When I moved to Düsseldorf in 2015, I did not know anything about the city. I wondered how far it is to the other cities, which museums are good and which cinemas are most cozy. Now I know all that and I know it’s a livable city. Home is where you make it.
It says more about my situation then than about Düsseldorf how much I disliked the capital of North-Rhine-Westphalia when I arrived four years ago.
As I leave Düsseldorf now, I look back with gratitude, nostalgia and clemency. I owe you, Dizzel. Thank you
- for not killing me on your roads without bikes lanes
- for showing me the immense beauty of the Rhine Valley, and with it, drawing me closer to Germany as a whole
- for placing me in the center of Europe, letting me explore Belgium, the Netherlands and France
- for adding the joys of Carnival to my life (that might just have been the most transformative part of it all)
- for being so small it’s easy to get around but so big that you have the international big city feel
- for letting me develop so much professionally
- for finding me someone who is willing to make Midsummer wreaths
- for restoring my health (overall, I mean. We can disregard my constant colds for a moment.)
- for my general practitioner, my hairdresser and my seamstress (those alterations were worth a lot)
- for all the sunny days on my balcony, watching the neighbor kids play
- for the wonderful apartment that was my home
- for my hood that had all the cafés, bars, the farmer’s market and the bulk store (but why no cinema? I’ve wondered about this for four years now.)
- for the local church that with its innovative approaches reintegrated me into Catholicism (more or less)
- for a workplace that was the Swedish ‘ghetto’ I needed and that gave me fika (every Friday 3 p.m., holy tradition!), new music recommendations (Orup, anyone? GES?) , lots of random new Swedish vocabulary (“gäddvika”, “jungfruben”, it just goes on) and amazing sunset views from the sixth floor
- for all my lovely interns and great co-workers
- for the brief Erasmus feeling spring of 2017 with all the parties in the dubious clubs in the Old Town
The Dizzel years became twice as long as I thought and have transformed my rejection into affection. I will always fondly remember you. And I will be back.