Sunday, September 21, 2008

Back where I belong?

Now it’s Sunday, and in my client’s office in Abu Dhabi the IT boys have been able to find my computer, and the German keyboard I prefer to use, even after my absence of almost nine months. And the data I save on the first week of January is still there!

Less cheerful news is the fact that Blogger seems to be blocked and so... (Hang on, although I can't sign in as usual I can get access by leaving a comment... Complicated... but kinda cool!)

It was a very strange Saturday in Munich, however. I took exactly the same suburban train at exactly the same time of day as when I go to the office of my German client. The first strangeness was the fact that even at this early hour there were dozens of people in Bavarian national costume on their way to secure good places for the ritual opening of the Oktoberfest; ‘twas most picturesque.

In stead of leaving the train in the township on the outskirts of Munich where I usually get off I stayed aboard until the terminus, Munich Airport.

The Etihad flight was as usual comfortable even in economy class, particularly since I had a window seat in an exit row. Hot and humid, of course, in Abu Dhabi but it was a joy to be back in my flat which is more than twice as big as my accommodation (with Murphy bed) in Munich.

And then there were the welcomes… from the watchmen in the building, from the men who run the tiny grocery round the corner, from the staff at my ‘canteen’, Le Beaujolais. Then this morning from colleagues in my client’s office… The view from my desk now includes a beach which simply didn’t exist when I was last here.

Bizarre… the fact that I do feel at home here, possibly simple because half-a-decade of residence inevitably leaves its mark. Not that there’s anything I dislike about having business in Munich, and the companionship of my daughter is a joy, but I nevertheless feel like a visitor when in Germany.

I have the dreadful suspicion that in a few weeks time, when I attend the MipCom event in Cannes, I’ll feel at home as ever in France.


Carsten said...

Greetings from the outskirts of Munich and the best of luck for your time in the sandlands - hope to see you in the near future for one more cigarette on the front steps!

Jessi said...

loved to read your stories!
and I think it is just normal that you fell like coming home. it was your home nearly six years...
see you next week in our "stammkneipe"!