Full of anticipation and eagerness, I started on my one year’s journey to Germany. Friends and family were sad and tearful at my leaving, but as for me, I felt only a strange feeling of zest and impatience, to kick off my next chapter of life. I left them behind me, in the departure hall of Changi Airport. It seemed like yesterday, when I first set foot in Germany. Has it already been one year?
Everything went by so fast, that it became so surreal as if it had never happened before. Mainz, the dom, the meandering streets of the old town and the Rhine river, then to USA, the quiet little town in Massachusetts, the harrowing drives to Niagara, to Landshut, the Bruecke, the Christmas Market, the little shopping street which I loved so much, and then poof! I am back in Singapore. Soon I will ask myself, “Have I ever been there?”, then I will start to forget the names and faces of the people whom I have met here, then the feelings, memories……
I am going to miss all these — the quiet moments beside the river, the messy little apartment, the mindblowing bicycle rides, the solo moments to myself. Soon these will be replaced by the bustling activities of the city, dinners, movies, friends, family and slowly they will fade away. I will never come back here, as part of the town. Instead, I will be back as a visitor, an observer, detached from the people and places.
I should be intoxicated with happiness at the very thought that I am going back into the embrace of my homeland and the familar warmth of family and friends. However, strangely, I have felt a perpetual ache in my heart, since the last day of work, knowing that I will miss this town, the people and most of all, my tranquil life and brief taste of freedom. I wish that all these do not need to come to an end, but sometimes the choice is not mine.
This will be my last night in Germany. WIth this last entry, I close the page for this chapter of my life. Auf Wiedersehen!
You will miss this place,
But will it miss you?
23th December 2002