I’m writing so much nowadays, both because it is a personal therapy due to me having a lot on my mind, and because it is a pasttime to get me through this insomnia which I have been struggling with for the last few weeks. The plan is to stay awake until I get knocked out by my own tiredness. In between writing I am packing my stuff preparing to fly home on Saturday morning. Will stay in Norway for three days, before going to Sweden to celebrate Christmas and New Years with my boyfriend and his family, in addition to taking a boat trip to Finland on Boxing Day. I am only bringing 15 kg, as another 15 kg would have cost me an additional £30, and as a poor student one cannot allow oneself such luxury. So you can imagine me trying to fit thirteen Christmas presents into a little gym bag, while trying to fit an additional pair of socks in between the gaps and kicking the sides to make it less bulky. I have barely got space for any clothes in there, so will probably have to wear them all on the plane. Gonna look nice and round, no doubt. And sweat like hell.

When you are an international student studying in a different country, your life suddenly splits into two halves, and you start leading two parallel lives. Two parallel lives that don’t intersect. I am two different persons – I speak two different languages, I have two different sets of friends, I live in two (completely) different surroundings and I have two different sets of feelings. And ironically these two lives define what I am as a whole. When you are mixed you always feel as if you don’t belong fully to one place, but being an international student in London has certainly further reinforced this feeling. I have two lives in one. I really do. Is it good? I think so.

When I leave one life for another, the life I leave behind evaporates from my mind. At present, I cannot remember what life in Norway is like. I will soon be waking up in the same bed in the same room that I’ve woken up in for the past 20 years, and I will be confused, not knowing where I am. However, I know that the second I land in Norway, I am going to feel as if London was nothing but a dream. That the people I’ve met here were nothing but a dream. That is what I feel about Beijing – it was all a dream, a wonderful dream.

At the moment I am a bit bitter about leaving London. Not mainly because I really am developing strong feelings towards this city, but because I have some unresolved business here I really should like to sort out before I leave. There is something that needs a closure. Some questions I’ve been asking myself for three months that I really want an answer to. But I’m not sure if I will ever get that. So what can one do? One goes home, enjoys Christmas and comes back to London in January with a renewed spirit.

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