. as you know, this is my first atwoodian experience and so far, i’m quite intrigued. her writing isn’t the easiest to read, especially with her switching back and forth between the past and present as often and unannounced as she does, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. the scene has now been set and things that might or might not be very important for the further development of the story are happening, e.g. that encounter with nick in the middle of the night? i’m curious to read about any repercussions that might have. also, i can’t wait to find out more about what exactly happened in the past, i.e. how she came from living her happily married life to being the handmaid of the commander. when did things start to change? how were all these new rules and restrictions implemented? what happened to luke? and their daughter? so many questions we have yet to get the answers to!

it was lovely seeing you today. oh so lovely!

yours,

rahel

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