Smells like “home-home”

12 06 2013

I considered all the places I lived in for more than 3 months as “home”.  Not like “home-home” but like that place I was ready to invest money, feelings and curiosity in, so I guess Ghana, India and Belgium all felt like home at some point in time.

I am now on my way to the home I share with Rach in Brussels. I am in the train and it smells like “home-home”. I haven’t been in Iaşi since September last year and suddenly I miss my mum’s chicken with baked bell peppers dish. Someone is eating in the train and it smells exactly the same. I am suddenly homesick and it feels weird as I didn’t experience it in a while.

I take the train daily and it can be quite an experience, especially today when I forgot my music at home and I am forced to listen Arabic tunes that I am not at all fond of, plus the sound of someone texting. I dislike people that don’t remove their key sound and text restlessly for more than 20 minutes. As I am ready to move to another wagon, he/she stops. And to be honest, I don’t want to leave my seat because the wagon smells like “home-home” and I miss watching my mom doing wonders in her huge kitchen. As I write this, the word kitchen makes me smile. Just yesterday we talked and I told her that I want to buy a studio for myself in my home-town. She immediately said that I must have a big kitchen. Kind of hard to accomplish that with a studio… While I still don’t want to get married or have children, I find myself more often than not wanting to own a place of my own. More than a studio, it will be a place to come back to, a refuge for when I get tired and I need a break from my life as an immigrant, globetrotter or global citizen, however you want to call me. I think I prefer “global citizen” best!

Going back to food, today I signed up for a gastronomy class on Coursera. I am very excited about it although I am not sure how I will fit it in my schedule. I am taking everything one month at a time. Working full time, doing my masters, volunteering and all my other activities are lately taking a toll on me, as lovely as they are. I haven’t written something I consider relevant since the Internal Combustion writing workshop on May 12 and I am not 100% happy with that story either. Plus I did not finish Anna’s story. It’s like it does not want to be written or maybe I am just looking for an excuse!

I am happy to say that my French is getting better. I wish I would have listened to “Madamme” Dolcu in high school when she was saying “Chick, you need to study.” Awesome awesome woman! But it was high school and I hated French and school in general. My wake-up call came later and here I am, every morning for 45 minutes, in the train to Antwerp, reading in French, learning vocabulary and trying to figure out how much progress I have made. But now I love French. Maybe I will find some time for Dutch too but not this year!

2013 is my best year so far. That is, if I stick to my schedule. The schedule that right now does not have a visit to me “home-home” in it. I mean to change that but I also want to fit in Cuba or Peru and honestly, that might prove to be cheaper! Travelling home to Iaşi feels like travelling to Asia, but with more stops, means of transportation and hours. I guess with more money spent too 😛

I have two exams in June. Both important, both difficult and time consuming! At the end of the day it feels good. Never thought that Global Information Management would prove to be so interesting! Or that 4 to 5 hours of sleep a night will feel restful and enough. But it works and after I will finish with everything this year, I am going “home-home” to have chicken with baked bell peppers in my mum’s kitchen and sleep. And maybe, before I turn 30 next year, I will stop feeling like all this effort is for nothing. And hopefully I will have my studio somewhere in Podu Ros, and maybe by then my home-town will be again the “city of linden trees” and the place to always go back to with joy! Because today, more than ever, it became clear to me that I will never go back for good. I am after all an immigrant, a globetrotter, a global citizen!

And by the way, exactly 4 years ago I started this blog. This is my 127th post. In June 2009 I was getting ready to go to Ghana for my life changing experience 😀 I know that for the past 2 years I was barely here but more stories now feel like they should be shared less… 🙂

somewhere in Brussels

somewhere in Brussels


7 12 2010


I normally embrace change and I am happy about it. Change chases away the boredom and tends to tame my restlessness… but when things change form one day to another, it just makes me mad.

Right now I can’t make a plan… book some tickets… decide when to do my South Asian trip… because next week things might look completely different.

And don’t tell me that it’s up to me. Because sometimes it’s just not!

On the other hand… I am happy 😀

And I am not going to feel guilty because I am happy to leave India at this point in time! I haven’t seen my family since 2nd of April 2010. I haven’t seen “THE TEAM” since April and June 2009. I am so excited that I will meet my closest friends that I feel like yelling it from the top of Cyber Greens.

Yes, I am happily counting down the days. I sort of finished my shopping. Yes, I almost packed my bags; I even went sightseeing in Delhi … And yes, I have a calendar on my desk and I scratch off each day that passes.

That doesn’t mean I am not going to miss some of the things here… Mostly my TEAM here and being in the office.  My small small room. Sarojini Nagar shopping.  Barista and the best café latte in India. Ice cream from Giani.  Chico, Mariana, Paula, Javed, Sasha and Andrew.  IVETTITA. Indian food. Galleria Market. Fresh fruit juice from the street “shops”. Cooking :D. My TEAM again 😀 The women wagon in the metro. The friendly gatherings.  Showing off my PAN card. Playing the tourist. Saying I am from Ghana or Afghanistan when annoying men ask me where I am from. Telling lies about being married with 4 kids. Yes… I did that a few times 😛 All in all… the small things that make my day. In the end, happiness is in details 🙂

Why I never spoke about all these things before in my posts? I don’t know. It might be because I usually don’t feel like writing when I am happy. Who needs therapy when he/she is happy.

I am happy to have a 3 months break from Gurgaon. No more rickshaws. No more buses. No more random pigs on the street. No more traffic. No more bargaining for every single rupee. Yes… at the end of the month I am poor too. Thank God, not poor in the true sense of the word, but the need to watch my every rupee shows its ugly head.  You can call me a bad financial planner if it makes you happy!

I won’t miss the staring. I won’t miss being on the list… actually I haven’t been in such a long time that it doesn’t even matter. I think I might never be again 😛 I used to laugh saying that going partying in Delhi reminds me why I don’t go partying in Delhi! I am too old for this.

I won’t miss the hypocrisy.

I won’t miss the dust.

I won’t miss losing my hair… Yes, that was one of the big things that messed with my head here.  I don’t know if anyone can picture the distress of seeing your hair falling like crazy every single day, every single brush touch, every single shower … Till it feels that you are losing your feminity with every single moment that passes by.

All in all, it was good and bad. Just like any other true adventure. I was in love with India some of the days… and I hated being here with all my heart in others. One thing though never changes… My professional and learning experience was as close to perfection as it could be. And the best part of it?  It keeps going 😀

So I guess for now is “see you in March 2011 Dear India”. I promise to try to be more patient next time… But have in mind that my patience is a “work in progress” thing!!!

Just like me!

They call it re-integration!

8 01 2010

I knew by the end of my internship that I will miss Ghana. I never told myself that it’s not going to happen. With good and bad it was the best experience of my life so far. But I also believe that I will enjoy being home a lot more! I guess I am restless… it’s just the way I am!

It’s been good so far. Staying home, seeing some of my friends, which I missed so much, and reconnecting with my family. Not waking up at 5:45 am every morning 😛

The truly annoying part started when I had to face the Romanian bureaucracy. But it’s my fault. I actually had the nerve to go to my former University to ask for my bachelor diploma on 4th of January. Exactly the first day after the holiday! It seems to me that I am a very bad person. The secretary from my former college was very nice. She told me where to go and what I need in order to get my diploma. Fast and simple! But getting that piece of paper was a lot more complicated… Because some people are still in their holiday although officially they are working!

Ok, so it’s 5th of January now. I can totally understand. Right after New Year’s Eve… 5 days after but still… But I finished my studies 1,5 years ago. June 2008… Why does it take 1,5 years to get a piece of paper?

Well I am on my way to Bucharest now. Without my diploma… I didn’t have time to wait for everybody to finish their holiday. I do hope my MA Program won’t require it. Because it might just take a while for the University to release it! I mean there are holidays, long weekends, and personal problems and so on. Putting your signature on a document is a difficult thing to do. It can take years and years and years….!!! Maybe I should go in July 2011. I mean why not? They need time. Evolution is a difficult process. An annoying person requiring diplomas and stuff can block it entirely!

From this point of view it steel feels like I am in Ghana. But I would rather have some heat and fresh mango fruits instead of bureaucracy!

Me remembering how it’s like to be in Romania! And enjoying 🙂 With good and bad!

PS: I wrote this on Tuesday, being kind of annoyed. Meantime I calmed down, although I don’t have my diploma yet 🙂


26 11 2009

I don’t have the patience anymore. I don’t feel like laughing when I go home and there is no electricity and water. I am not amused when I want to buy something or go somewhere and the money they ask is the triple of the normal price. I am not ok anymore with the dust that surrounds my entire existence. I am sick of the unknown to me people that grab me on the street or feel the need to talk with me. I am sorry! I know they are trying to be friendly but I am tired of it.

The thing I hate the most is people talking in Twi about me in the tro tro and making jokes.  They look at me and


laugh. I speak to them in Romanian just to show them it’s weird when people do that to you. They ask if I insulted them. I ask: “Did you just insult me in Twi?” Thank God is not happening very often!

I have never been a party girl so by now I am bored with the party places in Accra. I like travelling but I finished seeing all I wanted to see and it’s no fun going to the same place more than twice. My job was never extremely exciting like AIESEC used to be, but it becomes more annoying every day. And I hate that.

The only thing I will miss about my experience here are my friends. We will all go to our home countries in the end but somehow I am positive we will meet again, somewhere, somehow!

I am more than ready to go home…  Although I am so scared! I don’t know if I will find a job or another internship. The idea of asking money from my family makes me really sick. They have always always been there for me, no matter what. But I am 25 now and I want to be ok on my own.

I have made plenty bad choices because I wasn’t patient enough… Rushing into things just because I hate the lack of action or not knowing what my next step should be. I always had a plan. In 2 year from now I will do that… in 200x I will be there. Not knowing and not having a plan from January 1 makes me scared. But I do hope my next step will not be made because of lack of patience!

The only thing I am certain about is that I will do my best. I still believe that good things happen to good people and I like to think about myself that I am a good individual.

Me trying to be patient! 🙂

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