We´ve been given a gift. Actually many, many of us have been given this gift. The gift of being able to live in another place other than the one where you were born and raised. Some grab the opportunity with both hands and others let it slip through their fingers. I live in a strange land with strange ways. The culture is strange, the people are strange, the architecture is strange to our eyes, the smell of the food is so different, the roads are weird, the law is different. Yep, what I thought was right, is now totally wrong.
The friendly, open people I´m used to have now been exchanged for very withdrawn people. There are no spontaneous smiles, the needs and wants differ to ours, the language is strange to our ears, the children are like tiny adults, the teenagers are from another planet, everyone smokes, drinking is the most popular pastime, excitement is found by thundering down the ski-slopes. There are no steak houses, there are bakeries all over the place, mealtimes are at different times than ours, the glare of the sun is different, the wind hardly blows and even the rain is different.
Everything gets planned way ahead of time and spontaneous moments are not understood. The grass is different, the trees are different, the soil is different. The wild animals are different and there are ravens everywhere you look, there aren´t many other birds around and the seasonal changes are so drastic. Even the exhaust fumes smell different.(they smell like chlorine).
Travelling by train is overwhelming and the whole public transport system is awsome. At this time of year you can buy roasted Chestnuts. Something so new to us. They taste great. Shopping is an unforgettable experience. Things are much more affordable here. The history here is amazing. The old castles and historic monuments are out of this world. The historical churches and remnants from the Inquisition are still to be seen. Ruins from the great Roman Empire are all over the place and memories from the first and second world war are still smoldering deep within the older generation.
Every day is a brand new experience. Just across the Rhein river we enter another world. France!
The street signs are all gibberish and believe it or not speaking English doesn´t help either. I would never have imagined experiencing something so scary yet so exciting. The experience is life-changing.......