Where We Come From

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My hotel, the Schloss Wilkenhedge, is a “water castle”, which is a small castle surrounded by a moat in the countryside. After dinner, usually around 9 or 10, while the sunset is still intense, I go for a walk through the forest near the hotel. The trees in the forest are tall and thin, stretching ...

German Child Services

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I'm sweating through my jeans in a hallway in Germany. I'm alone in the hallway, there's an empty wooden chair to my right. I came here unannounced, and they've stuck me out here because they don’t know what to do with me. The corridor is thin and lined with rooms. I can hear voices come ...

My Muscle Memory

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I’ve made the trip to Germany so many times, that the whole process has become akin to muscle memory. I board in the late afternoon in Denver, and fly to either Frankfurt or Munich (depending on the day). I work for the first couple hours and watch a movie when the meal is served. If ...

German Sarcasm

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I watch the table in front of me bark orders at the waiter. He scrambles backwards into the kitchen. After he’s done filling their requests, he circles to my table. He bends over to clear the plate in front of me. I’ve eaten everything, there’s barely any indication that there was food on the plate. “How ...

Munsterland

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Every time I open the door, I’m drawn to pictures of someone else’s life. An AirBnB, they’re everywhere in the apartment: friends posing, drinking, celebrating, mostly all young attractive girls. Oddly, none of the pictures are of the boyfriend who let me into the flat. All of the pictures are hung high on the walls ...

Feels Real to Me

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Today is unusual because some of the clouds are distinguishable from each other. They have features and colors, instead of the usual complete opaque radiating grayness that sits overhead like warm artificial light, in an upscale furniture chain store. Sometimes I can't believe that this sky is the same sky that I see. That the clouds ...

Accumulated

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On my second day in Germany, I wake up bewildered and feel like half of myself. Before I arrive, I look forward to the moment when I can see my daughter again, dream about it for weeks in advance. And all of those emotions and feelings are correct and true. But once I arrive a ...

Lufthansa Blue

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The plane lands into a pathetic little blizzard. It had been 60 when I left Denver, with a week of sun to come. The weather for Germany had shown rain eight out of ten days. It seems to be worse than that. I do a mental checklist going through the warm clothes that I brought. It's ...