25 Jun 2014


Last weekend, I visited Karlsruhe in southern Germany. 

When I left Hamburg it was grey and raining; but a summer breeze and sunshine greeted me when I arrived in Karlsruhe. This country is definitely divided into two when it comes to temperatures. I love Karlsruhe for so many reasons. It was the first city I lived in when I moved to Germany and to me, it feels like a miniature version of a big city, and it embraced me like a warm hug.

The phrase "déjà vu" is French and means "already seen". When I returned for a short visit, it felt like the town hadn't changed at all as if I had left it in a time capsule. Only the construction sites had moved a few kilometres down the road. But the castle was still there, the large gardens, the people still spoke their wonderful dialect (there's something so charming about the southern German dialect), and the shops, pubs and restaurants I had often visited were all the same.

When I first arrived in Karlsruhe, I was twenty-four, "fresh off the boat" and spoke imperfect German. Everything was new for me from: shopping at Aldi or Rewe, using the tram system or finding a flat share. It might sound like a cliché but everything is different in Germany. There are so many cultural differences that are impossible to list. And I don't mean that different is bad. It's just different. And so, Karlsruhe represents the beginning of an exciting journey. It's where I first found an internship, a WG, German friends, and ultimately where I learned to navigate life in Germany.

Fabian also happened to be down in the south (he's living in Holland now with his girlfriend) and it was awesome to be back in an old place and see how much we'd changed and how much we'd experienced. And goddammit...I love the south for its rad weather, blue skies and endless green!