Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Can you have feelings for a whole nation?

I'm a jump in head first kind of a gal. 

When I met the hubby, who wasn't a hubby of course at the time, but a dapper, worldly foreigner, I moved into his hotel suite within 24 hours of meeting him. And after only knowing him for 3 months, most of it only by phone and email, I negotiated a loan of 10 000 FIM, left Finland for good on a one way ticket and really moved in with him. A hippy university had accepted my hurried application to be a guest student for a year. I figured a year would be enough time to make him fall head over heels and never want to let me go. My gamble paid off, and I've never been happier than with him. He is my best friend, my support network in its entirety, and simply the coolest, sweetest person I have ever met. And he loves me unconditionally when I am sometimes very difficult to even like. 

Why this information that has nothing to do with South Africa, and only explains why we keep moving from country to country (true story: on a rainy night in Copenhagen the living room window starts to leak and yours truly makes the hubby call his boss and tell him we are moving to Mexico)?

Well, something that happened in a friend's life lately (added to the fact that I've been hanging out in my bathrobe surfing the net for days now, steadily working up to a decent size spell of cabin fever) got me to pondering what makes other people change their lives completely, to jump in head first, to do something without which I cannot exist. Shuffling the deck is something that I must, and I mean MUST, do every once in a while, but what if that wasn't in my genetic make up? What if having to run my life in a different culture, in a different language, surrounded by very different people wasn't my fix? What if familiarity and routine didn't give me hives but were my safe haven instead?

A friend who previously felt that even coming here on vacation on her own was an accomplishment is now so smitten, mostly with the country, but also with a brown-eyed boy, that she has applied for a job away from Finland, to be where she feels she wants to be - in South Africa. Now, there are no guarantees with the boy, but I know he is not the main reason. There is just something about South Africa, hidden underneath the crime statistics and behind the electric fences, that she was able to tap into and fall in love with. I cannot tell you what it was for her, but I understand her feelings.

I wish her luck on this new journey she has embarked on and I'm sure whatever happens it'll make her life richer. And completely from a selfish point of view (you knew this was coming) I'd like someone to speak Finnish with....

My friend, I'm crossing my fingers for you.  

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