7 months ago I arrived in Munich. 24 November 2009.
I arrived late at night and Marc, my Aiesec buddy welcomed me at the airport. We took a 45 minutes trip from the airport to the place where I was supposed to stay. We got lost. He did not know exactly where I was supposed to live. After 15 minutes of walking in circles in an area called Dülferstraße, we arrived. The U-bahn station was so colorful that made me feel really good. AIESEC had found me a room in an apartment with 5 other people, who, later I found out, where all Asians. The room looked very sterile. No carpet, all white, one bed, one table, one wardrobe. It was not home. I did not bring any blankets with me. I had to use the one there. I had no sheets to cover it because there was no room in my suitcase for sheets and I already planned to buy some from Munich and save space for something else. So I had to use it just as it was, used by someone else and that created me a profound state of discomfort. I hate sleeping in someone else’s sheets when I do not know that person. Sometimes when I have to go to a hotel that is not so nice I bring my own sheets so that I feel comfortable.
I was looking forward to the next day to start so I can see the light, see where I was, shop for a prepaid card for my mobile phone and shop for food. I fell asleep with the light on. This is a habit I have whenever I move into a new home. I always leave the lights on in the first night. I think it is because I feel scared and lonely. The light helps. Plus I hate the darkness. I think I will stop being afraid of the darkness when I will have children and I will have to offer them support and tell them:”Don’t be scarred, mommy is not scarred”, while I am walking with them in the dark. They will have no idea that their mother is more scared than they are.
So that night I felt scared and lonely and the light helped, a little. And, as always when I am feeling lonely, I fell asleep watching Star Trek.
And the first night passed….the next day I woke up at 7 and went to the shopping mall at 8. In the morning the sun was shinning and made my sterile room seem promising. I started to see the room as it could have been. I was seeing pictures on one wall, a colorful carpet on the floor and flowers in a vase on the table. Started to paint the room in my head in beautiful colors and to make it a place I would enjoy living. “It is not so bad”… I said to myself. I exited my house without a scarf or a warm jacket and the cold wind woke me up when I exited the building. I was at the shopping mall at 8.10. The supermarket opened at 9. I had the choice of coming back home and waiting in the sterile room or wait inside the shopping complex, for the Media Markt store to open so I can get a SIM card and call my buddy and call my friends. More than food or anything else, I wanted to talk.
I waited there. I figured it will give me a chance to notice people and get some ground on where I was. So I sat on a chair. A woman soon came and sat on the other chair. She then started to talk to me, in German. I could not understand a word she was saying but I understood she was a bit “mentally confused” so I stood there next to her and listen, and nodding “yes, yes” from time to time. I was talking to someone, even if it was a “mentally confused” conversation. At 9 sharp the store opened. Because I am sometimes very impulsive, I chose the first SIM card there: Vodafone. It did not have the best prices, I found out later, but for now it will have to do. It is useless to say that I spend all the credit, 15 euros, in just a few hours.
Then I called Marc and we met to shop for food. The first days were acceptable. Sure, the discomfort caused by the place I was living in was not so big. I was more concerned about the place where I was supposed to work.
to be continued