The place called Home

Coming back to Norway after over 14 days in Singapore is a strange experience. In a way, it was the same the other way around – from the tweets that I tweeted when I arrived Singapore then.

However, it was much more familiarity and comfort, rather than familiarity and discomfort. While it is true that in Singapore, to go out, I could just dress up simply and go. Here, I’ve to think about much more things before I go out, the cold, the outside temperature, whether the ground I walk on is slippery or not etc…

I walked Kohi this morning, and I forgot that I was not in Singapore anymore, so I went out with just hands that I had put hand cream on, without gloves. It was around 1°C and the pain on my hand and fingers that followed was familiar… :). So yes, welcome back to Norway, the cold, the expectation that you have to take care of a lot of things yourself. In a way, it’s a refreshing change, in a way, it takes getting used to again.

The sun. Just a few days ago, it was the thing I hated, detested and wished it gone. Now it is the one that I welcome with open arms, I can also now run at noon, without worrying about the humidity or getting heat stroke.  There is still snow here, although it is much less than when we left. The “rooftop marsipans” are largely gone now, and now we can see the grass again where there used to be ice.  Temperatures now are above zero, although still below 15. The leftover snow on our walk paths showed how much they occupied the path when walking. And talking about walking, yes, I had to get used to walking Kohi again, his gait when he was about to poo – prepares me for the newspaper and poo bag that I have to bring out to clear his poo. And when meeting other dogs, yes, his aggressiveness, dealing with other dog owners insecurities and fears, as well as his own etc..

Folks smile. I forgot how it was like, I smiled back. Yes, it’s been a while, I had always had grouchy, haggard faces greeting me the past few days. It’s spring perhaps, people are comfortable being themselves, their true nature. Of course, there’s also Norwegian spoken here that I have to remind myself to pick up again versus English that is spoken in Singapore.

And yes, a lot of things have to be independently done again. No longer can I just go out and buy ready cooked hot food, no longer can I just visit the nearest shopping centre like it’s a step out of the house when I needed things. Now I had to consider the fact that boutiques no longer open on weekends or have restricted weekend opening hours. And the fact that I need to buy my own groceries, bring and pack them in my own plastic bag, which I had already used for nearly a month. That and dealing with food that expire about 2 weeks, rather than months, making my own meals for my missus, me and my dog is a stark reminder that we make our own lives, we owe no one to make it for us.  Yes, I have to make my own breakfast and dinners, food has to be made not just bought now. There were some hiccups when I forgot some of the sequences that I used to remember for my breakfast earlier. A good thing is that there’s not so much oily foods now, and we could now control what we eat.

Home is also familiarly comforting. I can finally walk around in the nude, sleep in it, go to the toilet if I need to in the middle of the night without worrying that I’ll be caught in “inappropriate attire” by others, without worrying about what others might think. Come out from my shower without a care or anything covering myself. I’m free. So free. And the bed, yes, I missed my bed.

And then there’s the familiar extremes. Switches that mean off in Singapore mean ON here, taps that work the other way, extremes in water temperature – where there’s really HOT water and ICY COLD WATER, unlike in SG where there is just lukewarm (in its coldest tap water setting)

Yeah, it’s good to be back, it’s not perfect, but it is nice to be home.

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