I landed In Copenhagen on Monday at noon; my nose was hurting after I wore the medical mask on the four and a half-hour flight from Cairo to Copenhagen. The airport checkpoint employee received me with a sweet smile behind a desk with a glass front. She asked me about the reason for my visit and about my address. I replied I was visiting for studying and showed her some documents; she smiled and stamped the entry on my passport. I left the airport and completed a three-and-a-half-hour journey on the bus to the city, where I will live for the next twelve months.

In the last 7 years, I have been living abroad most of the time. I go home for one month or less in the year. In a way, every place became like home. I lose part of my belonging to home in every new place I live and visit. The journey started when I traveled in 2013 to study for my bachelor's at Cairo University. Here I had to live with strangers in a shared space. I have since shared four flats with different people and every time I have moved to a new flat in the last 7 years I have met people who are still my friends today, and others I will never hear from or meet again.

I arrived in Aarhus at nine o’clock in the evening. One of the students from the school was waiting for me at the bus station beside the harbor. He drove me to my address and gave me a copy of the apartment key located in Brabrand district outside the city center five and a half kilometers away. I was feeling excited and a bit strange, it was nine o’clock in the evening and still sunny outside.

I imagined Cairo sky and how at that moment, it would have been dark. I always suffer from insomnia on my first night in a strange place. I watched a movie and looked for something to eat, and then I went to bed late after midnight. I woke up at 6 in the morning the next day before sunrise.

The Sun came out through thick grey clouds for a few seconds and disappeared again, the winter is cold and dark here, yesterday it got dark from five in the evening. I woke up at seven in the morning; the sky was gloomy. I had a strong feeling to pee, I ran towards the toilet, but the door was closed. I went to the kitchen, and I searched for a plastic bottle.

I was the first person to arrive at the apartment a month before the others. In a four-room apartment, I felt lonely. I sent a message to my three roommates, attaching some pictures of the apartment and a video recording of the lake view appearing through the forest trees that I could see easily from the balcony on the fourth floor of the building.

(2020)

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