I arrived in Cologne not knowing what to expect. The weeks prior to my trip were strenuous and sleepless and suddenly I was on a train heading to Cologne before I had time to plan anything. So needless to say, my first week was chaotic but I survived. And I survived because I was back in a city.
I grew up in big cities. Chicago, São Paulo, Paris, New York City… my body can navigate in a city. It recognizes the patterns of what makes a city, a city: color, sounds, graffiti, accents, chaos, style. Cologne is small, but it’s nevertheless a small city. I can’t say it enough. It makes me smile. It’s one less thing that I have to get use to or think about.
I feel whole. I listen to accents, see diversity, dirty streets, stylish and wacky dressed people and a touch of odd balls who strike up conversations with you in the oddest places or situations. It feels natural.
Whenever I tell someone Cologne feels like a city, their face molds into a Picasso. Well compared to Munich, Cologne feels like an actual city. I can’t explain it. It’s the vibe. A vibe I understand and can read. A vibe that I’m comfortable in.
Hi Cologne. I’m happy to make your acquaintance. Happy we’ve been thrown in each other’s life and are bound to spend a bit of time with each other.
Hi Juliana. Glad you made it. If we don’t understand each other at any point, just walk the streets and take life in, I’m sure we can resolve any issues you might have.
I smile. What a heart warming welcome. I think I’ll be just fine.
The hardest part of being here is being far away from home. I miss my husband and our energetic pup like crazy. The easiest part about being here, is feeling like I’m finally in a city. And being in a city is what I know best.