The other day I met my son Aaron in Hamburg and we decided to take a walk in the quarter he grew up in. It was a nice autumn evening and we walked through ‘Eimsbüttel’, visiting the playground, our favorite bakery, the street we lived in and ‘Osterstraße’, the shopping street in the heart of Eimsbüttel.
We talked about old times, his schoolfriends and what became of them, places we liked to to to and we were surprised to see Peter was still selling beer and mineral water in his shop at the corner. The shop and he looked exactly as they had 12 years ago but when we went in to say hello, he didn’t recognize us. So we bought a coke and carried on.
Walking the streets I felt a longing for the old days, when the kids were small. The smell of fallen leaves, the lit up windows and the small shops evoked a feeling of cosyness in me and I remembered how nice it had felt to come home into our small apartment after a day of work, cooking dinner and snuggling up in front of the telly with the boys.
There were three new coffeehouses and e same, maybe a bit slower in his movements. He didn’t recognize us, after all we had been only some of his many customers, but for us he was the guy where the boys always got some candy when we stopped.