Back from Mars Bars

“Traveling–it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller”–Ibn Battuta

Last Saturday, one of my bestest of friends came home from their summer (use of “them” pronoun out of respect for their gender queerness) and semester abroad in South Korea. On Wednesday I went up to their house in Friesland, 5hrs north of Middelburg, to see them for the first time in 8 months. OH BOY WAS I EXCITED!!!

I had been so sad when Marrit left for the spring semester. They are indeed the housemate I am closest too, and I was really going to miss them. Every Wednesday night for the past 2 years we had a standing date of eating poffertjes at midnight, and for an entire semester and summer, Poffertjes Night would be canceled. I was struggling to think about how last semester would play out: who would I have my philosophical conversations with at random hours in the middle of the night? Who would be there to annoyingly educate me on all things anime, K-Pop, social media, and gayness/gender queerness? I won’t be able to barge into their room and eat all their food anytime I pleased, regardless if they were “busy” or not. What was I going to do without my Marrit?! Yes, I was dealing with separation anxiety at the thought of Marrit not being home. But somehow I made it through the entire semester and summer. Of course we texted and occasionally video chatted, but I was busy with my life, and Marrit now with theirs in South Korea.

As much as I missed Marrit, I was also incredibly excited for this opportunity. South Korea had been on their bucket list since we moved in together, and I knew that they would experience a lot of growing up, growing out, and fun stories that would last a lifetime. It was their first time leaving Europe, and life was about to get a lot bigger. You can imagine how excited and curious I was to finally get to see them again. What had you learned? What had you seen? What did you feel? Had you fallen in love and met your soulmate? Did you figure out the meaning of life? Please tell me everything!!

While there was so much to share about what had gone on in our lives these past 8 months, we still did what we normally would have done had this been any other typical invasion of their home: eat junk food, watch YouTube videos, binge watch series, and occasionally see the light of day. What I loved most, is that it felt like we never left. As much as both of us had new experiences and stories we had learned from and discovered, we were still Krista and Marrit, doing what Krista and Marrit do best: laugh and fumble through life. Rather than smoothly seeing them and giving them a big bear hug right after I stepped off the train, Marrit found me awkwardly trying to figure out how to get through the train’s check out gates…even though I’ve lived here for two years now and should be pro at this…

But what I love, and will probably cherish most about our relationship from this point forward, is the new insight we can build upon when we go back to having our philosophical talks or life dream conversations. Croatia and Geneva made me more confident in my social skills and helped me figure out a little bit more of what I want to do with my life, while South Korea and Japan did the same for Marrit. It makes me so happy to see them more confident and assertive about their passions and beliefs, and inspires me to be that way about mine. Next semester will be quite busy like normal, but I am very happy to be spending my final year of university with all of my best friends home and ready to tackle the future together.

Want to know more about Marrit’s Asian adventures? Check out their blog @ https://seoulxsearcher.wordpress.com

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