Between Gothic churches, socialist buildings and abandoned houses, there are also shiny glass malls in Frankfurt (Oder). On top of those are restaurants with nice views. And on the other side of the river is Poland.
I am in my boyfriend’s home town with him during a beautiful autumn weekend, with the leaves a shade of yellow and orange that I haven’t seen in Vienna yet, and the reason for me being there isn’t a happy one, but it’s important, and through my eyes he sees his city anew, he travels back in time with a fresh perspective, revisiting old memories which jump out at him from each street, each park bench and each bar, while I feel like an observer, like a messenger from his future, coming to take him away and to tell him that the road ahead awaits, full of adventure and pain and so much more. We are at the edge of Germany, we cross a bridge and we are in Poland with no border control, no one to look at our id and no one to stop us, we buy some beers, go look at a Wikipedia statue next to a sleeping homeless man and we cross the bridge back into Germany, me laughing about how this is the shortest time I’ve spend in a country and him telling me how he used to go out drinking, casually leaving the country for a few hours and I think what kind of an idyllic world is this, my parents would never have allowed me to pop in a different country like that, at that age, but then again, I didn’t have a different country half an hour away from my home, so we walk some more and talk about life and death and borders. And time. And what time can do to a place. And what a place can do to a person. And what a person can do with their time.