Remembering my First Night in Norway

One late afternoon in September 2013, I arrived in Norway. It was a sunny day but that was the first time my body was subjected to four-degree-celsius weather. It was very unusual experience for me. Never did I imagine that upon that moment, my life will make a 360-degree turn from that time.

I was still lucky because I was fetched by two friends. They bought my first transportation monthly card and some food I could eat for the first few days. They did not leave me and accompanied me to meet the person who I will rent a room with. She was kind to explain everything to me. Honestly, I did not expect that everything was pre-arranged before I came.

Then, I got to see first look of my room. Comparing with my old room in my home country, the room was a luxury. There big cabinets and has a bed already. I readily got inside the room and placed my luggage. It felt so strange inside a room with a bed, table and some big cabinets facing a very big window. Then, I realized I need some bedsheets for me to use that evening.

One of the friends who fetched said, we have to travel by bus to get some stuff including bedsheets in her place. I felt very relieved and thankful. So after my landlady left, I and my friends took the bus and for the first I got to see some parts of Oslo. All images were coming like a flood that I can no longer absorbed everything but until now I can still remember how it felt.

After getting some stuff, we walked around and they decided to pay for my first dinner. We went to a Kebab place and I started to worry that the food tastes so good for me that I may come back again several times, gaining so much weight in a short period of time and spending almost three times as much as I do in my home country. Nevertheless, I felt happy before sunset.

Then I came home to my new place. I met the person who lived just beside my room. I felt awkward to meet a new person who I will be sharing an apartment with. But he was too direct but nevertheless accomodating. After few minutes, a woman came who lives in the last room in the apartment. She did not make warm greetings and right then and there, I realized she will make my life difficult. She was unwelcoming, cold-blooded and unkind single lady nearing her thirties. She made simple things at home very difficult. However, with prayers, she left the place for good.

So after a long day and got the things and information I need, I prepared for my first night sleeping in my new bed. It was uncomfortable at first but I tried to make myself think I was home. It was so cold. I did know how to use the heater. It was my first time. I was shivering all night under my bedsheets, which I realized were not enough to make me feel warm. I covered everything as much body part as I could. However, I was helpless and ignorant. I just found myself crying.

I can no longer explain my feelings. Physically, the cold seems to make my body stiff and numb. Mentally, I can still hear the noise of my hometown but the silence in my new place is defeaning. I had gut feeling that the woman in the other room will make my life difficult. The mere though of that, coupled with all the big uncertainties I have to face, my mind seems to explode. I was under the state of enormous stress. The new situation makes me silent.

Emotionally, I was missing everyone and everything in my home country. I started questioning myself why I have to start again and leave my life, which I am contented with. Everytime I asked that question, I always get an answer that the Lord has a reason for it. The thought of this answer calms me significantly. However; the optimism, courage and determination failed to stop me crying until I made my first sleep in my new country. That cry and sleep I will never forget forever.

That night was special. Forever I will cherish that moment. It serve a reminder for me how far I am from that state. Everytime I achieved something after, whether small or big; I look back to my first night sleep in Norway. I smile because I know I am heading to something better for the same good reason that calmed  me during that lonely moment in September 2013.

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