There was a time, before my wrinkles set in and my back flipped out, where I was, what we would describe as… ‘bleh-Olympics’. “They could be spending that money on better things,” I would cry from my pedestal, scoffing brand name food. “It causes unnecessary stress for residents,” I would shout over my unnecessarily loud Music System, turned up to drown out the obnoxious cries of my neighbours. “It destroys the country side”, I would proclaim looking out my metropolitan window. But now in the age of my own city’s hosting, I feel the pang that any hipster too busy being alternative has when he sees people genuinely having fun.
Never having any predisposed association to my home country, I wasn’t unpatriotic so much as I was preparing myself for being an “Earthling” for the inevitable alien invasion. It does evoke a sigh to see so many people enjoying their contentious attitudes against something as internationally sporting as the Olympics. To be honest, I think we’re all just jealous that we can’t live in the Olympic Village which must just be the greatest orgy of hormonal, perfectly chiseled young athletes that this planet has to offer.
I’ve never felt more British than when I came to Heidelberg. For me, I wasn’t just in Heidelberg, I was in Germany, a different country from my own. Suddenly I was aware of what cultures thought of my own and which idealistic planes we met upon and those which we differed. But thankfully, as linguistic and cultural comparisons dwindled, this little town stopped being an object of its own and became home. There must be a transitory period, different for all, where a place stops being a novelty, and becomes truly a home. There’s home and then there’s home. Heidelberg for a long time was the former, a place I felt safe, rested and happy in, but it was still something other. Now, in the final few weeks, it feels as if it’s become somewhere I could spend the rest of my life, I feel as I imagine I would one year into a new city or job, where finally your place is found and you can see its future stretch before you. A place of true home-grown independence, and a place of home to return to in the near future. I think nothing of speaking German now, given last year I didn’t even know what “what” was “was” in German.
But as Marina said, it’s always good to get a little German in me. Just tell me his name and I’ll happily oblige.