Human nature will not flourish, any more than a potato, if it be planted and replanted, for too long a series of generations, in the same worn-out soil. My children have had other birthplaces, and, so far as their fortunes may be within my control, shall strike their roots into unaccustomed earth.

– Nathaniel Hawthorne “The Custom-House”

She was excited to be in London, curious to know the land of her birth. Before leaving she had applied for her British passport, a document her parents had not obtained for her when she was born, and when she presented it at Heathrow the immigration officer welcomed her home.

– Jhumpa Lahiri, “Only Goodness” from Unaccustomed Earth

Ireland from above:

The train I perhaps should have caught. Yes, I missed my first train. *sigh*:


Typical German Landscape:

Typical German Supermarket Landscape:

I wondered why I’m so blunt sometimes and then I saw these labels posted onto cigarettes at the grocery store. Rough translation, “Hey YOU – Not only are your killing yourself by smoking, you’re also an ass by taking everyone with you.” How’s that for breaking boundaries of political correctness:

On a bike trip, I shot this view of the outskirts of the town that my family lives in:

If I die before I wake, I’ll be damned if I’m not coming back for this:

And also a helping of this:

Yes, I will drink your shot too:

Parking break required:

My aunt looks out of her kitchen at this:

Sadly, she does not usually get to see this:

But damn, she gets to see this though:

Italian Gelato. Or: How I spent two weeks stuff myself with more ice cream than I usually have in three hot months in the desert:

This is the town I was born in:

I wasn’t born in the streets:

Or in very retro apartments which are probably more per month than I what I make in the same time:

No, I was born on a hospital by this river – the one he drowned the first batch of rats in:

Getting drunk on gooseberry wine in front of my grandmother? Now that I cross off my life To Do list:

Even while drunk, I manage to take some snazzy pictures:

The before-mentioned grandmother, and just for kicks, also my grandfather:

This is the closest “big city”:

It gave me the opportunity for me to order alcoholic shakes before noon and without them asking for my ID:


Yeeeeaaaaaah! Part 2:

You just don’t find this sort of thing around here. Especially at City Hall:

Nor does our local scene particularly enjoy a thriving rickshaw business:

With men in spandex at that. Men that are entitled, nay, that should be encouraged to wear such:

Deer or boar? Yes. And potatoes. Are shots later?

Oh and cake? Hot about flaming shots and more spandexed rickshaw drivers?

I was worried as I climbed out of the womb. Note the clutching of the duck. Also note cousin with the pacifier.

Yes, I won the tall gene, but she ended up with the better hair:

So I thought, let’s visit the local archives in the town I was born. From the windows it was way more swank than what we got going on, but they knew I was coming and for the exact dates I was in Germany, lest they make me jump in the river for envy, they politely closed:

Then my aunt’s fiance said, “Hey, seeing how I teach people to shoot and own the keys to the private shooting range, let’s go shooting!” [No correlation to the above.]:

And I said, “Yeeeeeeeeeeah!”

I tilted my hip just so. A “natural” I was told:

I shot a clay pigeon in the air. It exploded in a burst of neon slivers:

Me: It’s certainly a strange trip, this whole life bit
D: if it wasn’t, I’d be bored. I mean, I’d love to be independently wealthy, but then I’d be traveling all the time.
Me: I’d think it’d wear out after a while
D: I don’t know…there is so much to see and learn
Me: Yes, but nomadic living is hard
D: of course its hard, but the truly independently wealthy are not nomads. at least, I wouldn’t be. home for a month or so, off for two or three and back
Me: Perhaps your soul calls to that. My soul calls to something else, but what returns out of the void is not that.
D: what is it?
Me: It’s like I’m meant to built by instability
Me: And instead of taking it and learning, I’m fighting it
D: you know, you’re being oddly pensive tonight
Me: I’ve been doing a lot of thinking
Me: At least, lol, more than usual. I try to avoid it
D: haha
D: Well, there is nothing wrong with wanting to make your own life. I mean if you believe in destiny and fate and all that, then feel free to feel constrained outside your own control
Me: Making your own life just seems terribly lonely
D: haha, well, if not you, then who?
Me: Well obviously me, but still it seems lonely and willful to the point of narcissism
D: You read too much. all that masters work has left you a depressive mess of existential nonsense. Just make friends, do what you want to do, and try to have fun
Me: Lol. I vote against grad school. I got trapped in my own mind it seemed. I have lost myself a bit
D: it happens
Me: At least I feel right now that I don’t have to look far to find me
D: I’m still convinced that something happened in Germany that didn’t help anything
Me: And I think…yes
D: You never told me
Me: I suppose not
D: In fact, I don’t think I ever got a single detail about Germany
Me: Yes, I suppose no one really did


6 Responses to Duality

  1. thebutton says:

    I’m glad to finally see pics of your trip over this way. Now it kinda makes me sad that we should be leaving here within a year. I do love this country despite being so far away from my real “home”.

    How did you like shooting?

    The food looks delish! This weekend, while dressed in Rennisanse (forgive the spelling, not awake all the way, not caring) garb, I tried some venison sausage. That made me miss all the deer meat I had as a kid thanks to Dad’s handy shooting during deer season. You just don’t get venison on a menu in the States.

  2. floor plans says:

    The French are funny, sex is funny, and comedies are funny, yet no French sex comedies are funny.MattGroeningMatt Groening, 1954-, Life in Hell

  3. The Rebuker says:

    So, here are the “details” we’ve been asking for for months and yet, the trip — or more specifically what the trip did or meant for you — still remains a mystery. A homecoming, yes, but coming home to someplace unfamiliar. So many of the pictures are invested in capturing the novelty of the place. If the novelty wasn’t there would it still be as meaningful?

    p.s. You look kinda hot holding that shotgun.

  4. eatsbugs says:

    I knew it. They put a firearm in your hands, and you went all whack-job on us. Thanks, Germany!

  5. Lisa says:

    Wow! Great pics! *Love* your captions!

    So glad it was a great trip for you. I am envious indeed. (Except for the meat consumption, of course!)

    Thanks for sharing what you’ve been up to in such a creative, unique way 🙂

  6. Jessi says:

    Mmm, those pictures of food look soooo yummy. *drools*

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