a little over two years already
I miss Germany. I miss the life I had there. I miss the city, small, cold, empty most of the time, with its squares and Starbucks and the Bermuda Dreieck and the Riff, and I miss the university center with its Toom and Plus, and the many times we went shopping there because we needed little things but ended up with heavy plastic bags that we had to pay for. I miss Backwerk and the delicious little bread rolls for twenty cents, and the U-Bahn stop which was always filled with students. I miss walking from Stiepeler Strasse where I had my dorm room to university along the path between student residences, and I miss Europa Haus even though I never lived there. I miss the tough classes in German at first and how lost we all felt in the beginning.
I miss the first days, the unknown, the anxiety and the solitude. I miss the Ikea trips to pass the time, our train rides to Dortmund and the little plastic hot-dogs and cappuccinos with free refills. I miss the first excursions and the photographs, Essen and Düsseldorf and Köln with its Dom and the river. I miss the parties. The packed rooms and kitchens with alcohol and all kinds of beer, the low lights and the loud music, and the hazy photographs and our nocturne adventures in search of nutella and crisps. I miss the delicious birthday baking, the colorful cakes and the tiramisu, and our Korean evenings with food we could never get enough of. I miss the cold in a strange and masochist way. I miss the gray days, the fog, the rain and the snow, and my frozen feet after walks in Düsseldorf in the midst of all the humidity by the river.
I miss the first snow. I miss the Christmas markets and the cinnamon smells, the Glühwein and the crêpes and the waffles with whipped cream. I miss the hot, steamy cappuccinos and the brief encounters in Kultur Café. I miss my first steps on training for the half-marathons and I miss the freedom of running through green parks in a German spring. I miss how we welcomed the first warm days in April and the barbecues on the grass, and how we couldn’t believe that it was over twenty degrees all of a sudden. Although above all, I think what I miss the most is the people. The friends. All the different nationalities, how we all blended together and didn’t care where we were from. All the things we shared, and all the things that are forever printed in a thousand color photographs, and although we can never get that back, it will still forever remain in our minds because it somehow made us who we are.