Depart from here
I never changed, never. I’m always that boy who would nervously do the New Year countdown every year, with bounces of joy and excitement, who would hold the passion to say “happy new year” to everybody he met on the first day, who would always be filled with good wishes that might only have a slim chance of being realized. But I never changed. The only thing changed is time, the duration of events and intervals between them, the container which keeps my memory and marks them with an irreversible “GONE”.
Holding the stemware half-filled with pinkish Champagne, I stood in the open balcony. I was half-drunk, half-asleep. The freezing air went against my face. People were out in the streets, shouting “Frohes neues Jahr” and setting off fireworks. In that trance created by a mixture of chilliness of gust and craziness of people, the word “happy new year” eventually emerged in my mind. Oh, it’s 2010. “Happy New Year” Said I, “and Cheers!” turned to J. and all others.
S. and I went back to campus, greeting exhilarated crowd and evading sparks of scattered by loads of fireworks. “Do you always do the count down?” “Maybe, sometimes.” I was absentminded actually. Yeah, few people would understand what a nerdy boy was thinking about as he keeps his own weird way of counting down for every New Year he had, can they? Well, I would very much love to go to some plaza in Big Apple and see the lights change on the empire state building, though the thought of annoying congestion bothers a little.
The snow somehow paused, maybe just for half a day or so in the first day of 2010. I woke up not so early to achieve the original idea of departing for Berlin, not even to mention a crazy party for New Year’s Eve. However, by just looking at the map, I muttered to myself.
to an unknown world.
There were two defining era in the emigration history of European continent.
The first era is nineteenth century, when the mania of post-industrial revolution led to the development of America. Millions left their home in search for opportunities which they themselves could not expect. But one thing was for sure: most of them left with some degree of pride and a great expectation.
The other one can be divided into two similar parts: temporally different but historically identical, post-war emigration. This time, it was thousands, mostly German, leaving their falling Weimar Republic and Third Reich behind, along with their illusion and hope. They left in search of strangeness, to forget about their shame and pain and start a brand-new life. I can imagine those disillusioned but innately proud Germanic people, waiting on the cold benches of Ellis Island in iron cages, to enter a nation who defeated their motherland. I tried my very best to fathom those American immigrants’ feelings, but never such a complex Germanic one. They bear more than an “American dream”.
Sorry for the spontaneity of my writing, but the only museum open on this national holiday is
Aus-wander-er. Salute, to those who wandered out in search of dreams. We are all wanders.
[See the photos | http://www.douban.com/photos/photo/371753921/]