I am in the plane right now on my way back to Helsinki and although it has been just a couple of minutes since I departed from your arms, I just had to write you right now.
I survived; the feeling of being in front of an audience and discussing integration of migrants in the European Union while strangers carefully listen to the words my mouth forms was terrifying. I was the last panelist so as speaker after another finished their presentation, I experienced the uncomfortable sensation of panic in my heart and all I wanted at that moment was to run out of the conference room and escape the entire situation. I looked at the exit door and toyed with the idea of how the moderator would explain the situation to the audience and people watching the discussion online. More irrational thoughts poured into my dwelling mind as my turn came closer. I could hear my lungs grasping for outdoor air. My hands began to tremble nervously. Continue reading
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.