Winter Survival Kit


The harsh cold blew in - in what seems to be - overnight and with it, the season has just begun.

Every year, the Dutch Design Week and GLOW Eindhoven mark the beginning of the winter season in this city and it’s almost comforting to know that through everything I’ve gone through the past few years, I find myself here just in time, every single year.

But having been gone for so long, the cold has become foreign to me once more and I find myself struggling to keep up. That is, with more than just the weather. You’d think that after around four years of being here, I’ve settled in and found a comfort routine for when things start to feel a lot less like home and home starts to relocate to kilometres away, in a different continent.

Most of all, I think it’s impressive how adaptive my body has been. For four years, I’ve acclimated. I’ve built systems and routines, I’ve found a balance. And as soon as I left for a while, it’s like it all never happened.

I thought I got really good at staying in touch with my Eindhoven self and Cairo self simultaneously; to keep up with my friends and family back home while still seeking out new friendships and building a life here. And the more I force it all to happen, the less I feel in touch with anything at all. So, where do I stand?

Being an international is anything but a linear trajectory of ‘living abroad’ milestones I’ve come to learn. And right now, it’s feeling like September of 2017.

Earlier on, I shared with you guys that I’m starting to rediscover the city in a new light. I still am. What I didn’t expect is to re-meet Eindhoven from the perspective of homesickness. As I take in all that this city and my relationships here have to offer, I’m longing for familiarity. For a glimpse of home.

For now, I’ll continue to blame it on the seasonal changes and the vanishing sunlight. But I have one word for everyone out there who’s feeling a little too cold and far away these days: oliebollen.

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