Monday, February 18, 2013

To the North

I must be a different kind of bird. All the birds fly from cold places to warm places, but I love to go to Nordic countries in the winter. There, there is a different kind of warmth and cosiness. For two winters in a row I went to Norway and afterwards Finland, and I fell in love with the snowflakes, the whiteness all around and wearing lots of layers of clothing.
In Denmark the feeling is called hyggelig - the feeling of cosiness, of candles near the window, and the good interesting talks with your friends.
Some people say that Germans are the best at always being on time and keeping order, but if so, they haven’t met Nordic people. If the bus is at 23.24, the bus arrives exactly at 23.24. They try to be green and sustainable, walk if they can walk, take the bus, or take the bike, leave newspapers on the bus for other people to read. Never hurry, never make noise in public, never yell in public, or argue on the streets. Of course sometimes they don’t even talk to you on the street, but if you ask something, you will definitely get an answer.
I like their student traditions, I like that their universities make them go around the world and meet different people, different cultures and traditions, different religion.

Walking on the street you feel safe, no matter if it’s 3 pm or 3 am.
And, of course, their women are very beautiful. Sometimes you may feel that people are sort of shy or they don’t really trust to share more, but it is just a matter of time.  Nordic people have to get used to the way you are, and after this you will see how they really are.
When I’m old I will retire to one of the Scandinavian countries. But till then I still have on my to-visit-list: Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland.
And you may ask: why? Why go and see how other people live, what they’re like and what they believe in? The answer is simple: it is not about them, we are selfish humans, so it is all about us. It is the road we have to take to discover ourselves, to see what our soul desires and where we can call home.

All the adventures, all the stories you will tell to your grandchildren, are all a part of you, and it is up to you whether you have enough courage to accept this part of you, or rather ignore it and live life on the safe side.

Bon voyage.

By Alexandru Lebedev
Chisinau, Moldova

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