Thoughts on the plane last Friday.
Looking out the window I see snow capped mountains, rivers, a lake, fields and towns that seem like mere dots below me and the earth in shades of yellow, red, brown and grey. I’m leaving Spain – only for a week, but thinking about that the day before my flight suddenly made me sad. Sad to be reminded of the fact that Madrid is just another place I will have to leave behind. After six months, it already feels like home. What’s so special about Madrid? I thought for a moment and realised that it is different from my other homes – Germany is home by birth, but then despite many typical German traits I may posses, I do not feel fully German. Pakistan became home by choice, but then no matter how much I love Pakistan, I’m not Pakistani. Cultures I grew up in without belonging to either one. In Spain, I am obviously a foreigner, know I am and am treated as such – and yet I have been welcomed and allowed to feel at home. Like I belong. All the world can be met in Madrid, it thrives with people from a rich variety of cultures, languages, backgrounds. I can just be me. Some days a little bit more German, other days more Pakistani, other days an international mix or even a little Spanish – Madrid is like a mixed salad in which you can be what you like: tomato, lettuce, cucumber, sweet corn, walnuts, tuna, chickpeas, capsicum, mushroom, cheese…it all fits!
As the plane gains altitude I remember where I’m heading and can’t quite believe I will soon be walking the streets of Freiburg and seeing so many friends and family again…suddenly I’m glad to be going. I ban all melancholy thoughts from my mind and decide to enjoy my week holiday “at home” before returning to Madrid for another six months. It is too early to think of goodbyes – some time remains for me to live in the beautiful city I have so quickly grown to love.