Ich packe meinen Koffer

Jesler in Freiburg


We’ve all played it as kids: I'm going on a trip and I'm taking with me [fill in the blank]. And now here I am, standing in front of my suitcase, staring around the room, and whispering “Ich packe meinen Koffer und nehme mit…” like a mantra.

The windows are wide open as I try to get the blue sky and fluffy clouds to get lost in my room too. The sun is shining as if it had to prove that everyone prefers the warm rays of sunlight on their faces over the cold, dripping rain of the last days. The birds are chirping as if they knew that I just submitted my last paper right after I sat through my last exam of this first semester in Freiburg, joining me in celebration.

Ich packe meinen Koffer und nehme mit …

Yet again, I am faced with a six-weeks-long semester break. A break that seems like ages now but will more likely than not fly over in no time. What do you pack for six weeks? Six weeks in which I want to road trip with friends I made in Freiburg (hence, for which I need sweaters and heat-tech shirts), visit Maastricht and all of my friends there, listening to their stories of their semesters abroad all around the world (for which I don’t need special clothes I suppose, though I still have a lot of t-shirts and sweaters hiding in my closet in Freiburg that actually belong in theirs - and vice versa), and in which I want to visit my parents in Singapore (for which sweaters are the #1 thing to unpack rather than the other way around).

 And that’s just clothes. Inspired by eco-city Freiburg, I also want to bring the toothbrush bits (little pieces of solid toothpaste that you first chew and then use like normal toothpaste) that I bought without packaging in Freiburg's very own zero-waste store. To this list, I also have to add my shampoo bar (again, no plastic packaging and low environmental impact), and my deodorant cream in a glass. 

And then, of course, there is the desperate attempt to give friends and family a taste of life in Freiburg by buying Freiburger Stadthonig (honey from Freiburg’s very own city bees) and a bottle of University Freiburg’s very own wine, knowing very well that this will never be able to transmit the overflow of emotions I intend to transmit with it.

Ich packe meinen Koffer und nehme mit

When I grew up in Germany, my parents, my sister and I would drive to the Netherlands every couple of weeks to visit my grandparents. Every time, I felt like I was forgetting something and asked my parents the same question: “What do I need?” My dad would look at me via the rear mirror and smile reassuringly: “Jezelf” (yourself).

And thus, as I look around my room one last time, walk outside and lock the door behind me, now this is what I whisper to myself like a mantra. Jezelf.

“And my passport!”, I shout, racing back in.   

Jesler van Houdt

Ich packe meinen Koffer
Author: Redactie
Tags: jesler

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