Student Stories Study Abroad

Goodbye Banaras


Heat. The thick sticky tinge in the air is topped by the last cup of Chai, a hundred times better than a German beer at the bar, ’cause there is no need for the buzz.  The  white clothed and joyous emergents of Varanasi have to see the river, green and brown, recede after the first tide of monsoon flooding.  Our temples, snack shacks, they are returned to us.  The boats crowd back to deep water. Even the clouds are as they should be, drifting lazy and huge across the swollen river.  Time for another dip?  I don’t think so.


I hardly feel like I’m leaving this time.  With parents home, the radio jingling and the bridge still in construction as ever.
But I know, in a week I’ll be back in Germany, in the tumultuous, exciting purple haze called “Orientation week”. Once I remember packing everything I had, and preparing to leave the country for “university”-Some sort of youth program that lasts three years instead of a month, involves classes and extra-curriculars and a bit of money management. I’ve heard of all this before. 

No.  Its not a youth program, in fact, it’s an adult program.

The the little red letters on the back of the packaging; and the biggest journey of a lifetime.  Maybe you’ve already made the journey. The first two weeks will tell you that.
As grown-up as I was after
Highschool and a gap year in Ecuador, O-week was challenging, a tornado of emotions, 300 new unpronounceable names, and graduation requirements I’ve never heard of.
Now after two orientation weeks in Jacobs, the whole affair doesn’t seem quite so daunting anymore. I feel as though I cannot be separated from home anymore, as if the geographical distance from Bremen to Banaras had been reduced.  Rediscovering home has stitched the world all the smaller. 
My German friends await their Indian saris, I bring indian sweets.  I can already picture my third-year student apartment.  The student bar preparing for the first busy evenings of the semester.  I can  see the german Christmas festivities, the thawing spring semester- my very last at Jacobs. 
The last year swings around, its shadow shortens, the distant BA degree doesnt seem so inconcievable.  Welcome to Jacobs, where the world becomes  yours through a few foreign friends and a few Ryanair tickets.


There’s no need to say goodbye to home.  A bit of home followed me, from the deco in my room, to my music taste.
As I say goodbye to my hometown  it seems I’m surrounded by the youth -we are all on our smartphone’s typing away the magic of our lives even as we sit on the riverbank. 
Any one here as much as there is still sorting out where they’re headed.  But life is good.  Happy journeying. 
Freshies, our paths soon intersect! 


1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *