This evening I feel like a clockwork toy that is slowly winding down. It’s not that I’m particularly tired – just weary.
After leaving the office this evening I chose not to go out into the city for a final meal. It’s February 14th – St. Valentine’s day. All of the restaurants will be filled with people going out for expected meals – fulfilling their obligation to make some sort of unwanted or unwarranted romantic effort. I’m sorry, but if you need to wait for an invented day in order to show affection to somebody, you’re a bit of an idiot.
While walking towards the supermarket to get something to eat, I passed a beggar. He looked hopefully at me, trying to engage me in German – I murmured in Germany that I can’t speak German (and yes, the irony in that isn’t lost on me), and carried on my way – feeling bad for him. While a part of me knew he was probably targeting couples out on dates, another part of me wanted to do something for him. Along with the salad I bought for myself, I picked up a chocolate bar for him. It’s sitting on the edge of the desk next to me now – he had disappeared by the time I returned, and now I can’t bring myself to eat it.
I have a feeling I may not be returning to Germany for quite some time. The simple economics of three days on-site per week versus five at home starts to make sense over time – particularly when we can so easily share screens, or even talk face-to-face if we so wish. Never say never though – there are whispered rumors of future projects from people in high places.
So. Tomorrow I return to the airport, get on a plane, and fly home. That’s the plan anyway. I’ll get up early, make a bacon and egg roll in the hotel restaurant, down a coffee or two, then check-out before dragging my suitcase to the railway station.
I want to say “wish me luck”, but know it’s a cliché. Flying around the world, earning money, doing this job, supporting my family, and being greeting with handshakes, smiles, and hugs – it’s not about luck – it’s about hard work, and caring, and perseverance. If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s perseverance.