The First and Last of Times


As I take my daily route to college, this time earlier than usual, I compare today to my first day in Stuttgart. That first impression I got of the city, which turned out to be much better than it sounded. (I think it should get a name change by the way). That first ride in the U-bahn, the first time I hit Konigstrasse (the main shopping street) and was confused why they had three H&M stores in the very same street (not to mention two New Yorker, two Mango, 3 O2, and of course 2 Starbucks, that if I didn’t lose count of some).  And of course, that first time I entered what will be my home for the semester abroad. That first time I went to the university building, how the bare concrete hallways stared back at me and how the view from the 10-storey-but-seems-much-higher building stunned me.


Not only the view from the K1 building, but mostly the views from all around Stuttgart: the vineyards blanketing over the hills, the cotton-like clouds scattering over the bright blue sky on sunny days and overcrowding on rainy days. The flowers  (oh the flowers) in all colors and textures, forming neatly arranged compositions on the corners of the streets.

Oh, and by flowers I mean tulips, which I think are my favorite now.

It’s not the first time today that I compare my first impression of Stuttgart to. It’s every single time I am accompanied by no one but myself. Every ride on the U-bahn and everytime I am ‘lost’ in the city’s streets.

I don’t only compare my daily and instant experience to my first impression, I keep comparing it to my last day in Stuttgart as well. Or what will be my last.

Yes, I imagine how it will be like to walk down to Konigstrasse and have my last ice-cream from that shop, to lock the apartment door behind me for the last time, to take the last ride on the U-bahn, and to land in Hauptbahnhof ( main station) for the last time, now sure of my way around. How it will be like when my mind will be jammed with even more experiences and more memories. How much more I will be learning and how many stories I will be telling. I compare my last day to everyday I am living here and to the day my plane landed marking the beginning of (I hope) an exciting story.


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