Living in Romania (or in Europe) has made me paranoid and socially anxious, but I thought that was just normality. Add that to the fact that I work with serious crime every day and you get a lovely cocktail of constantly picturing everything that could go wrong.
Then I spent a month alone in Australia.
I never went through a whole month without feeling depressed, frustrated or lonely before coming here.
There are no signs to make you aware of pickpockets, no one warns you about what could happen to you and, yeah, nothing wrong happens to you. I’m a petite girl who’s very, very far away from home and I feel safe. To be honest, that’s very new to me. That doesn’t mean I don’t get startled when I hear someone walking behind me or when someone gets a little too close on the escalator, but that is just a consequence of living in Romania.
Don’t get me wrong, I like my life in Romania and I’ll always come back to Romania, but I’m afraid that that is only because everything there is familiar to me. If i were born somewhere else (like Australia), I would have a very hard time adapting to Romania.
I visited a lot of countries that are now very dear to me (like Canada, the US, France, Switzerland or Italy), but they never made me feel this safe and, lately, I feel extremely sad reading news about these countries. I really hope one day I can go back there and feel happy again.
This month has made me understand how scared I am of those around me and I don’t like that feeling. I don’t want to be afraid of people, I like people. I wouldn’t want them to be afraid of me.
I spent a month being greeted by the friendliest people I’ve ever met – in shops and cafes, everyone wants to chat, to see how you’re doing and what you were up to that day – and they’re not just polite! People just wanna talk to people. It felt weird at first and I probably seemed rude because I wasn’t really engaging in the conversation. That makes me sad. Then I started to stop and actually chat and it was lovely.
I guess all I really wanna say is that I’m sitting on a bench in Hyde Park in Sydney as I’m writing this, someone’s blowing huge bubbles towards me, a guy is playing Spanish guitar and I just really wish everyone could experience this type of peace.
Not just everyone I love, everyone.