One month ago, I wrote a whole series of texts about what will happen next. They had titles like "And now?", "And then" and "Arriving". I never hit publish.
I am on my way to Germany, and my heart, my head and my wanderlust are topsy-turvy. My lips peel themselves, and I develop herpes as big as a strawberry on my upper lip. It always happens to me with a very particular kind of emotional stress. Often, I only realise that I have a problem when I get this little pest. The nights are short, and sleep doesn't bring relief. On arriving in Germany, I am sporting herpes in the shape of Hitler's beard.
The air at the airport in Berlin-Schönefeld is fresh, and the sky is cloudy. A group of young British sleep-deprived boys sits in the S-Bahn, and of course, the tickets are checked. (Unlike in Russia, where every car has someone to check your ticket, the Germans make random checks.) Berlin is, as usual, a bit dirty, cheeky and carefree. On the way to Berlin Südkreuz, we pass a graffiti that is scribbled on the wall of a house: "Go ahead, fart!". (Very loosely translated.)
The rapeseed is in full bloom, the deer graze along the train tracks, and the tractor ploughs its way through the field. In Germany, everything is the same. The ICE glides through the landscape like on a soundless air cushion. Everything is familiar. The fields are pale yellow, the trees are green, and the sky is blue. The whole thing is a bit boring. I'll be in Halle City in an hour.
Through the open window, I hear my father practising the cello. I don't know the melody. It carries the smell of blooming rosemary and birdsong. The sun is shining, and in front of my window, somebody pulls weeds. I must have slept long. I'm not entirely conscious, yet. I bury my head deep into my feather bed. I slowly move my big toe. I'm here. Germany. Slowly, I roll out of my embryonic sleeping position. Everything is a little stiff. With the outstretched fingers, I bump against the headpiece of my bed. It seems endlessly big. My feet stretch out daringly over the lower end of my bed. In my absence, the spiders have spread. One balances dangerously on the ceiling above my head. I turn away from the danger zone and pull my feet back to my body. The air coming in from outside is fresh. Despite a significant number of blooms, I feel the winter lingering in the cold morning air. The thick duvet buries me. In bed, I have the best of both worlds. If I missed something, then maybe this. Neither the Finns nor the Russians think much of voluminous feather beds.
Until a few weeks ago, I was full of envy looking at photos from Germany. The flowers exploded, while in Russia there was snow. Then it got hot. From one day to the other, winter was over, and summer had arrived. I am already looking forward to the hot summer days in Russia. At the same time, it feels like my head is slowing down. It's hard for me to organise the bits and pieces for the visa. I avoid making the necessary doctor appointments. Within seconds, I regress into old habits. The whole thing will probably take longer than planned. It happens. I try to be kind to myself and accept my shortcomings. After all, the traveller needs a resting period. Maybe learning Russian is more energy-consuming than I want to admit to myself. I am certain, that I will make my way back to Russia one way or another, sooner or later.
I realise that I'm not finished travelling yet. Here in Germany, everything is the same. And the solutions that present themselves seem too much like foul compromises. I want to go back.
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