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First Time in England


The plane has landed, I collected my luggage and now I need to find a place where I can exchange my Euros for the bus. Standing there in the big hall where the passengers claim their baggage at one of the oval band-conveyors seems unreal; then there is the rumbling of the bands, the passing-by fellow passengers and the weight of the ten kg and fifteen kg bags hanging heavily from my shoulders that slowly throw me out of the imaginary world onto the solid floor of the airport.


It is the first time I set foot on English ground, with me only a bunch of people who decided to take the cheapest flight that late at night. I head forward to leave the building, trying to find the bus station first in case the next one arrives in the next couple of minutes. Once the glass doors slide to the side a fresh breeze surrounds my face and the smell of dewy leaves crawls up my nose. It is cooler than in Berlin which suits me well as carrying the heavy bags already triggers my sweat glands.


In the darkness I walk down a small street following the side of the building to the place where I spotted the bus sign. The straps start pressing strongly into my shoulders and in addition I need to prevent them from slipping off. According to the timetable I have to wait over 30 minutes, not that I waited enough already at the passport control and the baggage claim. As I must spend an annoying amount of time, I decide to try my luck by finding a place where I can get some pounds.

Inside of the main entrance rules pure emptiness. I assume no flights leave this small airport in the East Midlands at midnight. Therefore the shops are already closed as well. Fortunately, I can find a cash point. Feeling rich now, I return to the bus station, happy that I can put down the bags for a while. Sitting on them, I put on my headphones, listening to Silbermond, glaring into the scattered lights in the distance.


Again a sense of excitement appears, for being in England is a dream I had for a long time. Unbelievable that I am here right now. Just thinking about the future sends a wave of adrenalin through my chest; consequentially a smile emerges on my face. Studying in England, meeting new friends, living in halls, being able to write professionally and learning how to see the value in films seems overwhelming. The regular beat of the music makes me want to dance although it would look foolish right there alone at the bus station.


My eyes drift upwards to the black sky where a few clouds pass by. Suddenly vivid images appear in my mind while a strong wind hits me from the back. As if I were there right now, I see Anica, one of my best friends, lying next to me on the boat in the middle of a large lake, watching the reddish sundown. Then there are my parents in the living room, eating ordered pizza. My mouth fills with saliva while thinking about the delicious cheese stuffed crust. Next, I picture myself some hours earlier, standing at the airport surrounded by most of my closest friends and my mum.


Water gathers in my eyes; ceaselessly they stare onto the pavement. My body turned to stone; apparently no muscles are able to move while the memory drains on my energy. Whispered words of farewell materialise in my auricle, simultaneous to the imaginary tight embrace that warms my flesh. The perfume of my mum comes to my mind, a familiar prickly scent combined with the chemical substance of hairspray. A tear breaks loose from my left eye, slowly winding down the side of my nose until it halts in motionlessness. The wet path it leaves behind gets cold and the spot where it rests starts to tickle but I am still unable to move one single inch.


Thus, I sit there, at the bus stop, frozen in time, honouring the people I left behind and somehow even lamenting the losses my moving to England entails. Although I know the choice was inevitably for my own sake, I will still miss the old life. I wipe away the tear and get up, watching the bus as it arrives noisily. A few metres to my right it comes to a stop with a hissing ejection of air. Self-confident, holding my back straight and breathing in deeply, I pack my belongings and approach the bus.



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