Exactly 9 years ago

It was Saturday before noon, I had everything ready, some of my belongings in the big suitcase and in my small sports backpack and the rest in piles, for my parents to take back to Campulung.

Oana asked me if I can please bring her one Doina milk make-up remover and I went downstairs to buy it. I also bought myself what I intended to be one shampoo, in case I would not figure out in time what brand/type to buy when I land there. When I got home I realized I had purchased one balsam instead. I was so hard on myself: if I cannot manage this simple task in my own country, in my own language, how on Earth will I survive in a country, whose language I discovered barely 2 weeks ago, on YouTube.

I was so nervous that I couldn’t eat anything, still my mom made some mash-potatoes with cabbage salad. On those times I was barely eating, I got used to keep a low regime, I was under 70 kg… which was quite athletic for my height.

We called a taxi and in the road to the airport it started to heavily rain.. I was looking on the window at the intense gray apartment buildings and I told myself out loud: it definitely cannot be worse than here/now. I remember when I finally got my acceptance email, I was not even having enough money saved to buy the plane tickets, so I had to request an advance from work. Plus a significant amount that my parents loaned me to last me until my first paycheck.

My heart was all over the place… some pieces with former acting colleagues, some with former work colleagues… I had started smoking, more like to fit in with the peers.. I hadn’t smoked one single tigarette from that package of Vogue slim menthol since I arrived.. I kept it for several years though, like a souvenir.

When I landed I was shocked by how cold it was. Oana and Octavian were waiting for me at the airport and they came with me until the flat where I had my room rented. She and Alexandra were so nice that they previously even went to see that place and agree with the owners for me to rent it when I arrive. The sun did come out in the late afternoon.

We found a typical czech restaurant at the corner of the street and I bought myself a pivo and a portion of pasta with chicken, broccoli and garlic, that I brought half back with me at home, it was huge.

My flat roommates were two russian girls, one of them eventually moved with the boyfriend and the other one was barely speaking English.

They had a laptop for “public use” but the Windows was in Russian… on which I had to figure out which one is our wifi and where is the password.

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