13 Days in Bonn

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It has been 13 days since we came to Bonn, and three hours since thunder rent the cloudy air this morning.

 

Rainy scene outside our window in Bonn

We thought we’d miss the monsoons in Germany but this land is as rain-stung as tropical India. As we write, birds soar high into the splotchy sky and steady sheets of rain turn the playground outside our window into chocolatey mush.

 

It’s actually spring in Bonn, a charming green city that was once the capital of West Germany. And on most days, the sun shines strong and the children come out to play. But some days like this one, belong to the erratic strokes of a pen.

Chocolate ice-cream in Friesdorf, Bonn

Our supermarket visits often end with this 1€ ice-cream from Eiscafe

We’ve had two weekends to explore a forest, a park and a castle. But honestly, most of our adventures have taken place in the myriad supermarkets – scanning labels, making notes of prices and losing ourselves in rows and rows of bread, cakes and fruits. Ah, the simple pleasures of domesticity, house-keeping and finally ‘adulting’.

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Ankita:

There’s only one window open in our little hotel-apartment but it’s enough to tantalise my senses with the scent of fresh rain. The Germans like their windows big – as also the pillows, light switches, forests and parks. I can’t say I mind.

Our apartment window in Friesdorf, Bonn

I can gaze endlessly at the sylvan scene outside my bedroom window, until I realise I’m hungry and I must rustle up a quick (or laborious, as per the mood) lunch.

Food here has been an enjoyable marriage of Indian and German – their breads, our masalas; their induction tops, our time-tested steelware. And we’ve managed to sate ourselves – with the noodles, rice and rotis as well as the soulful stretches of greenery.

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Sunset in Bonn, Germany

The sun sets at 9:30 PM, no kidding.

It wasn’t like this right from the start of course. For the first couple days, we were mostly wary. Germany has opened herself to a stream of Syrian refugees and with our brown skin, we knew we could be mistaken for them.

We took care to dress well, smile, and say hallo (no, not hello). And eventually, we began to breathe easier, walk slower and pause wherever we wanted. Eventually (and it didn’t take all that long), we began to feel at home.

Spring flowers in Bonn, Germany

Home is where you get to smell the roses.

Of course, there have been hilarious encounters that would make for great party anecdotes. Like the time when we had to tell the purely German-speaking receptionist that we wanted the shower gel refilled, or the time when we couldn’t find table salt even after three rounds of Aldi, a local supermarket.

But to tell you the truth, we like living in a non-English speaking country. Getting to romance a new language is an invaluable perk of moving.

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A street in Friesdorf, Bonn

A fairytale street in our neighbourhood

While earlier, most of our travels were centred around Asia, we hope to scale the length and breadth of the EU in the times to come. But for now, even discovering a woody new straße in our neighbourhood feels like stumbling upon one of the seven wonders.

Tschüss! Bis später.

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