“You know what… I just can’t take it. This is horrible.” This is the text I sent to my best friend last week, while on a very passionate rant.
The reason behind the text was the following: Every morning when I woke up, the first reminder that I was back in Argentina and no longer in my beloved Denmark was there in the form of very, very bad bread for breakfast. And I found myself staring at it, disliking it, and really wanting to get my good bread back.
But as you might have already noticed, this is not about bread (even though I’m still googling ‘how to ship bread internationally’ and ‘easy rugbrød recipes’). This is about missing the things I learned to love throughout the months of my exchange. The experiences and the people. The tastes and sounds. What I left behind feels like it should be here. But it’s not.
I’m very bad with feelings. My way of dealing with it is to ignore them until I decide to watch a sad movie – usually about dogs – just to let the feelings out
I’m very bad with feelings. My way of dealing with it is to ignore them until I decide to watch a sad movie – usually about dogs – just to let the feelings out. But they do show up in absurd ways, just to prove they can. So then I find myself crying in the supermarket because I’ve realized that they don’t sell halloumi cheese in this country. Or when I search for something online because the page redirects me to the .ar domain and not .dk anymore.
I’m like this feme sole who has been abandoned at the wedding altar and can’t stop thinking about the old times with her lover – even the bad ones. I miss the sunset at 15:00, and am (stupidly) annoyed by the fact that it’s sunny at 20:00. I miss the Danish language! Unpronounceable, impossible to understand, but so beautiful. I miss those quirky traits that everyone had, like the time I dated a guy who only wore organic clothes (I honestly didn’t even know that was a thing).
The beep of the check-in and check-out machine in the bus. The fact that my hair always made me look like Mufasa from The Lion King because it rained all the time. My crazy neighbor who knocked on the wall as soon as he heard even a tiny bit of noise from me. How everyone judged me for adding sugar to my coffee. God, I even miss how expensive things were.
I miss those quirky traits that everyone had, like the time I dated a guy who only wore organic clothes (I honestly didn’t even know that was a thing)
And both countries are completely different. I once had to spend more than 45 minutes explaining the following story to my Danish friend: My mom called me to show me some new decorations she put on the door of our house. But she was concerned that they wouldn’t last long as someone would probably steal them. My friend couldn’t understand how this was possible: Why would someone do that? But yes, as you may or may not know, crime is completely common here in Argentina.
So I also miss my safety. The ability to go for a run in the middle of the night without fear of being robbed or attacked. And being able to carry my phone around without the constant fear of someone taking it from my pocket. I now have to carry my backpack in front of me and not on my back to avoid getting robbed, so I look pregnant and weird while walking down the street.
I also miss what I left behind. I’m a firm believer that long-distance relationships are one of the most hurtful things you can have, and I’ve already had many failed ones. But I’m still texting with that cute Dane I met just before leaving the country and fell for. I remind myself and my friends that it’s not going to last, and that one of us will find someone new very soon – but I also keep track of my ‘cheap flights to Copenhagen’ alert on my phone.
I now have to carry my backpack in front of me and not on my back to avoid getting robbed, so I look pregnant and weird while walking down the street
I went to a Danish restaurant that I found online a few days ago. I’d read an article about how finding something that makes you feel like you’re back will help you feel better, and I thought some smørrebrød couldn’t hurt me. I made my first Danish-Argentine friend, who now bakes my bread and has had to answer my “Seriously, why did you decide to move to this country?” question way too many times.
I know that transitions aren’t easy, and I hope that someday I can find home again (maybe here, maybe somewhere else). It’s only been a month since I’ve been back, and believe it or not, it’s a rollercoaster: Some days are easy, when I can admire the beauty of my own city (regardless of anything, it is beautiful) and the taste of my own food; some days are hard, and I decide not to respond to texts or talk to anyone.
It does feel like a break-up: I didn’t want it to end, but it did. But as much as I’d like to stay in bed, eat ice cream and relive all the memories – that’ll never help. So it’s time to make the best of it. It can’t be that bad. At least I’ve got my bread.