onsdag 11 juni 2008

Where is home?

Anyone living abroad for a while knows that an inevitable question sooner or later will pop up: What place should I call home?

Now, I haven’t been away for long from Finland, we moved to Nepal in the end of January. We’re still expat rookies trying to figure out the basics. But still, a couple of weeks ago I had to ask myself that inevitable question.

On May the 10th I went back to Finland for three weeks. Some work, some socializing. For my first night in Helsinki I did something I have wanted to do for a long time. I had booked a hotel room in order to be a tourist
in my home town for one day (how many times have you stayed at a hotel in your home town?). But pretty soon I realized it was a kind of Mission Impossible to get into the real tourist mode. I just know my own city too well and I'm a poor pretender. But it was still a fun experiment.

The next morning I moved to my father’s over-night flat (he lives in the country side three hours from Helsinki) and that small place was my home for the whole time in Finland.

Soon I found myself in a mental limbo. I was home, but still not home. Of course I missed my wife who was back here in Nepal. But soon I also missed the Nepali people, the busy street life of Patan and Kathmandu, the different smells. Yeah, the whole Nepali atmosphere.

Let us be a bit more exact here. Did I miss the Expat Nepal or the Real Nepal?

In all honesty: Both.

Even if the Expat Lifestyle is a very strange and fucked-up way of experiencing the world, I must admit I missed it to some extent. It is a cotton ball lifestyle with few real problems, mostly constructed problems. It's is sweet and addictive.

But even more I missed the chance to observe and make my foolish attempts to blend into a society that I of course never ever will blend into. A society that I for now call home.

Bonus material: A short video from the Finnish archipelago. And do feel free to have a look at some pictures from Finland.

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