It’s going to be less than 1 week before I head back to Germany. For good. For a long while at least and I am going to make this my base of operations.
I have mentioned this before, that yes, when you are living abroad, you learn more about your country, people and culture. I also got older in China and possibly had the biggest changes or growth here in terms of who I am.
I am a different person now. I am in a stable relationship, I know what I like and dislike with a fair amount of certainty and I don’t have to pretend or grow into something that I think I like or try to be someone else. This sounds really evolutional and unique and I know it is not, it’s just growing up.
Speaking of this I want to lead this with this fantastic song by Hundreth:
The song is ‘Youth’ and has a The Smiths, The Cure vibe to it and is a pretty big step from their former music. I know it’s a dark song and it can be quiet depressing but it’s really not. Allow that feeling and dive in and enjoy then move on. Sometimes Katatonia or rage filled Deathcore songs can recover you quickly from whatever you don’t want to feel, if you allow it.
Actually the older Hundredth song (Weathered Town) I have linked says in a few words that some up how I feel right now, scream it with me and them:
I’ve gotta get out of here, but the memories I’ll take with me. everywhere I go, to everyone I know. These memories will stay with me. To escape this weathered town and what this place is all about.
For days I have started to write this article, then deleted it, then left bits and pieces of it and rewrote and started anew and repeated this so many times. I just want to share my excitement and contempt with the situation and decision.
When I was in the military (mandatory military service, that wasn’t super mandatory anymore) in Germany at age 19/20, I thought it was cool to crawl through mud, shoot guns, do obstacle courses and maybe learn something about being orderly/clean/put together (nothing of this was how I imagined), I learned instead how much I despise arbitrary rules and power imbalances that clearly shouldn’t tilt a certain way the way they did. I also learned that negative motivation does not work on me, nor does group punishment and the group pressure/guilt resulting from that. I did crawl through mud, I did shoot guns and jumped over obstacles like someone stealing golden rims and I have been clean and orderly enough before this ordeal. Don’t know why I did that to myself? Laser tag or paintball is more fun, but with that being said, it has been an experience that I wouldn’t have missed and I met friends for life and learned how that institution works. It was super interesting.
So I came back to China in 2011 and thought it was cool to proof myself wrong, because when coming back after 1 year in China during my studies I sold myself the idea of having seen everything I wanted to see and had a great experience but would enjoy Germany after this and possibly not return for a while. I did that, I did proof myself wrong and stayed for 6 years and a bit and now I have seen a lot of things and learned more than I could have imagined.
Most importantly I learned to be totally okay with being German, totally okay with being from Saxony, being able to speak an accent from there. Having a an opinion on almost everything and knowing a lot but also nothing in comparison to some super stars in other categories.
There is a lot to learn about oneself and sometimes you have to dig through your onion layers and sometimes they just show with age, if one makes an effort.
I finished Jordan Peterson’s book and it is nothing short of amazing, possibly the most powerful book since a long, long time and it’s smart, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, sometimes it is monstrous and dark, but always interesting, educational and I really find it to be life changing in the best possible way. And right after I devoured another fiction book. I am on a roll!
Serious stuff aside, I discovered the funniest person EVER I have seen playing VR video games, Maxmoefoe that Australian legend is definitely the first Youtuber that had me in stitches and watching hours of someone playing video games (I have never gotten the appeal before). His accent, mannerisms, personality and high energy is a blast! Come on watch this and try not to laugh. I have played that game for 2 minutes with friends in the room and had fun but I have had more watching him do this.
Serious stuff back on: I’m planning to bring new habits back home, I will try to keep doing intermittent fasting (doing 16 hours at the moment during the 4-5 days), I will try to keep drinking alcohol to the same amount I am currently drinking (not drinking alcohol for 4-5 days and then not really limiting myself on the weekend or special occasions but just keeping an eye on it and how I feel after), I will try to keep on reading currently at least 30 minutes (more like an hour) before sleeping and some in the morning. Working out of course, once I am able to bike, run and jump and fight again and many more habits. The scale is also a better friend to me now with kilos being shredded off and more exercise the more the recovery allows.
Everything finishes up beautifully. I found a fantastic tattoo artist about 5 years ago and good friend that gave me great memories and just yesterday finished up a sleeve that combines different ideas I hold dear and a picture of a place where I am from into something I will always have with me. His tattoo studio is called Yiling Long Tattoo and you can find it if you happen to be in Shanghai and Zhabei here, drop by, he is great and currently working on his English: 1691 Gonghexin Rd, Zhabei (now JingAn, but only in papers not my heart), Shanghai, China.
Shanghai has felt a lot like getting a tattoo. It’s great in the beginning and super exciting and you might be a bit disorientated coming here which compares to the phase before the adrenaline kicks in, then it becomes just fantastic. Once the adrenaline output becomes naturally lower, the pain increases and then you have to take a break. In China that comes in handy with Visa runs or trips outside the country to relax and take a break from the rush. You take that break and smoke a cigarette or have a lollipop or whatever is your tattoo break thing. After that you sit back down or you are back in Shanghai and your pain tolerance just has slightly decreased, it’s not that long until your next break. After 4 hours of being tatted everything just hurts and you can decide to stick that out and push through the pain and get everything done, but you really shouldn’t (I did that a lot 6 hours, last time 8). You need breaks, maybe stop, you will eventually come back like a lot of people that get a second or third tattoo or so, similar with Shanghai where you might or might not come back and eventually you will stop before you are covered from head to toe. The length of the time I was 100% content living in China became shorter and shorter and the amount of breaks to keep me sane without high blood pressure needed became more and more and in October last year the decision cooked up to stop and leave and move on and now is the time. I hope this analogy makes sense. Personally I am proud of having cooked that up!
Anyway, I will have to take a break, because packing still has to be done, the bike still needs to be sold, some things have to be wrapped up, errands have to be run, beers to be had with friends that come over from different countries (thank you guys it means A LOT!) for a last beer walk, food has to be eaten, Black Panther to be watched and a whole lot more when I am back in Germany next week and please understand that I will start blogging again once I have place, a job, running internet and settled in a little bit.
I love you all for reading this and stuff from or about me and hope it gives you as much joy as it does to me or even a bit, as I am not sure about your tolerance.