Welcome to Westphalia: the western world

The sun caught up to us as our plane landed in Germany, illuminating the grey skies and grey buildings and grey-green trees of the German landscape. A chill I haven’t experienced since the Annapurna’s cut through my yak jacket, the Fall air a welcome feeling after the hotmuggy stink of the plane.

I’m back in the first world. The lack of trash littering every niche and crevice evidence enough of that, and it’s good to be back. Though, seeing coffee for five euros is a blow to my price-bank. Higher prices, less trash, or lower prices, more trash?

Anyway, after a brief stopover in Bahrain, the journey is about to come to an end, and thankfully I made it through the plane-ride without getting into a fight with the man behind me. I don’t know what it is about people and plane seats (or people in transit in general), but a flip gets switched into self-preservation mode and social mores seemingly go out the window.

I’m not exactly sure what I’ll be up to for the next month with very little money and a lot of free time (maybe I’ll sell some of my Yak-gear on the streets to make some coffee-money), But I’m excited to be reunited with my brother.

The train is gliding through the Fall-tinged valley as I write, yellow vineyards and red earth zig and zag up the slopes as squat Tudor houses gather in crowds to look out across the river on the valley floor, their mansard roofs pulled low over their Easteregg Shells.

As I glance out the window, I’m shocked at how CLEAN the rivers are. One of the sadder aspects of Kathmandu was the level of degradation and pollution done to the rivers that ran through the town. Islands of trash and debris, and the hovering fog of shitstench permeated the air to a degree that I had to hold my breath as I crossed the footbridge.

But now, in the hills of Westphalia, the sun is starting to rise above the hills, casting the yellow-cloaked oaks with a lonely glow out of place amongst the early grey. The train is smooth, so much more so than others in India and Thailand, and my eyes are starting to droop as I stare out the window. In an hour, I will be in Münster.

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6 thoughts on “Welcome to Westphalia: the western world

  1. DLR says:

    Nice post & blog. Beautiful pictures.
    In this part of our world we worship rivers but are indifferent towards their upkeep.
    I think, Higher prices, higher trash and lower prices also creates higher trash; though both trashes are different.
    Hope you don’t have to sell your yak gear.
    Thanks and happy Journey.

  2. James Brandon O'Shea says:

    “…casting the yellow cloaked oaks with a lonely glow…” brilliant wording, my friend. The assonance of the ‘o’ sound is lulling. Love the picture too.

  3. Fiona.q says:

    5 euro for a cup of coffee? Germany is not that expensive. i bet you can find 2 euro for a cup in the city centre, dont worry 🙂
    p.s. having little budget but a brother, that’s good news… 😉

  4. Welcome back! Even though I’m sure there’s a lot of mixed feelings, right?

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