I had an eventful winter, because I moved to a different city and got a new job. But I still managed to read a bit! So here’s another reading list compiled mainly of books I have read and some books that I haven’t. Peppered with springtime imagery.
Not only are my friends absolutely great people, they have many other great friends. And that’s how I met Becky, his wife Sarah, and Anette, who have all moved to Kiel at some point. I went to Kiel once before with Jana. We didn’t get to see much of the city then, because it was summer and the weather was nice, so we granted ourselves a day at the beach. Then Becky graciously invited me again and I jumped on a bus and went way, way up North.
One of the most iconic landmarks in the Ruhr region is the “Gasometer” in Oberhausen. The former gas holder turned large scale exhibition space now hosts some pretty amazing exhibitions. Large scale is to be taken quite literally. In 2013 Christo and Jeanne Claude’s installation “Big Air Package” filled the Gasometer. Now the space holds the beautiful “Wonders of Nature” exhibition of nature photographs.
For six short weeks I have moved to a different part of Germany for my job: The Ruhr region. I am lucky to be living with some awfully great people in Bochum, but I work in Essen. Essen is a particularly interesting city in this area and it was named European Capital of Culture 2010. One of the most iconic places in Essen is Zeche Zollverein, a UNESCO world heritage site. And within that retired industrial complex, there are a few really great museums.
Last year was a harsh year for me (and I don’t mean all the dead celebrities, although I will miss Alan Rickman a bit). 2016 kicked off with a lot of unrest in Germany, Brexit happened, the US election happened, the war in Syria is still going on, various places in Germany and other European countries were targets of terrorist attacks, and Europe in general seems severely destabilized, as right-wing politics have gained ground in France, Austria, and other countries, among them Germany.
On a personal level, things didn’t go so well either.
While planning our trip we saw that for the first part we would pass through some sparsely populated areas of Germany and never end our day in a town, so camping would have to be it. That changed for the second stretch of the trip, so we figured we might try sleeping indoors again and turned to couchsurfing – and it was great.
As we venture into December, I still have some catching up to do, so let’s look back to September. Ehem.
I happen to like a good challenge! So what’s better than challenging yourself, spending time outdoors with an amazing friend and seeing a part of your country that you haven’t seen before? I really wanted to do a great bike tour and found me some awesome company for the road: Jana!