In Maisons-Laffitte, a suburb in Paris
I couldn't find any place to stay in France and I decided to go back to Germany and see my family instead, which was a great decision. I got to see my brother the last week before he would be off to Argentina for 8 months. I wasn’t very innocent in his decision making process to go to Argentina. Argentina is fab, I could go visit him and really in the end it was a good chance to go abroad before he'll graduates from Uni soon and serious life and business starts kicking in. Being back in Germany for that long since I have left, and being around old childhood places, meeting old familiar faces rather surprisingly was odd and great at the same time. Reconnecting with places and people from my past, also allowed me see experiences, people and even myself in a new light.
One night I went to a birthday and it turned out to be a proper pub night in Cologne. I thought I wouldn’t know anyone except for Mattes and didn’t expect to stay very long. The minute I entered the pub I stumbled into one friend I haven’t seen in 15 years and then another friend from elementary I haven’t seen in 22 years and like this a chain of further reunions and exciting conversations moved on and on. It was amazing, my whole mood and energy changed instantly from being a quick visitor to being very excited and super happy to meeting so many familiar faces, having hours and hours of talks and laughter, remembering times which were hidden under a lot of dust in the deepest corners of my memory, almost rotten to be forgotten forever. I ended up staying till early morning, chatting and playing my favourite during school time “kicker” – table soccer which I used to be really good at and hey nice surprise, still do pretty well in.
My last stop in Germany was to visit friends in Munich, whom I lived with in Ecuador 8 years ago in an AIESEC intern flat and haven’t seen since. Their story is one of the most beautiful and touching that I could think of. When I was about to leave Ecuador in October, the two recently met and fell in love with each other. He was European and she Ecuadorian. It was all still very, very fresh and exciting but also difficult as they were facing difficulties to be with each other under the reign of a rather strict, traditional Ecuadorian father. Only a month after I have left Ecuador, in November I heard the news that two have married to free themselves from the restrictions they were facing otherwise and give themselves and their relationship the space to unfold more freely. Then they were both in their mid twenties, still studying in two different countries, having to face a long distance relationship for a period of time. Having had the chance to hear how they mastered all the challenges in the past years, moving countries, completing studies, reconciliating the divide and conflict in the family as a result of their courageous decision and dealing with complicated burocratic formalities and citizenship, I met an amazing couple and very strong love which has left me with huge inspiration for what their courage, trust and strong will could create for their lives.