I started writing this inside my head a few days before I left Oslo, while I did some things over there for the last time (like the path from my old job to my old flat), then I handwritten it in the plane using the amazing notebook Deniss and Albina gave me, now I am re-writing it on my PC, at the 3rd day in Mumbai, but I will only post it when I have internet, which means when I get to Chennai, in a few days.
I have reached the point of no return: I am at the Amsterdam airport and it finally hit me, I am going to India, most importantly, I left Oslo, where I lived for 3 years. Good part of those years thinking I was going to live there. So it was just like home for me, at least in feeling. Schiphol airport was the same airport I used to come for the first time to Europe. It felt right to be the one I would be leaving it too.
I consider myself a strong fellow, but when I get emotional, I cry just like a little girl. So while I am writing this (both at the Amsterdam airport and at the my room in Mumbai) tears lick my face like a dog's wet tongue would. Humans are animals of habit and I am crying because my life will not be the same now. I already miss even the things I didn't like or even hated in Oslo. But of course, I miss much more the things I loved, like my girl, friends, spring weather, sitting at the park and have barbecue and beer, read under the sun, my flat, kebab... all the stuff that is gone when I boarded the Delta flight to Mumbai.
My last day in Oslo was one of running around and goodbyes. I finished giving away my furniture, and the last piece was given to an international couple which fell in love with the apartment. I loved the idea of such a nice international couple living in my place. It felt right for that flat. I have been very happy there and I know they would too. I gave the phone number of the landlord and they said they were really going to call at that very day. I hope they get it.
The last day was of goodbyes: as meals, I obviously had Bislett Kebab and Burger King. I got a haircut at the same cheap place I always went in Grønland. I walked through Slottsparken and Aker Brygge. And then, when everything was done, I came back to the apartment, where only my bags remained. I looked around at the completely empty flat and I remember releasing a big sigh. I was going to miss that place. I got my bags, left the flat and put the key at the mailbox. It was over, I was homeless.
I went to Sveinung's place, where I would stay until my flight very early in the next day - which means we would not sleep. We went with my best friends (still) in Oslo to the Eurovision party, it seamed a pretty reasonable way of saying goodbye not only to my friends and Oslo, but also to Europe. Azerbaijan won the contest, which for me sounded as an indication of what was to come in my own life: Europe was not my place anymore, I was going to live in the East.
At that night, it started raining. I hated Oslo for that, such a bad way of saying goodbye. But then I started to believe it was crying too because I was leaving. Walking around wet, looking for busses and cabs to go from one place to another was very stressful. I didn't want to miss my flight, or, well, maybe I wanted, by I decided I couldn't. Unfortunately Oslo was not my place anymore, I had to move on.
When finally we managed to get cabs to the places we needed to be, I said a cold goodbye to my best friends. I suck at goodbyes. I don't like to say bye to the people I love. I feel uncomfortable and stressed and I don't know what to say.
Since I haven't slept in that day, I slept the whole way to the airport and the whole way from Oslo to Amsterdam. This soothed my tight heart. But when I got to Amsterdam, it really hit me that I was not an Osloner anymore. I felt sad, but the sadness had to wait, because on the way to the flight to Mumbai I had the toughest security check ever. 2 guys interviewing me and asking the same questions over and over again. Very annoying. I wanted to throw at their faces that I lived legally in one of the richest countries in the world and certainly I had better options than India (including staying in Oslo) if I was trying to move somewhere illegally. At some point, when I showed the invitation letter from Tata, the guys finally believed I was for real and let me go with a somewhat apologetic tone. Buggers.
When I boarded the plane, I was in tears. I was completely scared, which rationally felt good, since I would be leaving my comfort zone to grow and develop. But even though my mind knew it was a good thing, my heart was heavy like Indian food. More than once I thought of turning around and catching a plane to somewhere else. I kept walking, found my place at the plane and got my notebook, where I finished writing this text. I remember wishing very strongly that I would not regret this step in my life, both professionally and personally. I still hope I won't.
To finish, for those that didn't see my video where I gave away my books to strangers in Oslo in a way to say "thank you" to the city, here it is: