Wednesday, April 8, 2009


One of the best things about going to Germany is the feeling of coming home. No matter how long it has been since my last visit, when I get to Dusseldorf, I feel as if I really belong. Which is funny since I don't really. Belong, that is. I lived there for a year or two after I was born and then again for another year when I was in first grade. So, if I belong anywhere, wouldn't it be in Richmond KY where I grew up?

Yet, there it is. I go to Germany and I am happy. Happier than I am in most other places. Even my husband mentioned he hasn't seen me that happy in quite a while. Which is a feat since it was wicked cold and raining pretty much the whole time we were there. I didn't care, what's a little cold and rain when you're in Germany?

I think part of it is that I have such great memories of living there. Granted, most 5 or 6 year olds don't have much trauma in their lives (God willing), but my parents had just gotten divorced and I had been moved to another country to live with people I didn't really know. You would think there would have been some trauma. But all I remember is feeling loved, important, happy...Pretty cool things to remember, I'd say.

Of course, I'm sure part of the good feeling now as an adult is that I get very well taken care of when I visit. I usually stay with my uncle who drives me everywhere I want to go or ensures I know which train to take and where to get it. It also helps that my aunt lives within walking distance in the same house I lived in way back when. Add to that my mother's best friend from childhood is there and I enjoy hanging out with her too.

Actually, the most fun we had was going to dinner (waffles?) at Maedi's house and then going on a pub crawl. Yup, a pub crawl in Dusseldorf. And we didn't skimp and go into the Altstadt where all the pubs are lined up in a row with tables and service outside on the road. We went to little pubs with lots of character, including the oldest pub in Dusseldorf (Germany even?). I think it started in 1442 or something like that. Crazy to think of a pub in service before our country was even discovered!

I did learn that Germans have a different idea of "it's just around the corner" from me. The first pub we walked to was "just around the corner" and 15 minutes later we were still walking. I guess you build up a thirst that way. Plus, it was nice being outside and moving so I'm not complaining, just mentioning the differences in perceptions. On the other hand, the Germans found it funny that we give "distances" by time. As in "how far away is St Louis?" gets answered with "20-25 minutes" more often than with the actual distance.

Last thought on Germany, isn't it funny how you can block out the not-so-good parts of things and only remember the good? Staying with my uncle for all these years, I didn't remember that he only had a pull out couch - or that it was a twin. Maybe something I might have wanted to mention to my husband before a 6-day stay. Then, maybe I could have mentioned the shower. You know, the German kind of showers that isn't really a shower? Just a bath tub with a shower head on the side that you have to hold up to get wet and try not to spray the whole bathroom at the same time? Hmm, might have been good to mention that as well. Needless to say, Tom was not wicked excited at the prospect of staying there for 6 nights so we ended up staying in a hotel the night of his birthday and our last night - to make it easier to get to the airport of course...

1 comment:

  1. I can relate and will probably post something similar someday. When I go back to Newbury, England, it feels like going home. I was there for only 2 1/2 years, but have gone back to visit from time to time. I am the happiest when I am in England--almost a child-like glee! While I have no family there, the friends that remain over the past 26 years are like family to me. Ironically, I have ancestral roots in the county (Berkshire) as well.

    Glad to hear you enjoyed the visit!