The sun was setting over the Javastraat as I carried home my afterwork groceries – a bag of chips, some cheese, and a big bunch of white tulips I got at discount from the Albert Heijn. In the air I could feel the smell coming from the farmer fields in the east, outside the city borders. Amsterdam smells like that sometimes. Not very flattering, but what can you do?
As I walked home, I kept on looking behind my shoulder – not without a bit of desperation – toward the sun. Seeing it fading away – especially when it’s so rare – made me sad, in spite of the eternal beauty of sunsets.
My evening, however, was far for being compromised. On the contrary, I felt quite energised, fancying a glass of wine at home, and a quiet evening with music – my music, as my boyfriend was supposed to be out.
And then it stroke me, the thought that this is it. This is the life. Coming home after work, with your groceries, looking for comfort in your own little pleasures. My work, supermarket, and home happen to be in Amsterdam, but they might just as well be somewhere else – anywhere. Because, no matter where I am in this world, my life would be just the same. My life is me – my choices, the things and people I am surrounding myself with.
I hope to keep this in mind next time when I have an expatriate crisis, that messy cocktail of homesickness and identity questions. I’ll try.