In the kitchen I can hear my roommates laughing over something. Christmas music in the background. My clothes are strewn all over the bed and the clothes rack, a half-empty jar of Nutella and a spoon have taken up permanent residence on the mantlepiece; tickets, receipts, papers, passport, a jar of moisturizer, a spool of thread lie inches thick across the desk. A pile of yet-to-be-read books is perched precariously next to my bed. A cup with the abandoned dredges of hot chocolate in it sits at my elbow.
What I am trying to say by showing you these things is, I am entrenched here. Leaving the place that has been home for as long as you can remember really makes you think about these things: these are the particles that make up a life. These are the tell-tale signs of living – not travelling, not a nomad, just living and being in a place. That’s why I went on exchange for a year: I wanted to truly live in another city, I didn’t want to just visit. I have been in Grenoble for a while, and I’ll be here for a while yet. This is my home now. I have felt the heat of summer sun in my bones in this room and I will taste the tang of winter sunshine on my tongue here too. I’ve watched the mountains sink into golden glowing sunsets, I have seen them coated in the first November snows, I will watch them shake themselves loose again come springtime and dance, dance with a freshness that stretches from their rocky roots to the tips of their new budding leaves. I am learning another city’s heartbeat. I am swaying to another city’s rhythm. Continue reading