Publisert av: ingridmogstad | 25. juli 2011

Coming home

We arrived in Oslo the 11 of July. My flat mate and I made it home without any complications. That is not completely true; my shampoo was confiscated at the airport.

The past five months I have from time to time longed for home. I have missed the food, the nature, my summerhouse and of course all the people here. But coming home, I found myself missing Cambodia even before I landed. In the beginning I was not very hungry, and I didn’t even want to go to the summerhouse when my parents left shortly after my arrival. It’s funny how you can miss something for so long, and when it’s there, the desire is more or less gone.

This is though, not the entire truth. Seeing my friends was wonderful, and that is also the reason why I didn’t go to the summerhouse straight away. I also missed the nature, and the desire (and need) for hiking is still there! I’ve went several times.

Still, I find myself having the same symptoms as I had in Cambodia after about a month there. The experts talk about when “the tourist faze” (the first month) is over, and you realize about how strange you are to the new society.

The Bantey Srei temple (Srei meaning woman) in Siem Reap can give more than a hint about Cambodia’s extraordinary past.

I skipped the tourist phase in Oslo, and I’m definitely not strange to the society. It’s all so perfectly natural. It’s almost like I never went to Cambodia. Everything here is the same, and Cambodia seems almost like a distant dream.  My friend Kimsor who went on an exchange from Cambodia to Norway on the same program was the first to point this out when he returned to Phnom Penh, and I think my experience is similar.

In Cambodia, I could typically have six very nice days, and then one or two missing-home-days. Now, except from the first three days, it’s similar, just turned upside down.  Will I never be entirely content again? Will I always miss one place no matter where I go?

From the right my colleagues Channy, Theavy, myself, Mean Keang and her fiance.

I don’t think so. It’s a question of spending the time, and learning to appreciate Norway and especially Oslo again, not comparing it to Phnom Penh (the comparison is unfair to both cities). I also think this will be easier when everyday at the university begins again, at I mentioned before in this blog, I’m a huge fan of normal working days, they make me feel good.

Norway is great, and I’m glad to be here now that the terrible attacks in Oslo and at Utøya took place. Identity is important, and if you look the word up in a dictionary (at least in Norwegian: “identitet”) you’ll find the meaning to be where you feel like you belong. I feel like I belong in Norway, ergo; Norway is an important part of my identity.

Summarized; Cambodia is great, Norway is great. I now feel I know better how to appreciate where I come from, and at the same time I cannot wait till next time I can go and live abroad.

The world is indeed becoming smaller.

Summerhouse before midnight.


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