Dortmund Hbf

In a few minutes midnight approaches … A ticket controller with a blue uniform is sitting next to me; a middle aged woman probably in her forties. She’s bored and visibly tired. Staring at the tracks in front of her she hastily sips a couple of smokes from her cigarette… Naar Brussel?! – asks a guy in hurry pointing at the white Intercity… The woman gets up for a second. She throws away her cigarette and sits next to me in silence with her head placed on her left palm…. A new train has just arrived. I can hear from several places how the bag’s plastic wheels steadily role on the pavement. A grey coated bloke threw away his plastic bottle. The conductor looks at me. She gets up and puts her hands in her pockets… A smoking African chap just turned up looking for his train. A German speaking guy presents the next departing train… The conductor picked up her bag and left. Her place of work just arrived; a double floored train. The empty blue chairs of a second class carriage stare at me…Four more hours until the airport opens and eight more hours until my plain takes of. After more than four months faith once again sends me home… A sudden train whistle and the train in front of me slowly departs…I wanted to surprise my brother as your only brother’s graduation ceremony isn’t an every day event. He deserves at least this… I lazily put my legs on my grey bag. It’s almost midnight. Not a lot of gifts fill my bag as I didn’t have the necessary space, money or time for gifts. My winter clothes fill up my bag. A brown covered book snoozes on the bag. It doesn’t really talk to me right now. I put it down for a moment. What is the what? A book borrowed from my Spanish roommate. The war torn childhood of a Sudanese boy. He and a dozen or so songs on my mp3 player will be my companions on this journey… The Sun’s warmth starts to ware down and I can already feel the cold touch of the night…A frightened young woman runs around the train. She can’t really find the proper carriage. Once again the Station is empty. The batteries of my PC will last another thirty minutes and then once again the Sudanese Achak will share his stories.

Going back home after four and a half months. I prepared my self for it but still my Dutch life waits for me. Fewer than two months separate me from the end of my Dutch period. In many ways I’m scared of what lies ahead. Returning to a world where many things had changed but still many things remain the same. What should I prepare myself for? Probably I indifferently avoid this question, but it keeps popping up in my head. While I arrange the new products on the supermarket shelves my thoughts wonder in a million different places and still they keep narrowing down to the same question. What will follow? What will happen if everyone remained the same but you’d changed? I still avoid the question as sooner or later I will find the answer for it. Until that moment comes I still try to enjoy every moment of my life in Utrecht. Why not. People come and go. I leave behind cities, buildings, walls and chambers, beds and hugs and search for new ones…A couple of passing trains still shatter the silence of the night. A smoking woman coughs next to the other track. In two minutes it’s midnight. A few more hours. I still can’t feel the effect of the three energy drinks, but I’m not sleepy yet. All my valuable belongings are with me. So probably a coffee will follow. My backpack enjoys its slumber next to me, waiting to once again get on my back. Midnight…

7th of May 2008, Dortmund


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