Leaving London

The train left Waterloo Station.

I had bought the ticket at a ticket-office close to Piccadilly Circus. I had taken my books to the second-hand book store, and just packed the bare necessities.

I had worked as a bi-lingual secretary at an Engineering Company close to Southwark Cathedral, and had ventured on to working for the stock market, mostly for German merchant banks.

I had taken singing lessons in Wimbledon with my beautiful singing teacher Chantelle. I loved the arts, and opted for a degree in Italian Literature at a London University. PET, short for Prose, Essay and Translation, had been one of my favourite subjects. In the evenings I dealt with the translations in the weird and wonderful shared house Community at Bromfelt Rd, in Stockwell.

My room was situated on the second floor. It was spacious, and featured a small open fire-place and a cupboard that had been built by card-board, or so it seemed. I had an ancient desk, with a green desk cover. When looking out of the window, you could see our well-kept back garden, as well as Battersea Power Station in the distance.

My friends had gone on to doing further studies, or else they had day jobs. Darren was working in Vauxhall in a warehouse that stored art. He painted at week-ends. Anna-Bella had been a Professor of mine. We had become friends after I had completed my degree. We met in the British Library on occasion; we chatted and drank coffee on the second floor by the glass wall that displayed books in all shapes and sizes.

I had to change trains in Brussels as well as in Paris. I had taken one of those suitcases on rolls. Just as I changed stations in Paris, one of the rolls had come off my red suitcase, and rolled down a building site. I just about managed to hop on the train in Paris, struggling as I lifted my luggage into the carriage.

The train seemed to take ages. When I arrived in Bâle, it was already dark. I felt a bit scared, but managed to catch the train to Freiburg im Breisgau.

Freiburg is a university town in the South of Germany, known for a former mayor who was part of the Green Party, and for mild weather. I read in the Rough Guide to Germany, that ‘Freiburg brought a touch of humanity to the human heart’, and had booked myself a room in a hotel called ‘The Forest-hotel’ just outside the town. I took the tram out, and felt a bit helpless when I spotted the German flag just outside this mysterious little place to stay.

I thougt: ‘I want to return to London’.

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