My friend What If

Dear Helsinki,

So much has happened since I wrote you, and I know I had promised to send you more letters as we now finally have established this long due correspondence but the past two weeks have truly been eventful.

I learned to write and read Hindi, although in the pace of a snail but nevertheless I am now somewhat literate in the language of my roots. I got an apartment despite the odds, and in fact I am not moving too far away from your vibrant heart which makes me so extremely happy. My non-military service of 347 days have come to an end, and it was genuinely a fantastic experience that I will remember fondly; well perhaps just the most amazing bosses I had and also a good friend that I made there. I attended a Restaurant Day with my family, and my stomach thanked me for the Ethiopian, Spanish and Tibetan food I ate from the stalls that people had built for the beautiful day. I discovered new songs that I am now sharing with you. I even called the students health services to make an appointment, something I have prolonged too long. Just like writing to you, my dear.

So I have done quite good, for most of it. But you know me, there are always moments when I stop to think, overanalyse and it is always a frustrating rat race that leads nowhere. I have attempted to unlearn it, or at least endeavoured to make my mind less occupied without much success. And I think I have been doing it wrong for a very long time. All the problems I have with what I am or with you or the world and life, I go straight to putting them in them background. Pretending that I am working on the issues while in fact I just try to ignore them.

I guess with this trace I should learn to accept, and let her be in my care. To the extent she does not control my behaviour to the extent that I go frantic and race to image dozens of mostly horrifying scenarios.

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So much more than just the most expensive city in the world

Dear Oslo, It would had never crossed my mind that you would be such a carefree, easygoing and unhurried city. The image I had of you was not the most flattering one. A rather dull character with very boring buildings that would do not have any stories to share with the strangers. I am not certain how I had arrived to such a conclusion about you.


Maybe because I had not really met anyone who had talked about you with yearning passion. In fact people seem to be rather indifferent after visiting you. All they pretty much said how expensive you are, perhaps the most expensive place on Earth and I am not saying they are wrong. But there is so much more to you, my Oslo.

I had booked my flights in April to see my friend, Ragnhild whom I met in Swaziland. She had visited Helsinki frequently after graduation and told me it was about that I came to her in Norway, so when flights for fifty euros appeared, I acted. I was excited to meet her again, after almost a year but for you I held no expectations. Well, besides you being expensive. Continue reading