Saturday, August 01, 2009

Grandmother and Journeys to Far Far Away / Auckland, New Zealand

Oh boy, am I far away from home.
Actually it is as far as I can go from Germany.
As a child someone told me that if I would dig a deep deep hole I end up in New Zealand.
Voila, here I am: Auckland on the North Island of New Zealand

There's a conversation I had with my grandmother before almost every vacation in the last decades.
My granny never left the small village she was born in and foreign countries are only a flickering TV image for her. The conversation was always a variation of the following:

Granny: Why do you have to go away again?
Me: I just want to see how it is in XY.
Granny: But they have war and bombs in XY, don't they?
Me: No granny, it is peaceful there and the people are friendly.
Granny: Is XY far away?
Me: No granny, it is not really far away. Just a few hours.
Granny: But you promise to take care?
Me: Of course granny, I am always careful.

This time it is different - for two reasons. First of all I would have to tell my granny that I want to travel to a far far away country.
Second of all my granny wouldn't ask at all because she has no idea that I am traveling. She is 95 years old and forgot almost everything she knew. I decided to tell her nothing about my long trip because she would have been very confused to hear that the journey lasts half a year and I am traveling on my own.

I am sad that my grandmother already started her last journey. It is a journey into forgetting. Although she is in a good physical shape (a very tough old lady) I will never be able to tell her about elephants, waterfalls, smiling kids with dark or yellow skin or mountains that spit fire. It would have been great to share a glimpse of the wonders of the world with her I was lucky to see. Things she was never able to explore but only through my stories.

Tomorrow I will see her because my nephew Noah will have his baptism.
You know what? Probably I will tell her about the elephants and the children with dark skin anyway. She might not get the story but at least she will realize that I am sitting beside her. And maybe she will even hear some hidden words beneath my stories. Words that might sound like 'hey granny, I am back and I am so glad to see you alive'.

Damn, actually the intention for this posting was a cheerful nonsense talk about New Zealand but the posting steered into a completely different direction.

PS: I just re-named this posting. The initial title was 'Day Jumping'. I will tell you about it soon.


  1. You can always tell, that during each travel how far it might be it´s always possible to meet nice people, find some strange things and things which will remind you of home.

  2. Hi guy,
    I was touched by your post. I lived such moments with my grand father. My grandmother say he had some lucid moments (realizing his poor mental health). So... you're right, continue to tell her travel stories, I'm sure she hears you! tschuss

  3. You are so lucky to have a Granny, so did you share with her the stories, what did she say?

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  5. Cel, I don't know if you're speaking to me ... but I have something to say:-)) Sorry I made a mistake, she doesn't "say" but she "said",... she died 3 years ago, she was 92. It was 1.5 month after my grand father who was 96. I remember 10 years ago, everybody thought she was going to die but not, she hold! 1 month after (i succed at my high school concourse) I said her "woaww it was difficult, I'm very proud of you found the energy to stay alive" She answered "I staid alive because I wanted to know what you're going to become!". I was impressed and touched! I miss her

  6. Emilie what a touching story, I can imagine how special your granny was, great memory