I’d like to claim that I was away long enough and that my language skills became good enough that I now hesitate and look for words in English in order to communicate here at home. It wouldn’t be true. If I hesitate it’s because I have to pay attention a little differently than I did. People are actually talking to me, having conversations, expecting complex answers.
R and I spent two days in Frankfurt with a previously unmet family member (my mother’s half brother – 12 years her junior) and his very sweet, funny wife. Frankfurt is like any large city. Crowded, loud, commerce driven. I was so happy that we had spent our time in Dresden – such a fair city comparatively and on its own. The visit was interesting as my uncle looks a bit like my mother and brother and the resemblance triggered some longings.
Time zones always confuse me. Even daylight savings time has wreaked havoc . Friends who’ve gotten telephone calls from me reminding them to change their clocks – the wrong direction and two weeks earlier than the rest of the world can attest to this. So I don’t really know how long it took to get home though it felt endless. Frankfurt airport is enormous. Packed with travelers, suitcases, carts. R was at one terminal and I at another, so our goodbye was a quick hug and a kiss and a dash in different directions. It took me 30 minutes to get to my gate and that was with a terminal train doing the hard part.
I had a plane change in Copenhagen and my confusion became surreal. I trekked along to my new gate and found myself in the middle of a high end department store. Boss, Armani – other names I don’t know much about. Perfume counter. Jewelry counter, stationary counter. The rarefied silence that seems to go with expensive stores. Turns out you need to walk through the store to get to the terminal that leads to your gate. Really.
I’m happy to be home – staying with my friend Rachel, having dinner and lunch with friends I haven’t seen in nearly a year, preparing for Boulder. I’m looking forward to teaching this summer/fall and to implementing plan b and not wearing the same clothes I’ve been wearing for the past 10 months.