Wednesday, 4 November 2015


Once back home I had a week before Sjors’ move to Spain. We sold all our furniture, packed everything that could be sent and on the 8th of March my boyfriend took his flight to Barcelona, where he started working on the 9th of March. “I can see the mountains and the sea from my office!” Sjors said exited on the telephone. On the 13th of March, the day of my 30th birthday, I gave notice at work and I invited my friend Barbara to come to my place in the evening. We were drinking a self-made cosmopolitan, when Sjors called. “I have found this great flat, but I cannot pay the deposit as my bank has blocked my account… I still have seven euro but they won’t last long.” The German bank thought someone was using Sjors’ debit card in Barcelona and for security reasons they blocked his account. I rang the call center of the bank, but as none of the operators seemed to be ready to release the block, I suggested Sjors that he should go to the German Consulate in Passeig de Gràcia and ask them to call the bank in Berlin. The day after at 10am, while Sjors was in the consulate I stood in front of a banker and I told her: “Your bank has caused several problems blocking the card of my boyfriend… The German consulate in Barcelona is going to call you within minutes.” The telephone rang, the lady paled, the bank account was unblocked and Sjors managed to get his money and pay the deposit for the flat, where we are currently living. Finally I was ready to leave Berlin, but this time I could not move to my new home by train, as I did when I left London back in February 2005.

London, Paris, Milan, February 2005

Olaf took one of my three bags and his own one and we walked down the stairs inside Waterloo station to reach our Eurostar. About three hours later we reached La Ville Lumière, where we had planned to spend our last four days together. The Eiffel Tower was sparkling in the night and the Olympic Candidate logo “Paris 2012” could be seen from the Trocadéro gardens. “I wonder which city will host the Olympic games in 2012” I said. “I’m sure it will be London.” Commented Olaf.

When the four Parisian days were over, Olaf took me to Gare de Lyon; we kissed goodbye and my train to Milan left. The journey last less than seven hours, but I had enough time to fantasize how my new life in Germany would be, the new friends I would make and the new places I would explore. I imagined myself traveling from Berlin to Moscow and from there with the Tran Siberian to Ulan Bator and Peking.

It was about 8pm when I reached Milan central station and my mobile phone rang. “I have to go to Japan for business, do you want to come for a couple of weeks?” Asked Olaf.