I open our most recently delivered batch of boxes (the shipment from Ukraine), sneezing at the dust and trying not to get my white shirt dirty (much easier to handle things gingerly than to go get changed, no?)
I’ve previously touched on the little moments of homesickness I feel for Kyiv. It was my home for 2.5 years. But, as I unpack the few belongings we had in our apartment there that ‘made it feel like home’, I’m overcome with another wave of Ukr-sickness.
It’s the smell. I unpack the clothes and linen that we practically wore thin (we didn’t buy much because we knew we’d just ‘have to ship it all home’), and the smell wafts up: the smell of a life that I loved to complain about, but was pretty cool actually (especially now that I’m back in Australia and a min. $2000 flight away from Europe).
The smell of Tide washing powder, mixed with hard water tinged with heavy metal from old pipes. The smell of 24/7 central heating that was created miles away in a huge furnace on the outskirts of the city and beamed into my apartment. The smell of wooden parquet floors, built after WWII (and if you listen to the gossip, built by the hands of German POWs).
The smell of a group of wonderful friends, of being pregnant, of lovely summer days and miserable winter ones, of watching my tiny baby grow a little every day. The smell of a different life, just for a while.
It was my everday smell for over two years. And those wonderful movers managed to pack it into a box, and ship it all the way to Australia.
ETA: Holy moley I became unglamorous when pregnant. Sure haven’t reclaim any glamour. I think I will have to launch project “get glamour mojo back”. At least I’ve finally had a haircut.