First post from Pandemonium

I realise I could have written “from abroad” instead, but that has a notion of adventure, fun and vacation. None of which apply here. I am in France for two weeks, visiting my family for Christmas. If you find my writing weird or chopped up, it’s because I’m having a lot of trouble with this damn french keyboard. Have to set themselves apart… in the most unpractical way.

Pandemonium is the right word for two reasons: first, because it’s utter chaos – especially compared to Germany. No sense of organization whatsoever. Even when there are rules to go by, they are willingly ignored. Like little children, they do exactly the opposite. For example, blinking when not turning. But I shouldn’t start writing about their driving – that would take all day. The second reason is because of all the ancient demons haunting me when I come back here. I can’t really blame my mom for wanting to move – there are definitely more unpleasant memories than happy ones here. I’m glad I’m in a different place now.

For some reason, I had a much harder time leaving this time. I was in total denial and wouldn’t pack until late Sunday evening. I cried the rest of the time, not wanting to let The BF go. I literally shut off once the train crossed the border, not wanting to aknowledge the country, yet still getting all tensed up. As I left there were frosted open fields and a red-orange colored sky, everything was peaceful. As soon as we got to the Paris area, it was as if someone had sucked all the saturation out of the colors. Everything was gray – not only the landscape, but also the housings, the people – everything. And it was damn cold too. Luckily this time, when I got off the train, I wouldn’t have the battle of the métro ahead. I got picked up, to go to lunch with my sister. It might have taken 10 to 20 minutes to get from the station to the office and yet that would have been enough to die. I don’t know if the orderly German way has made me soft, but I literally shut my eyes and told my mom to just tell me when we’re there. I constantly thought we would either get run over or run over someone else. I was totally overcharged with all the stimuli, while my mom was surprised at “how empty and calm” it was…

We finally got to lunch, after my moody sister had shown me her office, had an unpleasant meal, and then left – which was all I wanted. By then it was time to pick up my little sister from school. At least she is a bundle of positive energy, even more so since that day was her birthday. Although I shouldn’t leave out my dog – a big fat Alaskan Malamute – who was so happy to see me he also went nuts, squeezing my arm so hard against the fence that I now have a bruise. So everything was back to ok once we were home. The house is old and cold and cluttered, but at least it’s familiar. My little town here has a population of about 8000. Big difference to Paris. One has too much, the other too little. What I like most about this place is the woods. I go for an hour everyday with my dog, just before picking up the little one, whos school is just at the entrance of the woods. Unfortunately, they’re expanding the highway that runs by, and they also want to build a new tram line. I told my mom: if the forest is gone, I’m not coming back here. She said that wouldn’t be necessary anyway, since she’s made up her mind – she’s moving to Germany next year.

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