We are in Vancouver. The sky train is humming along on its elevated tracks, leaving the Sea Island, crossing the wide, gray Frazer River, and I think wow, this doesn’t look anything like the Vancouver of my imaginations.
Grim looking factories and half-abandoned storage facilities are everywhere, their corrugated-iron roofs mercilessly picked at by the hand of the cold and humidity, leaving behind red scabs of rust and decay.
Then we are at the end of the line and we haul our backpacks onto backs for one last time and step onto the city’s wide, flat streets. Flat, because at first glance, it looks like we have landed in the middle of a mid-sized American town. Wide, languid avenues; squat, single-storey shops and over-sized, unnecessarily loud pick-up trucks. I look at Sab and she is wearing the same look of disbelief.
And then comes the moment every traveler faces at least once on the road. Have we made a colossal mistake?
I miss Berlin.
How is that possible? I never truly felt at home in Berlin. Didn’t do much there, except getting stoned occasionally and letting rip with my camera lens, shooting anything that crossed my path.
Yet here I am, one day into our new life in Vancouver and all I can think of is how I miss Berlin. I miss her vibrancy, sense of movement, even her hipster culture; all artsy cafes and art nouveau spectacles. How absurd! Then again, I should have seen it coming;
That when traveling, you always end up with an inexcusable sense of nostalgia for the places you’ve just left. And the harder you find it in your new surroundings, the more intense the nostalgia.
So I sit in our new apartment, filled with the bitter-sweet taste of nostalgia, and try to remind myself that, someday, I’ll be somewhere else, and then, I’ll miss Vancouver too. And that makes me feel ever so slightly better. So I get up, turn off the lights, and go to bed, hoping for a better tomorrow.