Posts in Homesick

Magic brew

Today I am drinking Turkish coffee again, in your memory. The kind you taught me to make in that tiny kitchen in your weekend house among the Dolenjska vineyards.

When the magic brew boils, the aroma brings you next to me once more. This cannot have the appellation of an “involuntary memory.” So long ago when I was still just a child, you probably unknowingly entrusted me with a spell for the time when you will no longer be here. This is an invocation! Thank you, Grandpa.

Today marks one year since you passed away. And yet you are still here with me over this cup of coffee.

French salad

“Do you think there might be too many pickles,” I ask my mom over the phone.
“Do it by the color. You remember. We always prepared it according to color.”

“French” salad. In the New Year’s time, the national Slovenian side dish. Not from France at all, but by a Belgian chef in Russia. The original recipe must have seen a number of updates, I am convinced that in Slovenia alone there are a few dozen versions and each family claims that their “French” salad is (of course) the best. I caught myself in several heated debates about what is a must and which ingredient simply doesn’t belong in the French salad. At home, we always stick to a simple formula “by color” and we absolutely do not skimp on mayonnaise.

This year for the second winter in a row, I prepared it myself in Saudi Arabia. A sizeable bowl, so one can enjoy it little by little in the last days of December. It’s so good that, I admit, I “steal” it with a spoon as well.

“Why do you call it a French salad, if no one else calls it that? I’ll call it a Slovenian salad,” said Tamer the other day and he agrees that (of course) mine is the best.

Pumpkins

I have been carving pumpkins every fall for almost a decade. Even six years ago, when I landed in the hospital for 3 weeks after an injury at this time of year, I cut out orange paper garlands instead of real pumpkins so they could adorn my gloomy hospital room.

This year I didn’t know if I would see the Slovenian autumn. It hurt me when it became clear that home was moving further away again.

The trick to treating homesickness is to choose a partner who knows how to conjure the right atmosphere. We went to the supermarket to get the pumpkins. Then we saw even nicer ones at the bazaar and took another 2 from there.

I set to work in my air-conditioned living room. I had new knives at my disposal, different types of pumpkins, but I felt the exact same amount of joy and enthusiasm as always. I am most proud of this kitty lantern.

The things that make you happy and ignite a spark of inspiration in you, that is home. And that is you.

Green, how I miss you green

Green things I miss in this kingdom far away from home:

💚 Green meadows. In Ljubljana, I had meadows with small patches of forest just a stone’s throw away from home.

💚 Pickles. Here in Saudi Arabia, for some reason, they’re crazy about pickled vegetables instead of fresh salad for a side dish. I don’t know what they do differently here, but I’ll never buy pickles in this region ever again because I’ve already been burned twice, them being so damn sour that I can’t even think about them.

💚 Olimpia (basketball club). Before moving, I went to basketball games every week. Now I can only monitor them remotely. I will not even mention the current sad situation the club is now in because of this state of emergency.

💚 A green traffic light when I was driving my Fiat Uno. “He” is now 19, yet he was 17 years old when my grandfather made it official and gave it to me.

💚 A cooling shade underneath the green trees. Like meadows, the shade under a big bushy tree is something else. You can’t really retreat from the sun or heat under a date palm.

💚 Recycling. Here it is nonexistent, but at home I was proclaimed a recycling terrorist. Needless to say that I still get a bit anxious sometimes because of all the trash that is not thrown away properly.

💚 What are your favorite green things? 💚

He still visits me

He still visits me in my dreams. Now he’s always having a good day. Whenever I see him, I give him a hug and I say the last words I spoke to him for real the last time I was in Ljubljana, and then every time over the phone, for his birthday too, and just the same 1 month before he left for ever: “I love you.”

Out of place

I feel out of place. We’re not tourists and we’re not locals. We’re expats. He’s been here for almost 8 years and I for 8 months. Quarantine times have passed but they caused so many things to go on pause. I’ve become restless. These days I see other expats in the KSA traveling cross-country & blogging. It’s not that I would want to follow their footsteps, that’s not a lifestyle I crave. Yet, I’ve traveled across Europe a lot in the past. I’ve always been fascinated by history and monuments…. Read More

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