Making the adjustments, to living in a foreign land, until this foreign place felt, more like home to you, translated…
Choosing the hotels, I’m used to living in the cities, or closer to the stations, for the sake of convenience. As I’d, walked toward the Rhine in Germany, I still, couldn’t decide whether to find my stay in Kohn or Dusseldorf. My friend suggested, that we should, find a small town close by, we’d already, bought the monthlong fares, we needn’t worry about the charges of the transportation, and, it’d, saved up on the city taxes, and, close to the ordinary citizens’ lives.
I’d, pulled open the map, trekked along the railroad, from Koln to Dusseldorf, there were, two mid-size towns on the east side of the Rhine, one was the famous headquarters of the soccer team of Leverkusen, made famous by Bayer, the other, was one town I’d never even heard of, Langenfeld. As we got to the middle of our journey, it’s time, that we added in, some sort of a leisure of the vacation, and, without a second thought, we’d, picked Langenfeld.
There were two stations locally, both were on the same linear line, the southern one was closer to the center of the city, and got its name of the city, and it’s, also the transportation center for all the busses in the region. And, on the northern side of the town, there was another, and, it took the name of the highway that intersected with it, Langenfeld-Berghausen , the app of the railroad app on my cell abbreviated this place as Langenfeld-B, made it look like a spare door, so easily missed out on.
I’d gone out in the morn, walked to the northern side of the town to catch a bus, and on the evenings, I’d, gone to take the bus on the south side, and, although, it’d, doubled my way to the bed and breakfast, I could, have the opportunities to shop locally at the supermarkets.
And I’d selected the south side station at night, other than it being where all the shopping marts are, there’s also a personal reason. As I’d walked along during the daytime, I’d heard the loud barks of viciously sounding dogs.
The first day, and the second day too, I’d only heard the bark, but didn’t see the dog. And, although I knew, that there are, NO strays on the roads in Germany, that the barking must be from a house, with a pet, but, I couldn’t, get that image of a vicious dog out of my mind. Like there’s, a huge breed of dog that is going to, run out at anytime toward me, especially, in the darkness of night, all the impossible, became, a possibility.
The bed and breakfast was a three story building, the top floor, was a special place, a one-person bedroom, with the bath and the kitchens, I’d originally wanted to use it for when my parents came visiting, that the lighting was great, it’s, comfortable too, and we wouldn’t, step on each other’s toes. And, as my parents didn’t come, I could, rent it out, for some extra cash.
The owner of this B&B is the energetic woman, lived with her four, five-year-old son, she worked two jobs regularly, with a steady boyfriend who’s an architect, the three of them got along very well. And, as I’d found the place, the family of three were about to head out. The woman told me, that she’s dropping her son off to spend the weekend with his father, then, she and her boyfriend would go to the Netherlands, to have some alone time together.
On the third day, I’d walked on that same path to the station. And, I’d, gotten to the station, without much trial, and felt, that something, wasn’t, there, oh, the dog had, stopped barking. Turns out, as he’d, looked upon me, an outsider, day in and day out, he’d finally, gotten, used to me now. On the fourth day, he’d, played cute with me, and started, whimpering at me as I passed him by from the other side of the road, like wanted me to go and introduce myself to him or something.
And, I’d finally, gotten a closer look at his features, he was, an intelligent looking shepherd, not as huge as I thought it was, but, we were, separated by the fences, and, I can only, look at it from this side of the fences, we were, separated, by a small garden.
On the last night, I’d contemplated that if I have another serving of cheese and sausage, I shall got NUTS, and that if the dog wasn’t a problem anymore, perhaps, I should, get off on the north side.
The moon was bright, like a silvery plate, very circular, it’s, that season of full moon that came during autumn. As I’d, walked across the forest, there wasn’t any passing car, the branches and the leaves blocked out the lights, then suddenly, the wind blew down some leaves, made the shadows come alive, and, I’d, felt scared.
Looking at a city, from being unfamiliar with it, to becoming, accustomed with it, which way to turn, which way to stop, it all became, habitual, but, the side effects of that was, I’d become, hyper alert of the shapes, and the changes in air, any small movement, can make me jump. Especially, on a full moon’s night, everything mystique, seemed to be, coming to life.
Thankfully, that shepherd sounded its bark, very low and settling, like it was saying to me, Hey, what are you afraid of, welcome home!
And so, this, is how this person had, gone from a stranger to a new place, to becoming, totally, familiar with it, and now, this place that was, once foreign to her/him, became, home…