Photographer:Fotograaf: Jesler van Houdt
Jesler in Freiburg
A long, ocean-blue canal in the middle of a gold-plated shopping centre. Hop on a gondola and enjoy your journey past Dior, Chanel, Prada and anything else your heart desires. Though you don't need to enter to know what is being sold: posters at least ten meters high already show you what it means to be in vogue in Winter 2019.
After your day of shopping, the evening begins: you’re standing under gigantic things with hundreds of plants growing up against it. At 7:30 pm, everyone suddenly starts lying down and stares up at what you now know are artificial trees and their branches towering above. It is dark.
At 7:45 pm sharp, a million little lights that cover the whole trees suddenly go on. Loud music enters the scene. It’s a journey through Asia with as finale: Singapura.
Ah, yes, Singapura. It is only here that you can expect these spectacles every evening. It’s only here that you have immense waterfalls in the middle of a jungle, in the middle of the airport. It’s only here, that Victoria’s Angels, 5 meters tall, seem to fly out of the store and onto the prestigious Orchard Road. And it’s only here, that the Ferraris and Lamborghinis seem to want to join the Grand Prix Singapore spirit by letting their engines sing.
And now, the time has come to say Bye Bye Lah (copying the Singaporean idiom) and pack my bags for Freiburg.
Goodbye always-warm weather combined with a pinch of Sumatran smog, hello seasons.
Goodbye delicious Singapore Laksa, hello gutbürgerlicher potato salad.
Goodbye 26th-floor view, hello garden.
Goodbye little long-tailed macaques, hello being able to walk around with plastic bags without being followed by a group of twenty cheeky monkeys.
Goodbye baby-pink Ferrari, hello ‘das Auto’.
Though to steal the words of Nicholas Sparks, ‘this is not a goodbye, my darling, this is a thank you’.
Jesler van Houdt