“I graduate in March. Do you want to be there too? "
With these words, Shreyank and I, started our relationship...! We were on the roof of our hotel in Delhi, at the end of November 2017, while waiting for our breakfast, chai and paratha. We had just started our trip together in the North of . In December I had to go back to .
Google Photos reminds us that three years ago, in March 2018, Shreyank was really there at my graduation, coming to, for the first time.
We said goodbye at This time I was the late one, I remember perfectly what I was wearing and thought about how different I could look to him compared to that girl he met in India. Sweater, tights, winter shoes.s and we met again 4 months later in Malpensa, in Milan.
"Will he find me fattened?"
"Will he still smell the same?"
I immediately run to greet him and hug him. He reciprocated read what I wrote about this).(with time, I learned that love is cultural,
If I tell you that nothing had changed since the last hug, I'm telling you a lie. Many things were, and this is one of the greatest difficulties for a long-distance couple: to get to between the hugs left on hold.
Shreyank was silent for the first few days. As a chronic insecure, I was thinking he no longer felt the same for me, but I just had to give him time to realize what was really going on: he was on.
In a long distance relationship, there will always be someone who will. It is important to always keep this in mind and give the other person time (always, even if it is a place you already know). We did not understand this immediately. It will be a bit like getting to know each other again.
We metthe day after he arrived in Italy. We took some italian "pasticcini", and Shreyank also bought some new clothes for the occasion. Everyone was there, even my older sister and her husband, all seated around the table, ready to get to know...
“Shereyank”, “Shrek”, “"
The dinner went well, to tell the truth I have no particular memories, if not the feeling that it was all. My family has so many flaws but it is and open (we are a mixed family of Brazil and Italy ourselves), and this is a great fortune and I must not take it for granted. My mom expressed no particular concerns about and of Shreyank, she worried instead of asking me very practical things like:
"What's his job?"
During the evening, I tried to translate as much as possible and my family tried to communicate with Shreyank using, my parents don't know English. I had so much fun seeing them together. I also have a vague memory of Shreyank showing my brother-in-law and my mom's partner some scenes from a … they didn't seem very interested!
Shreyank immediately feltin my family and was surprised by their welcome and openness in meeting him. (I swear he said so!)
Now that Shreyank met my parents, I could finally ask him:
"When will I meet your parents?"
This point, however, deserves another story! Indeed, a whole book!
Shreyank hadand being in Italy meant a lot to him.
Together we visited Milan, Bergamo, Como and even Venice… but for most of the days Shreyank was alone. I worked. He used to go for walks in the town and now if you ask him what is the most beautiful place on earth he answers:
He went downtown, on the canal, took the train (Personal Note: Mumbai Railways> Trenord), and he even went to buy me some flowers.
Everything seemed, and . For the first time in his life he also saw some snow (but very little), and I am thrilled to look at his photos surprised knowing that we now live in Canada, where quite a lot.
Shreyank was anin Italy. He had to request a . To obtain a tourist visa (two weeks in his case), an indian must work with a contract, have certain and some other supporting document. There is no guarantee that an indian will get a tourist visa that easily.
We can define ourselves lucky andbut we know that for many binational couples in a distance relationship, it is not like this: money and passports make the difference. I will never stop saying it: a binational couple (at a distance) is made first of all by of , and this will be the biggest problem.
On March 13, 2018 I graduated in master's degree with a thesis on Mumbai. Shreyank helped me with the final layout, printing and all the final preparations, shocked by my little knowledge of MS Word. I repeated my speech to him and he understood absolutely nothing of what I was saying but he filled me with compliments.
He reassured me and supported me even though he didn't quite understand what was happening. Shreyank was very impressed by the, and how this event is a celebration with friends and family. Of the , he appreciates the importance that is given to the family, just like in India.
The dissertation went well, I was very happy. I'll tell you the truth: I invited Shreyank to my graduation to "". In a long-distance relationship it takes a lot of courage and sacrifice (also ), and I did not want to start an "impossible" long-distance relationship: I feel a little guilty to say it, but it is right to tell the truth. But Shreyank didn't hold back, and believe me, as I told you before, it's not easy for an Indian to come to Europe.
Having him with me at graduation was great but in a long-distance relationship you have to take into account that there will be, where, however, the other person cannot be present. This will make you feel very lonely. You need to be able to find alternative ways to be present.
For 15 days, Shreyank and I were together, like a "normal" couple. Indeed, we have also lived together. We went to the restaurant several times, we watched TV together, we cooked and we also went to the Ennio Morricone concert… and we fell asleep.
We started to showof our character. and Shreyank noticed this right away. I have a different, faster pace, and I have full awareness of what is happening around me. For example, I found that Shreyank moved with and it made me nervous. (I seem a bit rude from this story but I want to make you understand go beyond food and language).
Looking back, maybe I wanted to do too many things and didn't really enjoy our time together. I tried toeverything we have lost by being in opposite parts of the world, but it is not a good strategy to condense whole months into a few days.
The environment andinfluence us; in fact Shreyank and I are not the same in Mumbai and / or in Milan, or even in Canada. We are very different, and we didn't catch this immediately either! I really leave it to you as an advice and / or a reminder: the side dish makes the difference :)
As you can imagine, the twoShreyank had a flight to Mumbai in the evening. We dropped by to say hello to my parents and seeing my mom Shreyank made my heart pound.
Before leaving, Shreyank wanted.
Wait, that's not fetish!
In India, the youngest touch the feet of the people they respect, and in return they receive their.
"Ehm, sorry, Shreyank asks if he can touch your feet!"
(they started laughing)
"Well, if he is happy!"
Judging from the faces of my parents, they were quite proud to pass for grown-up and wise people. They appreciated and were surprised by that gesture. Even in Brazilian culture, we ask blessing of our parents, "“.
We head to.
There is a song by Cesare Cremonini on the radio,. We listen to it in silence, it has become one of our favorite songs. We still weren't sure when we would meet again, and this of "see you but I don't know when" is not easy to manage. I had recently started an internship and would have waited for June for a possible contract: let's say we looked to the summer with hope.
My advice is to tryto look at, so that you can circle it on the calendar, and be able to start the countdown to see each other again. and talking about the future is the basis for a long-distance relationship. Too much uncertainty will only hurt both of you.
We said bye.
I went back to my car.
The seat next to me is.
Howhave we gone.
This is thein a long-distance and / or intercultural couple! (and that is not taken for granted even for people who live in the same city!)
Looking back at those photos makes me feel so much tenderness. Shreyank is a genuine person, andis what strikes me most about him. Surely it is a character trait but I also see a lot of in his eyes.
In my opinion, the added value in an intercultural couple lies precisely in this: alwayshow the has taught us to live.