“I think it’s very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person.” ― Oscar Wilde.
Tuesday finally the day came when I went on my journey to Germany. But I’m not sure if this could be described as a real journey. The journey is usually for a really short time. But I will live here for 5 months. Maybe even longer.
The first realization of Germany, which until now I didn’t realize is that everyone here speaks German. This revelation may sound crazy. That may be so. But this is how I feel. Of course, I knew that everyone here speaks German. However, as I have already had one exchange studies, it seemed to me that it will not be an obstacle, and – the Germans are famous for their hospitality! But I do not feel comfortable enough here. Croatia was different – I’ll tell you right away!
Not knowing the language should not be a problem .. but it somehow is. In Croatia it did not matter that I don’t know the language. Why should it be? I was only staying in there for 5 months. In Germany, I do not intend to stay longer as well . However, here not knowing the language is a bad thing for me. I feel uncomfortable. I do not think anyone knows where I come from, or the fact that the Latvian schools offered German language learning, but I feel uncomfortable talking to all in English. Yes, I chose to learn the Russian language and not German, and it was my choice, which is don’t regret. However, I have worries about the fact that I do not know the language.
It is possible that I am still stunned from the flight and therefore I have such a strange sensation, and reflection … maybe.
Morning began sleepily, as my cat spent all night loudly unpacking my bag! Therefore, I didn’t have a proper rest. Then followed a trip to Vilnius and city tour. My family, as all Latvians was very “punctual”, so we arrived much sooner than planned. In fact, we were so early that at that hour no shop was working yet.
The flight itself was very unpleasant. Anyone who knows me knows that I dislike airplanes because they hurt me. Also, fear of fall, in spite of love for the views from a height exists. Consequently, when the plane before take-off sharply and unexpectedly stopped and surprised everyone who was on board, my doubts arose about the flight. Part of me at the moment was waiting for evacuation or flight postponement / cancellation. I already was holding the phone to call my brother, and let him know that I have to return home. I was already thinking about how to communicate my buddy that I won’t come today. I was thinking about other options for me to arrive in Germany. I was ready. The pause was so long that I was morally ready to flight-default. However, nothing happened. At some the plane started to move again and prepare for take-off, we were given no explanations about what happened. The only thought in my head all the flight was that there may be something wrong with the plane, that after such a sudden stop something is broken and that the airplane will crash. Not the nicest thing to think about while still on the plane. Airplane wings bent as plastic pieces, threatening to fall off at lower wind gusts. I was so scared.
Germany was nicer then the flight.(not hard to be) However, post-flight, I did not feel particularly comfortable. I had no one to keep me company, no one to talk to. Even the Internet wasn’t available. I am isolated from the world that I know. I am thrown into new uncharted waters and I have to rely on the Germans to know English. Because I do not understand a word in German. It smashes me of my frames – I have no solid ground underneath my feet. Everything seems so scary, so undefined. Anything can happen.
I’ve always been paranoid, although I have the ability to give the impression that nothing can knock me out of balance. And now my paranoia has reached a new level. The key question now is – to play the “funny and childish Baiba” again or maybe it is the time to remove all the masks and show the world who I really am? The second option would be hard to do, as I have been hiding my true self for a very long time and I am not even sure that I know who the real me is anymore. But maybe it will be worth the effort and risk. Perhaps overcoming the fear of losing what I have will help me gain something even more precious – true me?
After arrival in Germany it seemed that everything will go smoothly, that success will accompany me wherever I go. Already at the airport I had to face a series of setbacks – coffee spilling, my heavy bag and the fact that I couldn’t find the bus station number 3 and no one else could help me. I asked so many people, even the airport workers – no one could give me an answer. When I found a bus stop that seemed to be the right one, I calmed down, until I had my doubts. It was 10 minutes for bus to leave, jet there was no bus! I realized that something is not right.
At the risk of possible failure and missing the bus I went in the footsteps of others who ran in a mysterious way. And then behind a building I saw bunch of bus stops. All were empty except for one – number 3. The bus stood there already and I had no idea how much time I have before it leaves, so I ran.
The bus driver did not speak English. But I managed to buy the ticket. The bus was traveling fast. Although the drive was only 1,5 h – it was difficult. I was hungry and sleepy. I was worried that I would fall a sleep and miss my stop. In an effort to stay awake I chewed a chewing gum and was looking at wind generators synchronously moving. I imagined how I’m walking there – outside. As I breathed in the wind and the storm clouds were coming closer, I was standing on a hill and looking on those wind generators, that rise tall above the treetops, 2x or even 3x above the large spruce tops. Even though I was still on bus and this vision was not real, I was amazed by this wonderful view.
Thomas greeted me at the destination. He showed me my apartment and guided me to the store to buy the necessary things, because the apartment was empty – no dishes, no food, no blankets. Returning from the store together, we took a tour in the dorms and found the laundry room and a … bar. It turns out that dormitory has a bar in the basement, which hosts monthly student gatherings. Clock was already 9( 10 Latvian time) , and I was exhausted and hungry. I still had unpacking to do, but Thomas stood in my small room and talked to me as if nothing had happened. How can I tell to someone who is this nice that he has to leave? I’m too shy for this. But eventually he had to leave. After his departure, I unpacked, had small dinner, took a shower and went to sleep. The room was cold, but I fell asleep in no time and slept tightly.
My next days in this new city were plain and ordinary. I had a lot of paperwork to finish in order to get the student card, the bus ticket and finally – the internet. I also had to buy food and some stuff for my apartment, because, as I mentioned it before – the room was empty, except for bed, closet and small kitchen it had nothing in it. I had to buy it all. And in my first evening I bought only the most necessary things. I didn’t do any sightseeing, because I had no internet, therefore, I had no maps and I didn’t wanted to get lost. So I spent most of the time inside my apartment.
It was a nice experience, cause I never had an apartment all for myself before. When I got the internet nothing much changed – I am now sick, so I can’t go anywhere, because I have to be healthy tomorrow. Hopefully I will manage to do that.
My conclusion to this week – I has been quite an adventure. But the greatest thing for me was the chance to spend some time being completely alone.