Thursday, August 22, 2013

Goose-Feather Duvet

It's been 50 days since I returned to the motherland and with each passing day, I am becoming more and more entrenched in a place I only intended to stay for a little while. I am flying back to Scotland next week to see two of my closest friends getting married. And to pick up the rest of my belongings. It's a funny feeling - as is the concept, to be honest: You know, to ship the most random material possessions halfway around Europe just because they are of some sort of sentimental value. In my mind, I ceaselessly catalogue every single item yet to be brought back to Berlin, just to avoid a logistical MCA when things are getting real. Over the years, I have perfected the art of efficiently moving across continents and my old childhood room has become a bizarre storage space for traces I left elsewhere.

For practical reasons, I will also be bringing back a goose-feather duvet set I bought not too long ago. I love the duvet as it kept me warm during many cold Scottish winter nights. In the meantime, though, it has become the pinnacle of lunacy - and yet a perfect emotional representation of how I feel. Not only is the duvet far too big for my single-size bed in Berlin, but it will also be too warm. Just as out of place the blanket will be in my room, I feel in Berlin 50 days after I got here.

Truth is, I never anticipated it. After all, being German should come naturally. Somehow, though, I lost touch with the German Lebensgefühl along the way. I missed out on four years of a nation creatively redefining herself and it feels like I am meeting a long lost cousin. I am rediscovering what it means to be German - cultural stereotypes and clichés I faced aside. It is heart-warmingly beautiful. I listen to a lot of German music and I am watching pretty much every important German movie released during past four years. This morning, I found myself crying one-third through one of the best movies I have seen this year.* A little later, I was laughing hysterically at the jokes of my favorite German TV series - because contrary to popular belief, German humor is hilarious and witty. Sometimes it makes me sad that so many of my close friends will never be able to enjoy it with me.

The advances of fully embracing it all and letting myself be carried by the cloud of German Lebensgefühl, however, aren't as successful as I'd want them to be. Part of it is due a subconscious resitance because I am not sure I want to be here at all. An even bigger aspect of it is, though, that as much as I'd want to fully embrace it all, I don't think I can. At least not in Berlin. Ironically, the city that has become a synonym of freedom for not only my generation is nothing but a gilded cage for me. I feel suffocated by the expectations people have of me in this place. I long for the independence I used to have and I envy anyone moving here to live in the freedom of the city as it is something I'll never be able to do.

* For anyone interested and able to speak German, it is called "Heiter bis wolkig". Trailer can be found here. But even if you don't speak German, definitely watch it - even if it just for the extremely handsome male actors ;)

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