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mueritz scnr

Fri Aug 25 18:30 - 53.662 N 12.5838 E

Mostly Harmless

Where are you from is a question I've heard at least 1000 times over the last twenty years, ten years ago I used to say SW Germany, but at the moment also Devon, Great Britain. The result is the same nevertheless: followed by a surprised 'ah, Germany' or 'Great Britain' respectively, I wished I knew what kind of an insight manifests in their minds. Where or what is Great Britain, where or what is Germany, and, new to me, where or what is Poland.
Granted, a lot of 'knowledge is driven by hear-say or stereotypes like 'the Germans have no sense of humor', 'the Poles are good at making business', 'and the British are Boozers', which is to say, there might even be some truth in it, but leaves all the facets and individual differenciations aside.(Btw, white socks are worn in all three counries ;)
Along this border between Poland and Germany I actually often thought about what distinguishes this side from that side. And the truth is, it is difficult to describe, and an attempt to do so simply describes kind of a ghost, something that exists only in our minds.
Trying to catch this ghost, if it is to exist outside our minds simultaneously will result in failure, so let's try and catch it anyway...
People on the German side tend to say 'the Pole' (der Pole) as if to describe an entity in its own right, the nation, the cultural identity, the most apparent characteristics, but, as I have found out, the concept of'the German' exists in other countries, too.And I happen to be one of them.
This means that when travelling along a border it is more likely to catch a glimpse of these concepts, then again, do people in the border region realize the other side in such a way? Or, as I would suggest, doesn't the border region become an 'entity' in its own right, with people travelling over to go shopping or to the other side to do business.
So there, after our brief encounter with the baltic coast, let's go back to the river to see what it has got on its mind.

Überwiegend Harmlos

Zurück zum Fluss also und zum Fließen der Dinge - im Zufallsmuster mit der Ballerkarre übers Land.
Und was bleibt dann an Eindrücken und was ist denn dann das Wesentliche? Es scheint oft nur den Vergleich zu geben, vor allem in Ostdeutschland trifft man einige, die wo ganz anders auf Arbeit sind, in Schwaben, in Bayern, in der Schweiz, und dann wird erzählt, darüber was anders ist und was passiert, wie man damit umgeht, darüber denkt, aber ohne das Eigene konkret zu benennen. Was man sieht und was man macht ist augenscheinlich Einstellungssache, man macht was draus oder eben auch nicht.
Schlussendlich ganz einfach. Doch kann das Einfache, und dessen Betrachtung schon zur Herausforderung werden, und so machen manche Zeitgenossen auch hier schon die Augen zu.
Und so geht es weiter übers Land, mit seinen kleinen Dorfinseln darin, den Städten umgeben von Plattenbauten, entlang der sterbenden Alleen, der neuen Alleen, sterbenden Dörfern, überlebenden Dörfern, prosperierenden Dörfern.
Doch meistens sind die Leute freundlich, und so ist auch das Land.


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