This journey is over. That was a great chunk of my life. I have rented a garage and left a bunch of stuff behind. I shall come back to retrieve it, but will I want it all back, when I reopen those boxes, will I still need them? So I thought about this, and these are the transcripts of my thoughts:
I first step foot on this land as a teenager who denied the existence of the Home. The world was bound to be the Home, and I knew it, even then. I have always suffered from chronic curiosity.
We felt everything, we knew nothing, we toasted and danced, we slept on couches and had neck-pain the other day. I was present and took part in weddings, police investigations, births, fires, carbon monoxide poisoning and car accidents. I left my appendix here, I ran through the streets of a cold winter to catch an ambulance before they left to help a friend, I didn’t think about slipping on the ice and dying, not a single moment. I developed a nail polish habit, a skin care routine and depression as well (in remission). There was romance, love, flirts and pseudo-feelings that we failed to develop, we grew up so much, we even outgrew hate. There was learning to forgive, forgive people that had hurt, forgiving Putin, and the winter, for existing so solidly. We made science and progress, we met Nobel Laureates and hyperventilated. We took cabs when we could have walked, we hugged when we were cold, we had no shame in being smugglers (will we ever?). We developed our facets, we had blackouts and cooked foreign dishes with a socio- political purpose. We even opened books knowing that they would change us. We rode bikes. We exacerbated our OCDs. We have become doctors and the worst patients. We got tattooed. We became polyglots. We got massages and full body scrabs, we got stuck in traffic, in metro wagons and fainted in public. We excelled sarcasm. We had picnics with no fear of food poisoning. We slept over, we binge watched.
We are a chimera of all these things, and so many more.
And there was Home, somehow, there was Home.
And if you smirked reading any of the above, that’s probably because of you.
Thank you Russian Friends, Non-Russian Friends, friends’ pets and attaches. You made me feel like I was on Erasmus for seven years. A lot of people only get one year of that, so that’s at least 7x better than the average.