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Zuzanna, Poland

© Damiano Oldoni

Zuzanna Rucka has lived in Ghent since 2009. On a whim she decided to study Dutch

language and literature for her Master’s, and ended up in Ghent as an Erasmus student, where she has remained ever since. She has built up a life for herself and started studying again, this time architecture. In the school in Plateaustraat she can talk to the cleaning lady in her mother tongue, she says. She lives in a nice, bright apartment, with design, scale-models and a work of art that reminds her of her grandfather.

However, ‘home’ (dom) is never far away. She phones her family almost every day and

frequently travels back and forth. ‘Europe has become so small’, says Zuzanna, long live the LOT airline! She had resolved never to live in a city uglier than her hometown and is therefore glad to have found the beautiful medieval city of Ghent in which to settle.

There are things that still fill her with amazement: the excesses in the Overpoortstraat,

the strange dialects (‘the first time I heard the Antwerp dialect, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing!’), the lights on the highway and the great advantage that courses here are spread out – in Poland it’s a question of taking notes until you drop.

‘What is home’, Zuzanna wonders. Her sister lives in Sweden and her family is in Poland.

Wherever she lives she will always be Zuzanna: that is her home.

Zuzanna Rucka (° 1989, Toruń, Poland)

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