16 July 2006

Zurück vom Vaterland

Well, I am back from my long weekend in Germany to see family. Overall, it was a good trip. I drove, and since I like to drive, and I like to drive fast, that was fine. It was was 6 hours drive time there, 5 hours back, the difference in time being because of Stau around Köln and between Köln and Hagen, my destinations. Most of my family live in Hagen. On the way home I did stop in Köln for Bratwurst and a beer. Köln is my favorite city, perhaps rivaled by Melbourne.

I had not seen my family in about 7 years. Communication dropped soon after I came out to my folks... gee, I wonder if that had something to do with it. I have to admit I got pissy and did not put much effort in it either when it dropped off. I get along pretty well with most of my cousins, and though the family there is big, I don't have many close relatives any more since much of our close family died in WWII, or early in other ways.

So the visits were all bittersweet. I went to the cemeteries to check on how the graves all look - German cemeteries are like big wooded parks, just beautiful, with each grave being like a garden. We have to pay a service to take care of our immediate family one, which is pretty big, sadly. My Oma is buried there, and I always feel very close to her, even though she died on my first birthday.

My my aunts and uncles are all aging, and it was s light shock to see some of them, even though they are pretty much in the same shape as my folks. I just had not seen them in 8 years. My one aunt has Alzheimer's, but the medications are helping here. It is just so sad to see the vacant look in the eyes of a woman who used to flit around her apartment feeding us all, like a sparrow, talking a hundred miles hour. Now, just still, and gentle, and quiet. And only 78.

Cousins. All happy to see me. But odd. Nobody, at all, asked if I had a girlfriend. Hmmm, another sign of something being up. Honestly, if anybody has a problem with my sexuality, they can fuck off. They all were kind of odd, almost angry that I had not visited in so long... hello, it takes two to tango... and then an odd feeling of envy. I guess I am the lucky cousin from America, educated, (the only one at all to go to college), good job, traveling around the world. And they all instead did trade schools and have not left their hometowns (Hell, what is wrong with that? They make good money). We all used to get on so well, and now, well, something was off. Again, if anybody has a problem, they can piss off. I am used to being isolated with no family: Just my Mom, Dad, and me here in America. We stick together, even if we don't agree, or if they are devastated and having a hard time sometimes, still, with me coming out.

I cannot stand the reverse judgement I perceived: as if I am not as good as them because I am in a social station higher than they are - German society is still highly stratified, and me having 1. gone to college, and 2. having a PhD, slats me up higher. But that is fucking silly. I'm just the cousin from a far away place who can only visit occasionally because I have like no vacation time - 2 weeks.

I dunno, I am just rambling because I cannot sleep (3:45 AM, too much caffeine to keep me awake on the ride home). It was a nice weekend, beautiful weather, and overall a good visit. Maybe I am just being hypersensitive. Maybe we are all just being stupid.

p.s. I had some little pics to make the post less dreary, but fucking blogger is not working correctly right now. FEH.