Last Night in Munich

Codex Manenssis ‘ve felt a little bit weird the last couple of days, like in a permanent state of uneasiness, totally alert, restless and agitated but not necessarily excited like when you are looking forward to something. Nobody said that moving somewhere else was easy, and we definitely knew that when we decided to move from Germany to the US, but there have been a couple of small details that have made our move especially stressful –you know, I wouldn’t necessarily call it a relaxing situation when two days before stepping in the plane you haven’t signed your working contract yet.

So I just thought that the stress of those insignificant details of the delegation was kicking hard on me. But tonight, as we walked through the streets of Munich heading for a beer at the Hofbrauhaus, enjoying the possibility to say goodbye to the old city, I just knew that it wasn’t stress what I was feeling. At least, not entirely.

I’ve actually felt this way before, and it was the city lights around Marienplatz and along the Kaufingerstrasse that made me remember it. It was almost 8 years ago, also walking through the streets of a city at night. But at that time it was the city lights of Madrid the ones lighting my way, enjoying the wonderful walk from the Royal Palace to Callao, all along Princesa, Plaza de España and Gran Via. I was alone then, dealing with this weird feeling I haven’t been able to describe yet, lost in my deep thoughts about the plane I had to catch the next morning to go to Munich, and what that would lead my life to.

I was 23 years old then, and after spending all my life in Madrid and six tough years at the university, a six months internship at BMW in Munich sounded to me like the biggest adventure ever. Boy was I excited! I was heading for central Europe, but I might as well have been heading for a safari in the wild, far Africa. It did not matter that I spoke no German, that my English was patchy, that I was going all alone and knew nobody there, or that all the contact I had had with my future boss was a couple of lines in a few sketchy emails. I was determined to go and make it work. Eight years later, and regardless of all the things I had to leave behind in Madrid, I still think that it was of one the best decisions I could have made in my life.

But on top of all the excitement I felt there was this weird thing in my chest, this strange feeling made of curiosity and expectation, anxiety and fear, tension and enthusiasm, enjoyment and sadness, optimism and reluctance, self determination and cautioness… extremely motivating, almost addictive.

The six months turned into eight years. And of course I am no more that young man who got off in Reutkreuzplatz with three suitcases asking for direction to the nearest youth hostel. I mean… I just can’t be. Too many things have happed all through these years: the wild Erasmus parties at Studentenstadt in those first months, my German lessons, the great skiing weekends, the seven Oktoberfests, the hikes in the Alps, my two jobs, the trips all over Europe, the five different apartments where I’ve lived, the camping days in Italy, the two times Real Madrid beat Bayern Muenchen, the mus and pocha games in the old Spanish bar in the Turkenstrasse, the live World Cup (who cares about the score, right?), the Biergartens, the open water scuba diving lessons in Munich in February, Codex Manenssis the computer and roll games on those Sunday evenings, the tennis matches at Olympiazentrum, the five Blade Nights… And above all, the night in March when I met that cute, red-haired girl named Amanda… with the two weddings that came along afterwards. So, again, I am not the same guy that came to Munich eight years ago, but tonight I happen to find myself feeling pretty much the same way as on that night in Madrid, when all this was about to start and I couldn’t even imagine it.

I only wish this thing in my heart wasn’t a feeling, but the premonition that the next eight years are going to be as wonderful and exciting as the previous eight ones.


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