Many things happened during all this time, some of them exchange related, so it's not that I didn't have the opportunity to write on this blog, but well.. here I am.
[This is taking already so much time - I can't find the proper background song. Yes, I need one.]
Let's start with a "short" recap.
[Reminder: Chihiro lives in Tokyo, Anna in Paris and we became very very very close while we were on exchange; Sofia is my Norwegian classmate and friend who was a kind of returnee herself at my school.]
- July 2013: I visited my sister in London with my two other siblings. I spent there three weeks. I loved London. And I loved all its parks.
- August 2013: Sofia visited me for a week, but it was so hot we didn't do that much. One day we went to Venice but it was like descending into hell. Anyway, it was nice. She practiced her Italian, I practiced my teaching skills. Maybe. I don't remember.
- July 2014: I went to Wien with two friends to visit another friend who was staying there for the summer. Some things happen once in a lifetime.
- September 2013 - June 2014: my Italian family hosted a Norwegian girl, Ada.
- (school school school)
- August 2014: Chihiro and I visited her Norwegian host family in Paris since they moved there in 2013. We spent two weeks together. There was her best friend from Japan too. We wanted to surprise Anna showing up at her doorstep but that didn't happen in the end and we just met. So the three mosqueteers' reunion took place.
- (university university university)
- July 2015: my Norwegian parents visited me in Italy. They met my family and it wasn't awkward - yes, I expected it to be awkward. Imagine calling two people "mamma".
- August 2015: I finally went home. In Norway, I mean.
And this deserves more that two sentences. Going back: I thought it would feel strange. But it really felt like going home. I don't know how else I can describe the feeling. I recognized everything. When I arrived in Oslo the smell of the rain was familiar and also the way the city looks after it rains. The streets. The trees. The train station I got off at to get to school. And the place I lived in. And the smell of my house. And walking barefoot outside. And having my family around. I just needed it.
I think it's difficult to understand if you didn't make this kind of experience. It's not like going back to the city you feel in love with when you previously visited it. It's like when you go somewhere else and you go back home and you feel comfortable because it's your place, completely. And even so, I don't think I explained exactly what I meant.
Anyway, Chihiro came too. We spent two weeks together, fought a little - we're so different, had fun, had tacos and sushi, ate some other stuff, had more fun, met Jenny, ate some more. I met Sofia and I remembered I have to learn Spanish and that it doesn't matter how far away you live from some people, it will always feel like you met the week before. You just have more catching up to do.
We had brunch with Anna's host family because it was something Chihiro and I really wanted to do. You have to understand that we spent so much time together, we were so often at each other's places that, at the end, I found myself having three families. I love them all so much.
And last but not least, my family. What can I say? Just having them around was enough to make me happy. Watching my mum gardening, listening to my dad playing the guitar, having breakfast with Henrik and Jorun, talking with Synnøve on the way home, eating thai food that Olaug and Nicholas cooked. Feeling loved. These are the small things that matter to me and made my stay.
If you consider all of this you can maybe understand why I got a little bit mad when someone told me "have a nice holiday". It seemed like someone was diminishing the fact that it's home to me. Of course they didn't notice and I didn't say anything because I know they had the best intentions and I'm not that stupid.
Sudden change of subject. Kinda. It's already been two years and a half since I came back. It feels like forever ago, but I still find this experience in everything I do: in my behaviour, in my relationships, in my decisions. As I said a billion times before, it has changed deeply and forever. I may have not changed completely, but I improved in different ways and that made me feel and live better. So when I notice I go back to the old bad habits, I feel like I'm destroying what I built. It happened lately and maybe this is the reason why I am writing on this blog, to remind myself who I have become and that going back just brings negativity into my life. And, alright, because it was past time to update it.
I will always have something to tell about this subject (Norway, reunions, exchange, how much I miss it all, etc etc), so this blog will have more posts. Seriously. Maybe in a month, maybe in four years' time, who knows. It's a neverending
to be continued...