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Everywhere and nowhere

If I had known that I would stay almost 4 months here, I probably would have approached a few things differently. Coming from 3 weeks in Singapore, the expectation for 6 weeks living in Stuttgart was… well, non-existent. It also didn’t help that I could associate Stuttgart with only 2 things: 1 EUR beers from when we went here with our high school orchestra in 2001 and Stuttgart 21.

This led to something funny: I traveled 10’000km to a new city I had never lived in just to spend the first 4 weekends in cities I have been or even lived in before. Luckily I did take time to get to know the city and its people a little bit in the following weekends. I have to confess though that most people I know are either from abroad or from other cities in Germany. Not sure where all the Stuttgart people are hiding.

Here are a few things I have learned about Stuttgart:

I am losing the focus a little bit in this post, so back to what I would have done differently..

I would have made more effort to feel like home here. I would have made more effort to get to know people, not just going out for beers. I would have gone to find more “favorite places” in Stuttgart. I did find one, Cafe Galao, a very cool cafe which twice a week has very interesting live music! Well maybe there are just not too many cool places here, I might never find out. I would have spent less money. I would have bought a cooking plate so that I don’t eat microwaved food all the time. If I had known that I stay until end of December, I definitely would have brought warmer clothes! I would have done a lot of things differently.

But the thing is, I don’t mind. The side effect of changing places in such a crazy speed is that you learn to blend in quickly, find your way around new cities, new people easily, and this comes with a certain degree of detachment, maybe unfortunately, maybe necessary. The biggest sign for this detachment is that even now, with almost a whole month to go, I don’t have a strong motivation to do things differently compared to the last few months.

But there is one thing I probably should do: Buy some warm clothes.

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