The feeling when you’re too anxious to enter a bus

Dear Helsinki,

I sat in the bus on my way home when I browsed my Facebook timeline. I noted the very few updates I had made in the past year related to great achievements or good feelings: an admission to a university, getting a dream job, happiness that friends had given me. I remember the time when I did not feel shame of sharing sentiments that made me sad, anxious or depressed, but now I am cautious. Of what, you may ask, but it is irrelevant at the moment. When I went through the statuses I had written, I thought to myself I would give everything to be this person. It did take me a split second to realise that it indeed was me who has it all. And yet there is still the gruesomely grey cloud making the sun’s shine shimmer so much that the moon cannot help crying.

I have confessed my depression to you a few times, perhaps reluctantly and often with a scenic detour. However, let me be direct with you once in my life.

Last Sunday I had a panic attack that lasted for five hours. It was the worst experience I have ever endured. Even my broken heart who believes she cannot fall in love with ever again has not caused as much pain as I felt last week. I was sure I was going to die or even worse losing my mind. The entire five hours I just thought that this was the end to my life as I know it. Continue reading

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lights getting drunk in Helsinki

Helsinki has treated me quite well since I came back from Amsterdam, although I cannot deny I have been relatively confused about being back at home. I have this problem of grasping events when they happen and things hit much later, often with an added element of melancholia. Needless to say I have attempted to train the trait out of my system, but it is something that has been quite persistent in the life I carry. And I am not too sure if it is so bad, as long as it somewhat controlled and something that controls one’s life.

I have always had this strange sensation of longing back to the past events, because I know they will not be repeated ever again and moments that have could had taken place at the time are now lost chances. Regardless I have not ceased to appreciate the present, which before was extremely difficult for me but now Helsinki has offered me memories that I must share with the rest of the world, but especially with you my dearest. I know you have never seen Helsinki and I know we have never met either, but I do look forward to the time when our paths cross.

While I missed out on the light festival organised in Amsterdam, I experienced the annual Lux Helsinki that brings glittering, beamingly colourful lights to my precious hometown.

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I fell in love so deeply that the after the first night of witnessing all the beautiful artwork throughout the city, I had to make the same tour the following day. There were dancers with fire who expressed their emotions we all shared in front of the most picturesque monument of Helsinki. An artwork that I am not quite sure what it represented, but included needles and other medical equipment. It was dauntingly haunting. A booth where you could anonymously do whatever you wanted to and it would be projected on the Finlandia-talo, which all tourists supposedly should see during their visit in the city. Continue reading

Ever-lasting friendships & a new job

Last two weeks near Amsterdam with family were great fun, somewhat surprisingly. One and half years ago when I graduated and moved out of the Hague, I promised myself that I would not visit the country anytime soon. I guess I was desperate to leave that part of my life behind and not relive the bittersweet memories that I still occasionally recall unwillingly. I visited the Hague last spring as well for two days, but it was a quick trip during the country’s craziest festival (King’s day) so it went by without me even realising that I had ever actually been in there. This time it was different. I guess two weeks is enough for me to realise that I am no longer in Helsinki where people speak language that I understand.

I did not do very much during my holidays. I ate a lot, because my aunt loves cooking and she makes great food. I also visited Amsterdam quite frequently and as I wrote to her, I think I might have fallen in love with her again and this time permanently. Every visit required me to take a metro 51 from one end to another end and the ride lasted about fifty minutes. Obviously with a foreign SIM-card my iPhone was a useless piece of shit as I do not own any games, but it did not bother me. I had a book or journal articles with me and every time on my way to Amsterdam, my heart was beaming with excitement. Mostly because every time I went there, I got see a friend that I would have not seen in a long time but even the two times I visited the city just on my own my heart could not hold back the exhilaration.

Those metro rides were pleasant and when I think about it, I think I really miss sitting that fifty minutes in the blue/white wagon, reading my book, listening to the music that caresses my ears and once in a while look up at the people and wonder what their stories are. Sometimes I’d get lost in my mind so deep that the person I was thinking of would had already exited the metro without me even realising he left. At times like I think it was mostly because he was so handsome that perhaps I was thinking our wedding or something silly along those lines…

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I was really happy to see so many of my friends while visiting the Netherlands. I saw Marianne, well, in all honesty I have seen her quite frequently this year but every single time in a new place (Helsinki, Copenhagen, Tallinn, Brussels, Lisbon and now finally back in Amsterdam!). I cannot believe she is moving to Australia next year, though. I know I should be happy that she gets to fulfil her dreams, but it doesn’t have to stop me feeling a bit selfish that I cannot have her in this continent. Luckily she will come back after a year. Continue reading

The city that loves you no matter what; Amsterdam

dear Amsterdam, It was wonderful to visit you after such a long time. I think I might have fallen in love with you again and this time I think it is permanent. You are still the same, but I changed.

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Just like eight years ago, the time I visited you for the first time, I experienced all the things that you are supposed to experience when one has a date with you. And god had I forgotten how intense you make one feel. It is not the drugs, it is not the prostitutes, it not the gay cinemas, it is none of that.

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I guess it is just the way you are, my Amsterdam.
The kindness you offer to every single person who goes on a date with you.

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When I exited the Central Station for the first time I witnessed the billboard that warned about white heroin that was sold as cocaine in your streets. My mother, my brother who is ten and my cousin who is not much older wondered what kind of a place I was going to show them, but my first reaction to the sign was only in Amsterdam and smiled. I know it is a serious issue, but I bet even you cannot imagine Paris or Johannesburg or Beijing addressing the issue of drugs the way you.

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Continue reading