I fell asleep on a plane in the skies above southeast Asia, landed in Frankfurt, took three trains and a taxi, and ended up in the city I now live in. Or, I will officially live here once I have my registration documents. (To that end, look out for the upcoming post that I’ve preliminarily titled “What I Learned When I Moved to Germany During a Pandemic”.)
Everything is different here.
The weeds are the wildflowers of my childhood, names that I didn’t know then and don’t know now. The trees remind me of home.
The air feels crisp and smells like flowers and the sky. There are no tall buildings and the only ambient noise is that of chirping birds. I’ve actually had to lower the volume on my phone to stop it from being so jarring. It’s like my senses have woken up all over again.
To some degree, I’m romanticizing difference, and this is normal when I travel. But to another degree, I’m paying attention and from what I see, the buildings look like a fairytale.
But let us not forget that real people live here, and people leave signs of who they are. This is also something to respect about the places that we come to know.
I took a walk through a cemetery and smiled at the irony. We learn about the lives of places through their dead.
Weimar is an old, historic town and it has some illustrious names associated with it. I’ve particularly enjoyed the markers on buildings that begin with the words, “Hier wohnte . . .” and include names, dates, and brief descriptions. There are statues and house museums, as well, which I have not yet explored. It seems like there will be time for that, but the lessons of the pandemic loom large.
Coming from densely populated, glittery-modern-meets-old-trading-town Singapore on the tip of mainland Southeast Asia, this is a big change. It’s one that I worked hard for and hopefully it will be what I hope it will be. Stay tuned!