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by Kaisa Ahtiainen
It’s almost like meeting an old friend, and you’re facing that awkward moment when you think to yourself, do we hug now, or…? You’re not quite certain about the level of your friendship anymore; so much time has passed you’re not sure if they remember you now. You both look different; you’ve grown… yes, grown older. Grown apart? Perhaps that, too.
I’ve just returned to my home country, Finland, after about 6 years of absence. Sure, I’ve visited over the holidays, but I have been more away than present. Six eventful, memorable, educating years in Britain have changed me and I’m not sure how yet. The first 3 I spent in a university in the North-East of England, “studying” the lovely language that is English. Don’t get me wrong, that was no sarcastic comment. I love English and I love the English! By studying I mean I read a few famous pieces of literature, – Shakespeare, Austen, Joyce… – I wrote essays, got graded and graduated. Of course, the university years weren’t quite so straightforward, I did enjoy most of the classes, which, in later years I got a bit more freedom in choosing. What I enjoyed best were the people. The culture, the tea drinking and the drinking! I guess, why I’m writing this piece now, I’m supposed to somehow point the finger to the things which make me so different from the rest of my home people. What are they then? Even I’m not so certain. Something has definitely changed over the years.
After my graduation I thought a little break from learning would be in order so I got myself a little job in the neighbouring city. This was only supposed to be a short stop on the way, whilst thinking about the next move. I ended up staying in that job for 3 years. Translating adverts and endless typing on the computer…
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