46 = 23 * 2

4 04 2020

Duh! You knew it right?

But for me this easy mathematical expression means quite a bit more..

First of all this post was supposed to be posted on 30th July 2018 but that summer was quite bummer, and several things, of the bad kind, happened, starting with BBPV. Then followed by other ridiculously depressing news that so far I have refrained from writing about here (I will, eventually). But since I am going through unposted drafts, here we are 🙂 …

Nidarosdomine (Trondheim – night exposure on film, Yashica MAT-124G, tripod, scan and post processed)

Today really is a somewhat special date: 30 July 1995 I arrived in Trondheim (Norway), for the beginning of my 10 months Erasmus experience, taking a break from the Italian part of my studies at Politecnico in Torino, for a period of studies at NTH (Norges tekniske høgskole) that then became NTNU (Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet).

At that point I did not know anything about living abroad, I knew very little of my English language skills and, I admit, little about myself. I was born in 1972, making me 23 years old when I arrive in Norway. I had lived most of my life in my hometown, Biella (Italy), with 2 years of weekdays staying in Torino for University (and most of weekends back home). Time to move since I could. Given I had quite good marks I had the possibility to almost freely choose where I wanted to go and I already was in love for nature and landscape photography I decided to apply for Norway, for a city and a university I had never heard about… and that I checked on a map after I got the scholarship!

So then it was Trondheim, 10 months miserably paid by Erasmus: at my time, you were going to Spain or you were going to Norway the scholarship was exactly the same amount. My mates exchanging in España were paying rent and living expenses and sometimes even saving some monthly money, we in Nordic countries could not even cover the room rent! So then you find ways to save and make money and in Norway the universities always have offers toward supporting students. Also living in Norway (like Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands and few other countries) does not require you to learn the language, but it was a great chance to finally improve my English.

The language had been also among the reasons that brought me to Trondheim. The other studying places I could choose form but I skipped were:

  • Germany: impossible.. you had to be proficient with the language at the beginning of the semester;
  • France: same for the language (a tiny bit easier than German though, but not that much for me) but not so interested about the country that being neighbour I had visited already in quite a few occasions;
  • Spain: language probably not an issue being Italian, but also too similar to us. I have actually almost never been in Spain in my life even having several Spanish friends (especially from the time in Norway!) but I will visit;
  • Sweden: there was a scholarship for KTH in Stockholm. I did consider it but then at the end it was dedicated to a different study than mine (Telecommunication, while I am Electronics);
  • Netherlands: English as main language, the opening was for Delft, another top European Technology University and it was one of my possibilities.

Netherlands or Norway.. Never regretted that choice (and now I live in Netherlands, sort of going a full circle?) and so many good things came out from my life in Norway.

I remember arriving in Trondheim, 30 July 1995, and around 11 pm calling home (from a phone boot, with a phone card: ancient times, no mobile phones!) and telling my parents that the sky was still so bright, that the street lamps were still off.. such energy and surprising pleasure.

So 30th July 2018 was exactly 23 years after I moved abroad, at the age of 23… Yeah, right:

half of my life has been in Italy
half of my life has been abroad

46, my age in 2018, equals 23 times 2.. 2 big parts of my life..

Now, soon, 48… and counting!

2 scans from 2000, the top one was a film picture taken at 3 am at Kristiansten Fortress in Trondheim, and the selfie below (yeah, it was me!) in the house that I had recently bought



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