There are so many things to learn when you decide to live in a new country. Things like – obviously, the language, then the rules of politeness or social behaviour – is it different to what I already know? and do? learning to read the food labels, read the menu, read the signs, listen on the bus and train to announcements over the intercom and try to decipher what it means…
I have settled into 2 apartments since I’ve been here in Winter -18’C.. one in Neukolln with old friends from Australia and Germany, and the latest one in Spring 25’C in another part of town – Steglitz, with new friends. Both of which I love and loved in different ways..
Steglitz feels like home to me, something about the amount of trees and greenery lining the streets, the beautiful old architecture, the flowers, and local shops.. the way that people know you in your favourite cafes and shops.. the friendly smile and wave. There’s something comforting about being snuggled in amongst these old buildings in an established neighbourhood. I look out my window each morning to a big old beautiful tree that fills up the inner courtyard of the apartment building I live in, it greets me with it’s abundance of green.. and a tiny squirrel who lately has been munching on the nuts and pods growing on the tree.
I am yet to put my name on the letterbox, I think about it every time I pass it in the lobby.. damn forgot again.. next time.. just a small sticker with my last name so the posty knows where to drop my letters. They still come but sometimes I wonder if some are lost in post-space..
I’ve had a few interesting experiences too with the postal system here – like when mum sent me a package I asked for – my soft guitar case (ok) – with a small container of ‘super green’ powder (not ok) German laws are pretty strict about what you can and can’t post into the country – and I found out by receiving a notification that I had to go and pick up my package at ‘customs’ centre down the road.. I went with the document (very important to take lots of documents with you wherever you go somewhere like that)..there I waited in line to be served.. then after some paperwork shuffling.. waited in a waiting room for anther hour or so.. then eventually my number was called and I got to go into another area where they get you to open the package and tell them what’s inside etc..
I was lucky the first time and the guy let me through with my stuff – seeing as the guitar case was already mine and not new – and the ‘super green powder’ after internet inspection of ingredients – was ok – ‘but don’t do it again’ – so I was allowed to go after a good couple of hours.. the next time was for some t-shirts I ordered.. seeing as they came from America – and the receipt was not on the outside – I had to go in again to do the same process – after a couple of hours I had to end up paying tax on my goods before I could take them home.. lesson learnt.. don’t order things outside of the EU!
So anyway.. apart from all this learning of the systems and language and moving twice.. I have also been on tour a lot – all around Germany and in England, Holland and Denmark…. and it’s been a busy few months of getting established and getting my music career off the ground here in Europe..
All in all I love it here and I wouldn’t change a thing.. I’ve had so many adventures and good times, and when I go through hard times I know it all makes me stronger..
In a couple of weeks I am going ‘Home’ to Australia to visit for a month or so and tour around the country.. I look forward to catching up with my family and friends and visiting my favourite places again.. I want to touch the ground in the Kimberlies and see the red red earth again set against the vivid blue sky, I want to sit at my favourite place on the river in East Fremantle and watch the sunset over the swan while magpies chatter nearby in the gumtrees, I want to go to South Beach (Wedding Beach) to sit and talk to the ocean – my favourite visioning spot, and I want to be amongst the trees at my mum’s place in the hills and watch the stars out at night in between the tall leaves..
I wonder how I will feel when I am ‘home’ in Oz, will I feel strange now or will I feel at home? will I be different or will it be different? will my friends be the same? will I miss my new home in Berlin? it’s sort of un-settling and settling at the same time to think about my different homes.. I hope to feel my roots again, my culture and my home.. touch base with familiarity, then leap off again into the unknown.. the big wide world.. I like being an adventurer.. I think I have always liked it.. and I think I always will… but I also know that I will always want a home.. wherever that may be..