For the last one and a half years I have lived on the edge of a small town in Saxony. It has been a total contrast to my former hide-out in the Thuringian forest. This area was once a small village that has been incorporated into the town. On one hand the environment here is still very rural and you can hear the voices of cows, sheep and the occasional rooster. There is also a lovely old part of the village, with the typical old farm houses. On the other hand people really try to make it feel like a true suburbia. In some streets there are more conifers in the gardens than vegetables or fruits and everyone keeps mowing lawn on a regular basis. The houses that have been added to the village in the last century basically all look the same to me, although that is not really true. Of course they come with different faces, but nevertheless they feel like the same.
The fruits that grow outside of gardens are not harvested anymore, sadly I watched berries, cherries and apples rot away, while people go shopping for fruits instead. Everyone here seems to spend a fortune on their house facades, terrace designs and equipment and of course every family has more than one car, even in retired households. Are these people doing well? According to social standards, probably. Do they enjoy their lifes? I can’t tell. I never really made any new contacts in my neighbourhood that were not feline. It happened only one time that a neighbour stopped her car and asked me if I wanted a ride, while I was walking home during a thunderstorm with heavy rain, carrying a fully packed backpack. While I had no idea who she was or in which of the houses she lived, she seemed to know me and dropped me off in front of the right building without having to ask. It seems that actually everyone in the neighbourhood knows me, because it is very unusual for someone to walk around in this area with a heavy backpack who is not a wanderer on the pilgrimage route. I tend to walk the 6km tour to the post office or the supermarket at least twice a week. I noticed something funny about this, while closer to the center, people sometimes smile at me and my backpack, maybe thinking I am a wanderer. I guess that walking the pilgrimage route is more respected than not owning a car. But the closer I get to “home”, the more people look away and don’t even greet me, as if they are afraid I would ask for a ride. Which I actually never would, I have outgrown the hitchhiker days, all people who gave me a ride during the last few years did actually ask me. Of course, sometimes it’s not easy to carry everything home like that, but alas, I like the feeling that follows, after being done with it.
This isn’t really my world. Although I enjoy the luxury of having a big space here, over the months, I have started to feel trapped in suburbia, like a wild animal within a lovely golden cage. The more I looked at all these domesticated humans, the more my feral side grew. More and more I felt tempted to run nacked into the garden during a summer rain, to give the neighbours something to talk about until the end of their days.
And then there was the summer solstice ritual in the mountains. Something happened that I can’t put into words, or I should rather say that I don’t want to put into words. When I returned, I did not return “home”. It was just a feeling until August, when I was informed that my place is supposed to be rented out by the end of the year for more money than I can pay with my current income. So far I only had to pay for the extras, which often seemed too much for me already, because the place is simply too big for one person and two cats. I didn’t even think twice and said, okay then, I am going to move, although I had no idea at that point of the story, where this journey would take me. I could have tried to find an additional work to finance this place, but somehow I was relieved that my guts were right. I do not belong here.
My following search for a new home was successful. Even more, it was one of these strange “coincidences” that do not exist. And although my final moving is still a few weeks ahead from now, in my mind I have left suburbia already.
Good-bye suburbia, the ship has sailed.