A fitting German expression

Written Friday, July 31:

Tomorrow morning we hand over the keys to our apartment here in Berlin. We’ll spend our last night with my conversation partner and her boyfriend, and they will drive us to the airport at the crack of dawn on Sunday. Aaron and I are unable to grasp the massive change that’s charging towards us. I can’t believe I’m giving up my home here and heading back to a totally other life.

Our friends here in Berlin invariably ask us how we feel about leaving Germany. Finally one of them told me a German expression that encapsulates this feeling: Ich habe ein weinendes und ein lachendes Auge. (One eye is crying, one eye is laughing.) I hate moving and I hate leaving behind all the friends and places we’ve grown to love here. Every time I move, I think enviously of people whose lives never take them far beyond their hometown. I imagine pulling together all the people I care about and making a cozy village of them. But for all the pain of leaving and then missing people dear to me, I am grateful that I got to come here and find them all in the first place.

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2 responses to “A fitting German expression

  1. hope you’ll go on with this blog, I want to know, what’s goin on in Syracuse, and how odd New Yorker behave… 😉

  2. This last entry made me feel a little teary-eyed… so much can change in a year, can’t it? Anyway, I’ve been researching Berlin for a comic project I’m working on, since I’m poor and can’t actually go there. It’s been really interesting to read your insights into German life and culture. So I wanted to say, thanks for writing this wonderful blog. I bet it’ll be really fun to come back to this someday and re-read it.

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