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On the other side of the mirror.


I read your letters and can see myself from years ago. You describe your fears after moving to another country and the difficulty of finding yourself there.
I know them perfectly well, and I can assure you that it will pass quickly. To keep your spirits up, I will share my memories with you.

When I came to the UK it was like I was on the other side of the mirror. Everything was backwards. Cars and buses drove on opposite sides, and at times it even seemed that people walked differently. There were two taps in the bathroom, which I didn't know how to use. Almost twice a day I would have a heart attack when letters suddenly burst into the house through the hole in the door and the metal hatch made a sound like something out of a horror movie. Breakfast was like dinner, and during the day, I was made hectolitres of tea with milk, which I could not swallow. People talked about the weather and smiled at each other in the streets, and none of the products in the stores were familiar. I was surrounded by foreign names which I couldn't remember.

I watched the world from behind the bus’s window for quite a long time before I learned how to drive a car on the left. I’d take a seat on the top deck and, like a spectator in a theatre, I would watch the performance. I listened to people's conversations, trying to understand them, which was not easy. They spoke different dialects and sometimes mumbled. I felt like I was learning everything all over again.

One day I was walking home from the mall, so proud of myself for managing to do some shopping by myself. However, I got the streets mixed up and got lost. I couldn't get home. I sat down with my groceries at the bus stop and took out my phone to guide me. I was so ashamed that I never told anyone until today.

Before I got to know my new world well, I got lost in it every day. However, everything takes time and patience. After a year, I could look back on my fear and laugh about it. I have fond memories that I like to return to. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you, and I believe you can do it.