Somewhere in Nordrhein Westfalen, Sometimes in late December 2019

Staying in a place I entered almost three years ago feels like an appropriate and currently needed way to exit. It is a lovely place in the countryside, which, when I came, I ditched as a timeless and abandoned godforsaken Ort. Today, with the forests a few steps behind the horse stall, it is a place to be. This shortly summarizes how my stay in a foreign land, on my own, helped me to discover different perspectives.

Isn’t leaving the settings someone else made for us, and staying abroad for longer time all about that?

Earlier that day, I moved out of my flat. After we were done with formalities, I asked the landlord to give me a little time to stay alone in the very empty Wohnung to say good-bye. Seeing the place naked, free from cozy pillows and heartwarming Kleinigkeiten (most of which I threw away when packing), I felt, well, that it is just an ordinary place which I am ordinarily leaving and it is supposed to be like that.

While changing places, do you usually anticipate what is to come or do you linger in memories?

Standing at the terrace overlooking the beautiful sunlit garden with forests (again those forests) just a few meters behind (again just a few meters behind), I remembered those are the very forests I could not see the first months I came to Germany, as I was busy focusing on all that I thought was not good with the flat and its surroundings. Mostly the traffic on the road on the other side disturbed me. Then I just made some accommodations, then I just get used to it and then came the Sperrung somewhere far away and somehow, the traffic almost stopped. It shall be reopened on 1th January 2020.

Thank you providence?

I see there is the neighbor in the garden. He is 83 years old and a bit senile, cannot hear so well.  His wife told me today that he had had an injury five days before a Christmas day, lost consciousness and had to be hospitalized. I thought he was still bed-ridden, yet there he is, touching the branches.

He notices me and waves. I wave back. He asks how I am doing. I tell him I am moving out and that those are my last minutes in the house. He yells back: “Anyway, I am greeting you in our house.” He might be referring to the new tenant that should move in in January.

“No, no,” I say. “I am the one moving out.”

Him, yelling cheerfully: “So welcome!”

Me, just having to smile and giving in to his enthusiasm, I yell back: “Thank you!”

Aren’t the life circles nice thing after all?

During the handover of the flat, I learned the water pipes need to be changed and a big hole should be drilled in a not-any-more-my bathroom wall. Probably that is why the young man, the one that ringed my door on my last (so far) working day in Germany (See post: Leichenfresser) keeps running up and down the corridor. I meet him while running up and down the stairs and throwing some last things away.

“I am leaving today,” I tell him, while he gives that intriguing glance at the many empty boxes in my arms. “Well,” he says and looks at his hands where he holds some tools. “Time to go, you think?” I ask. “Probably,” he smiles.

We meet later in front of the house. “So we will probably not see each other again,” he says.

“Yes. So like … have a nice day. And a nice life?” I reply.

We both smile and leave.

Never say never, they say, yet I feel lately it is part of growing up to know when to say: “Goodbye. We are most probably never going to see each other again.”

Which way do you say good bye?

I said a very hearty goodbye to my Hausarzt in Germany like twice, though bronchitis kept me sending back. On our very last encounter, she gave me that huge smile and said: “You can heal if you are committed.” She used the word to heal and not to get healthy. It resonated with me. She wrote on the little yellow paper: Funktionelle Medizin.