The wooden staircases, the hut-shaped house, a backyard garage room, wine bottles and a piano kept in the living room, the cold winter, the thick wooden sound of the wooden staircase, a thick winter jacket, bread & cake, and the melancholic silence all around were primary motivations which defined an European house to me.
I was excited like a child when Sam told me that we were going to stay in his house on Easter weekends. Even though I had spent a significant amount of time in Berlin but in a true sense, I felt, city streets, apartments, monuments, metros, buses and busy people did not present an aesthetic cultural sense.
Rather, that was hardly a cultural experience which was shallow and superficial in nature. You have to step inside a house in a countryside to see the coexistence of the modernization and cultural heritage.
That would be the first time in my life when I would experience something really different and something watching which in the Hollywood movies I have grown up. If I say, I was not having an imagination of how would the house be, the wooden staircase, white window curtains, cushy carpets and the smiling faces of his parents, then I must be lying.
Surely I was trying to imagine how would everything be like at his home.
It was already evening when we arrived at his house. That was the first experience of the melancholic German winter. Two orange parking bulbs blinked on the empty street under the dark gray clouds while other houses stood silent aligned to his house.
I was still wondering which one was his house. in some time, we opened a cold & black iron gate of a house. A beautiful lady was standing smiling at the door.
The house was a hut-shaped modern house. I was still clueless what I was going to see inside the house. As we stepped in, there was a place to hang the winter jackets. Ah! that was exactly the same that i had been watching in the English movies.
That was a solid wooden warm floor. I was standing in the living room wondering what to do next. That was completely a new yet lovely & exciting world for me.
Sam’s mother is a Russian. Though she could speak Russian & German both but she was not comfortable in English. She had just started her English classes. On the other hand, I was not so fluent in German. So, somehow we managed to communicate our well-beings with a full laughter.
Moments later, I was showed my room. That room basically belonged to Sam’s younger brother. Since he was at his school, I was given that room. That room was in the basement. But not the basement which we see in the movies. It was a nice room with the fluffy mattress, a large Tv and a nice window view to the backyard of the house.
Beer & Barbecue:
We would not greet our guests with a beer but soon, I was greeted with a nice beer from Bavaria. Bavaria is a region in the south of Germany, mostly famous for its beers. The next plan was for grilling and barbecue which was to happen in the backyard.
I was being shy then but now I regret for the moments which I could not capture in my cameras but anyway, they are written in my memories forever.
Well, that was again my first time in life when I was seeing a family’s proper barbecue. While the beer was just like water, we were drinking & drinking. I was vegetarian then so there were corns and vegetables for me while there were sausages and other stuff for them.
The room which I had imagined just as a store garage was really something different from inside when set. There was a chimney just outside that small room. The table was set with the candle; woods were put inside the fireplace and soon it was so warm inside that little room.
Cold German nights, softly burning candles without any flicks, the silence, a nice family and you are sitting thousand of miles away from your home – I had my destiny already written before for that. We drank more beer before retiring to sleep.
Imagine, there is no sound around you, not even a mosquito hum. Sometimes, I would roll on that fluffy bed to make sure I was not living my dream and sometimes, I would try to look at the wooden ceiling of the room while trying to suppress the joy that I was feeling for myself.
Sometimes, I would switch on that big TV and while watching I would feel like I wish I had the same sort of arrangements for myself while trying to look outside across the cold windows.
Next morning, his mother had already a nice cake prepared for me. That’s when you feel super special. We spent the entire day seeing around his father’s properties and driving around in Mercedez.
I must admit the countryside Germany is much more beautiful than I had thought. At some point in time, you really start to wonder if you were not in a dream. The lush green fields, warm sun in the cold winter, countryside houses, workers, remote bread shops and much more make you realize that you are into a different world.
At one of his father’s property, I saw a lady in her eighties living alone. And I always wondered how she made her living. Having not seen such aloofness before, I asked Sam a thousand questions about her health, food, medication and even death.
Not so abnormal to him, he gave answered me as if that was a mundane life which everyone has to eventually live in their lives.
I also met some workers from the Eastern Europe who were employed by his father for the construction work. They could hardly speak German or English. That was a fun meeting them and trying to understand their gestures and language. I was not the only alien there.
There was a Sauna room as well in the backyard and a small water pool. Sauna was always exciting to me. You sit naked in a very hot room and then you jump into a pool and relax and then again repeat.
While I could not tolerate cold, Sam could not help himself with the heat. We went inside the Sauna room. That sauna room was very small and compact. There was be a fireplace with charcoal which used to heat the room and there was a scented oil also which you put in the fire for a nice smell.
There was also a device hanging on the wooden wall of the small Sauna room which would tell us the current temperature of the room. The room will hardly have enough space for standing. There were just two benches on which you put the towel and sit naked.
So we both got naked and sat there. Sweating began. You touch your hair and you can feel the burning scalp of your head. Anywhere you touch is burning. We could not tolerate more than 120 seconds in general when the sauna room was really hot.
The next moment, we will run towards the pool in the backyard and jump in the water there. Initially, I was apprehensive of the cold water of European winter but I was almost burning and when I jumped, for the first 10 seconds, I did not even realize that I was standing inside a pool of water which was at around 7-8 degree celsius. Later, we would take a blanket and sit on the chair before repeating the same procedure.
Sam always loved to explain me the scientific benefits of Sauna. Well, it detoxifies your body. Because heat expands the veins of the body and the blood circulation increases. When you jump into the cold water, veins suddenly contract and this contraction and expansion of blood veins are somehow related to the detoxification of the body.
Because we used to drink a lot of beer, Sauna was much needed for us. These were my major experiences. Though I have a lot to tell but some memories cannot be explained by the words and they are better off inside the brain.