“If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.” With these words, Jane Austen invites young Catherine in “Northanger Abbey” to the beautiful city of Bath. Well, I must admit, I haven’t read the novel (yet!). However, I really like this quote. And the way it relates to my ‘chosen’ home.
It is almost a year now, that I have been living here. And I think there has not been a place so far that I felt more friends with until now.
And I completely mean it that way – I was born in this “own little village” of mine (a tiny place near Hanover). I would ride my bike to school in the morning, play in the street in the afternoon, and dream of this great big world at night. You could describe this place as that odd aunt that comes around occasionally – you sometimes don’t relate to her but in the end, she is your relative. Your relationship to her is sometimes good, sometimes worse, but most of the time rather pragmatic – and you know, you she will only be around every now and then.
I moved away from there and lived in a few different places. So, if assigned stereotype kind of personas to them, I’d say, the city where I went to Uni (Mannheim), was a kind of a high school headmaster – a bit distanced, and you never really quite get him / it. The city where I lived during my exchange semester (Bogotá) is comparable this crazy, messy flat mate that you genuinely love but whom you could not live with forever. The place I moved to next (Dubai) could be described as the this amazing-looking celebrity whom you adore – and somehow, you know, you will never truly know what’s underneath that perfect outer appearance.
And now there is Bath. Bath feels near and true. My neighbours are genuinely chatty, and happy people. There are so many different independent businesses and lots of communities which are all welcoming and truly passionate about their thing, to an extent that I haven’t experienced before. Waiters are quirky and lively, musicians in the streets put their hearts into songs (well, some more some less :D), rugby fans are loud and enthusiastic. You can’t help it but connect with this atmosphere. But Bath is also so sensually stimulating. Every corner is ultimately picturesque, seagulls are squarking at the river side, house boats are floating down the canal. The Georgian architecture is gorgeous (georgeous so to say ;]), you can see so many well-dressed people, especially during the weekend. Of course, you can somehow say that it’s posh. But it is aesthetics that come with this poshness which I personally quite like to be surrounded by. As a result, I am grateful every single time, that I walk through this city. I feel blessed and happy to be living here – and that I found a place which actually makes me feel real and lets me connect to it while being inspiring at the same time. Just like a friend who is a bit older than myself 🙂