Chapter XII – Part 2

$ Are you all right, David?

$ Thank you, I’m fine.

$ Have you been pondering over something?

$ Actually, I have. I did not emigrate long time ago, nearly a month ago and so many things have happened that I have the impression I have been living in your country for at least one year.

$ It protects you from longing for your home country.

$ No doubt about it. I observe that some memories fade away, become less real and I mean memories of the things that were obvious there.

$ Obvious?

$ For example, the fact that my grandmother passed away. Her funeral took place over a year ago and all of this time, thoughts about her were coming back to me. I was sort of convinced I didn’t need to call her either in order to tell her how I was because she got “informed” on a regular basis, or in order to learn how she was because she was constantly fine. And I felt even more loved by her than when she was alive. I caught myself realizing how much of her there was in my life. E.g. on Sundays. Sometimes I used to work on Sundays and switched the phone off. After I switched it on again, I used to get texts from her saying that she was missing me, felt like chatting etc. She respected my work very much so she never contacted me on workdays. For a year, in my home country, when I switched on my mobile on Sundays and saw: You’ve got a message on the screen I remembered how curious I used to be whether it was from her or not.

$ And here?

$ One night, I dreamed about my whole family. My grandma and my grandpa were wearing black, it must have been a funeral ceremony. I woke up and started to wonder: how can I make it when my family informs me that the grandma has passed away? I will check the flights on the Internet, I will book one. I thought about my car, the airport, the flight, I counted it would take one day to get there. And then, a dozen minutes later, came the thought: she is dead.

$ Did you feel relieved?

$ Paradoxically.

$ Paradoxically or not. Death is a part of life. Be proud of what you have done. You had an impulse to come to our country, you organized everything and you went with the flow. You had the courage to come to a foreign country, to go along a winding road of a new language, to melt into a new culture, to test yourself in a foreign environment.

$ What I did is easier than leaving your country and emigrating to mine, anyway. Your country is cosmopolitan by definition.

$ I think I know what you mean. I went to your country twice. The second time I lived in a village. One day I went by train to the capital city. I was supposed to come back by 6 pm so that I could go to the theatre with my local friend. It was winter so the weather didn’t favor sightseeing. I came back soon enough to have plenty of time to take a shower, make up etc. Winter. Short days. Early afternoon and it was dark already. Fresh snow, everything covered with white. I couldn’t find the way I walked in the morning and the day before. I asked a passer-by: Where’s the B Street? Unfortunately, I don’t know, he said. I asked the next one. I don’t know the village, I only commute, he answered. I had been walking around, helplessly, for more than one hour. Only a Chinese woman in a Chinese restaurant showed me the way. Of course it didn’t take me more than a couple of minutes to get to my friend’s house. All houses are close to one another in small villages.

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