Saturday, August 04, 2007

From Kobenhavn With Love

From Kobenhavn With Love
© 2007, ShaKri

I LOOK AROUND MY NEW APARTMENT and a sense of belonging has already begun. It has been a little over 36 hours since my arrival into this new domain and yet an absurd feeling of nostalgia engulfs me from within. It has been a little over four hours since I muscled up two large bags of groceries into my new nest yet it feels like I have been doing this forever. The same emotion, but a new color apparently. The same sense of independent lethargy yet a different shade.

I was walking around a buzzing commercial street called Ostergade today. From what little I have seen so far one thing I can tell – Copenhagen is for everyone. Despite the various notions of the culture shocks I had heard of, everyone I have met so far has been anything but shocked. Be it the random lady who I sheepishly approached with an address in Hellerup today morning or the giggling teenager who told me I was walking on the bicycle lane this afternoon near Osterport Train station. It was fun to exchange a genuine smile of foreign-ness in a place like this. What also helps this alien cause of mine has been the fact that everyone speaks perfect English here! A concept quite lost in my good old Caracas that I am finding harder to put behind already.

The city is a cyclist paradise. Almost everyone cycles here and seems to enjoy it too. What else would one expect from a country that is so flat! I am already tempted to buy one myself as I see men and women of almost all ages kick on the pedals and disappear into the shadows of the quiet alleys near my house. I almost hired one today morning just for kicks but then decided against it when I realized I did not have a destination. On second thought, I guess that is what is so amazing about a bicycle – not knowing where you are headed.

It is 9:00PM right now yet the sun shines in all its glory as if it were 3:00PM. I had had this experience earlier in Riga. Back then I was 24 and had laughed at this bizarre concept of day and night with a fellow colleague. Now I am 29 and the same concept seems almost philosophical in nature – a longer day each day. More sun for me than others, it seems. But I am sure tables will be turned on me come October once winter sets in well and I will be yearning for a little part of the solar powerhouse. Be that as it may, it seems alright.

As I boarded the flight from Bangalore on Wednesday morning something strange happened. For the first time in all my journeys so far, I had felt – nothing. This is quite unusual. All my journeys home have been filled with hope and never ending expectations while every flight out of it have been of nervous anticipation and a feel of blatant energy loss just at the thought of getting back to work. I guess this is why people move around the globe as much as they do in search of new opportunities. To get rid of that nagging feel of the familiar. I guess this is what adventure feels like – nothing. Come what may I will manage, it seems to feel.

If you look past the physical stress of having to load up 40 kilos worth of supplies from India up 5 floors of an elevator-less building, there has not been much I have felt exhausted about. Among other notable things it also turns out that throughout the Scandanavian peninsula and Denmark, tap water is fresh drinking water. ‘No problem! It is perfectly fine’ were the wise words tumbling out of a neighbor’s mouth today. Felt odd at first but now I am already yearning for some of that tapped glory.

I have begun enjoying my experience here. And I know in the coming months there will be plenty of surprises. Some decent ones and others – the mostly kind – nasty ones. But I guess the real flavor of being an international traveler is being able to adapt quickly to something than before. I know I have already done more things here than I did in my first three days in Caracas. Ah! How quickly we grow up, don’t we?

Here is to a few more nuggets of wisdom that I am certain will find me soon. Until that happens, this Kannadiga continues to survive in Kobenhavn.



2 reflections:

MBM said...

Glad to know that you are getting adopted to the new place quickly. Through experience, one gets enough strength to face new challenges much better than before.
Hope the new place is filled with more good expereinces and wish you good luck for a new beggining at kobenhavn.

shakri said...

Thank you MBM for the kind response. Your warm wishes will stay with me forever. :) I too am looking forward to a positive experience here in CopenH.