Only a couple of days in, I find myself more perceptive of what happens around me here in Portland than I ever felt at home. I mean about the people, the buildings, the smells, everything. Maybe it’s because I haven’t met very many people yet and spend more time on my own than I normally do, consumed by my idle thoughts. Maybe it’s because there is so much more to see and actually observe in Portland than there is in Trier. Maybe it’s because, after identifying as a part-American living in Germany my whole life, I find that I am (at least in part) German after all.
When I first stepped of the plane, I swear, the air was different. And I don’t mean the humidity, or the freshness compared to 12 hours of stale plane air. This was American air. (Not trying to be all patriotic here, don’t worry.) This was the air from my childhood memories, the air I had first smelled on my very first Christmas, the air I had smelled again on my fourth birthday, the air I had smelled for the last time together with my late dad on the way to his mother’s funeral when I was eight, the air I had smelled for the first time as an adult five years ago, and now the air I smelled coming to the states for the first time all on my own (well, except for Wash, of course). It doesn’t smell that much different anymore, or I’ve gotten used to is by now.
I wonder what German air will smell like to me when I get back to Trier.