By Hannah McKelvey
Before my time in Nepal, I never thought I could dread something and love it so much at the same time until I experienced my room in Kathmandu. While I lived in the room alone, it was shared by multiple roommates. The cockroach inhabited the bathroom and the pigeons took the vacancy of the windowsill creating a makeshift boxing ring. Meanwhile, the cow next door often mooed piercing the night sky that it felt like they were in the bed next to me.
As the neighborhood band played the tuba so powerfully the notes shook my dresser as the melodies floated in from down on the streets.
Weeks went by with my pillow over my head trying to get some sleep even though it felt like the world’s volume was on full blast. The countless hours I spent cursing out every little thing that made living in that room a nuisance. As hours passed into days and days passed into weeks, my roommates and I learned to live together in harmony.
I eventually got used to the neighborhood band playing, pigeons cooing, and the cow mooing and found myself having a hard time falling asleep without them. It became the lullaby I held onto when I was homesick or a melody I needed to fall asleep.
As I packed up my bags when my time came to leave that room, the memories became bittersweet. Although the cockroach, pigeons, and I never formed a bond, we learned to coexist. The pigeons could fight as long as they stayed outside, and to this day I still hum the tunes the tuba would play.
By Elise Lemay
Health & Wellness Editor
It was the Friday of my second week abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. The sun set at 3 p.m., the temperatures never got past 30 degrees, the language sounded like everyone had a mouth full of potatoes and I was adjusting to life with an ocean between everything and everyone I knew and loved. Safe to say, I was uncomfortable. Amidst my discomfort, I finished my first week of classes determined to relax and enjoy my weekend exploring my new city. However, to my dismay, I found myself at the front doorstep of my building, no key in hand. I’d locked myself out. I frantically texted my new roommates, and was informed no one would be home for the next few hours.
Accepting my fate, I set off for the
nearest coffee shop. At first, my spirits were high. I found a warm, inviting, cafe called “The Living Room”, and curled up in a leather chair. A hazelnut latte was in my hand. I had a good book to read. But after the first hour, my latte was empty, the book no longer as enthralling, and the seat I was in was too close to the door, leaving me shivering every time someone stepped in or out. I began to feel the discomfort creep in again. I was lonely, tired, and wanted nothing more than to leave. Instead, I looked up and out the window. A woman rode her bike by, simultaneously eating a pastry and talking on her phone. A father and his small child walked by, the child donned in a one piece snowsuit. Around me, the low buzz of Danish conversation flowed. The mundanities of Copenhagen began to lift my spirits again. Months later, as I prepared to head home, I returned to this coffee shop, and found myself longing to do anything but leave.