Deutschland *thumbs up*

25 Jul

After an accidental 2 month blogging break, I thought it’s time to get back on the old horse! (With accidental, I really mean that it was not my intention not to write anything for that long, but I was partly too busy or nothing at all happened or I could not be bothered.)

As I am currently taking a Social Media holiday, I am expecting this post to go largely unnoticed. Which is fine. This won’t be Pulitzer material anyway. But if you have been reading any previous posts, this will come as no surprise.

It’s now been 7 months since THE BIG DEUTSCH MOVE. Sometimes it feels much longer, sometimes much shorter. Perception is a funny thing. But all things considered, life is gut. My Working Life takes places 89.7% in English, my Social Life  is about 85.4% in German, but that combination causes much less confusion or disruption than one might think. I am also managing to spend some time watching French TV, as I am still determined to become a tri-lingual super hero.

One thing I am noticing these days is how I am slipping back into my pre-UK self. Which is good and also not so good. Good is that I am closer to old friends and family, and since I love them all very much, that makes me happy. Also good is that I am feeling a lot more grounded in a way that only those can understand who have ever lived away from home for a while and have then returned. The smell of the pavement after the rain, the way busses sound from afar, the TV news jingle in the evening….all those totally random things make up a big cosy blanket that will always fit. I have definitely settled my internal struggle with Germany and gladly call it ‘Heimat’ again. I have also dyed my hair blonde again and thanks to some sunny days I have managed to get myself a tan, a look I only rarely managed in my UK years. And I like it. I am also looking to start playing tennis again, so before I know it, I will just be the same old (but this time really old) Fab again that I was 10 years ago!

Not so good is a certain drabness and heavy-heartedness that I definitely had hanging over me when I was young and that now seems to find me again every now and then. Not really sure why this is and how to shake it. I assume that this gloom is partly in relation to the fact that I miss my lovely UK friends and although I have had some very splendid visits from people already, I just miss the old ‘popping down to the pub for just the one, knowing full well I will be there for hours ‘. There was a certain lightness to my life in the UK that I don’t have anymore – a useful combination of being connected to the right things and being detached from the wrong things. Maybe that was because when in the UK I always secretly knew I could ‘go back’ if things didn’t turn out – funny enough that is what I did – but when in Germany I have nowhere to ‘go back’ to because back is here.

When I visited the UK a few weeks ago I was at first overwhelmed by the sense of familiarity and nostalgia (I think it was going into Pret a Manger that nearly tipped me over). But ultimately I knew I had made the right decision and leaving Newcastle and London behind did not actually break my heart or spirits, I just got a few scratches.

One thing that is hard beyond reason however, is NOT BEING ABLE TO EAT BREAD. I live in the country of bread. Everything here smells of bread. And I know how good it is in its glorious variety. It’s like a ginormous dough party I am not allowed to take part in. I might need to speak to Angela and change the local bread law. I am sure there is a bread law. Oh my god, I just looked and there is a German Bread Law from 1969. So predictable. I love Germany.

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