Thursday, 5 March 2015

home thoughts from abroad (remix)

I don't write here much, and it's very late now and I should probably sleeping, but some thoughts have been crossing my mind, so please allow me a moment or two to indulge myself. I was having an introductory conversation with someone tonight, and he seemed surprised that I, to his mind, had already 'written off' where I am now as an option for life, work, and all that, after my PhD is finished. The truth is, he misunderstood me. I haven't written anything off, because 'here' was never an option. What I want, most of all, is simply to go home.

It's been five years since I emigrated. London, Copenhagen, and now Durham. My life now is a mis-mash of a Danish-UK world, long train rides to airports in other parts of the country to take advantage of the cheap airfares, to spend stolen weekends and weeks with the one I love. I have three bank cards, three sim cards, a handful of random coins in my purse. I miss my home, my real home, so much. It's not that I am idealising a romantic idea of how great it must be, because I know the reality is a political and economic and social situation that is not entirely satisfactory for me, a life with which I might find much lacking. But, the countryside is still beautiful, the cities superb, the butter and milk delicious, and the people good at small-talk. 

I am so close to home; social media means I can stay in constant touch with my dearest ones, but the truth is that, after half a decade, it just doesn't feel the same anymore. I've missed so many birthdays and celebrations, and I really just want to be in a town where everyone has the same slang, where the music is played fast and mercilessly at the local pub session, where we have a common understanding of where we've come from, where we're going. It's not that where I am now is a million miles away, but sometimes the closer you are, the farther you feel. 

What really prompted this was reading Garrison Keillor's beautifully crafted tale of life in Copenhagen, as a foreigner. He is a creative hero of mine, and I find his descriptions of the peace and tranquility he finds in Copenhagen comforting and sad at the same time. I know all the feelings, these feelings are my own. But I feel sad because I know Copenhagen will never be mine, never be ours. We can live there, have a CPR number, an apartment, pay our taxes and use the bike lanes, but home is something else entirely, and I can't wait to get back to it. Can't wait for that part of life to really start, at last. 

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