I am back home. Tired from the jetlag. Not able to perceive anything yet. Will need some time to arrive.
I arrived in Duesseldorf at 7:15 this morning on a flight delayed by snow in New York. The flight was quite comfortable. I had an aisle seat on the middle block with just one woman on the other aisle and two empty seats between us. Food had been horrible. American food at its worst. My two pieces of luggage came on the belt soon and a good friend was waiting outside to help me carry what’s left of my life in New York.
We took the train to Cologne and I bought a wrong ticket from the complicated ticket machine at Duesseldorf Airport. Of course a conductor came – this does not necessarily happen on these regional trains – and gave me a 40€ fine which they call “increased fair”. The ticket I had was more expensive than the one I would have needed. It was just the wrong kind of ticket and thus not valid on my train. I now have two weeks time to give a statement of my mistake to avoid having to pay the 40€. Welcome back in Germany.
My friend had brought a bottle of Hugo and two glasses. So we had Hugo on the train. It was awfully sweet and had not much in common with the nice and refreshing summer drink. But it was fun.
In Cologne we took a taxi because of the luggage.
At home everything was quite ok. The mail was spread on the kitchen table. My oleander’s pot was broken but the plant is alive as are all the others. Some had suffered a bit. Some minor damages, some displacements. Nothing serious.
I sorted the laundry and put a first load into the machine. Then I went to bed and fell asleep. Late afternoon I woke up, still tired, hung up the laundry on the rack, missed a dryer and wondered why my washing machine washes better than all those laundromat machines. My laundry was definitely cleaner. Is it my detergent, the fact that German washing machines have more options than just cold, warm or hot or that they wash 90 minutes instead of 20?
I went for shopping groceries. My neighbourhood felt strange. Everything looked so tidy. Had somebody washed and ironed it while I was gone?
The supermarket on Sülzburgstrasse has been renovated and redesigned. It took me a while to find what I needed. But I didn’t know what I needed anyway. I finally bought basics like milk, eggs, margarine and bread, some cheese and liverwurst, my standard basic muesli, bananas and kiwis to prepare my all time favourite muesli and tons of vitamins like oranges and mandarins. The tote bag I had brought was too small. I should have one of these carts they have in New York.
I had a bowl of pancake soup and a hot and long bath.
Soh Ang had made my departure very convenient. She picked me up on the Upper West Side in her car and took me to her house where the rest of my luggage was waiting for me. While she was cooking lunch I rearranged my bags. More books into the big suitcase, more clothes into the light bag. We had home made spring rolls with a vegetable called jicama and a Jamie Oliver fish soup. Cake and tea afterwards.
Then she drove me to the airport and we had to say goodbye. Soh Ang has been a great friend to me and she has added a lot of value to my stay. Not only has she been very helpful with all those practical issues but we as well spent a lot of good time together doing interesting things and she gave me an insight into her culture. I will miss her.
My luggage was less heavy than I had expected. I could have bought about five more kilos of books, shoes and clothes. Check in was quick and easy but the security line seemed endless.
When I finally boarded my plane snow was falling on New York.