Coming Home – from Home?

Julia Bräunig


May 22, 2019

Okay, that’s my final blog post. Maybe I’ve been inconsistent, not extraordinarily eloquent and definitely not as holistic as I wanted to be in here posts but at least I am able to say that I could portray important parts of my own personal experience. And part of that is the end. (This sounds so cliché, I know).

Coming home was less difficult than I thought (besides the snowfall in early may which left me sick for two weeks). I managed to pick up German quickly again, realised that staying in contact with my Brazilian friends and family wasn’t an impossible thing to do and that German food was better than what my memory had told me all year long.
Now, 4 weeks back, I slowly start missing things. I miss the feeling in my lungs when I breathed in more water than oxygen, the soft sun on my sky, the sound of the waves breaking at Praia Barra da Lagoa. The noice of my kids playing. The sound of Portuguese. Eating açai. The beautiful jungle. Okay, it would be too much to say that I miss my friends, the cockroaches, but at least I can point out that I note their absence.

Now people constantly ask me: “How was Brazil?” And I have to decide how much of the whole story they want to hear. Should I crop these months into a few hours of conversation? A minute? Maybe only a word?
“Warm.” “Humid.” “Great.” “Life-changing.” “Different to Germany.” “Less different to Germany than I had thought.” …
There are so many possibilities to express this experience through language. Yes, all of them are right. But all of them are wrong too and it has been frustrating to be put into the situation of having to tell the wrong parts.

Now, I’m looking for these things I miss and fining them connects me to the memories I made. Leite Condensado that I transformed into Brigadeiro is one example. Baking Bolo de Cenoura is another.

Also, I got to speak Portuguese with a stranger today and it made me feel fantastic.

So after all its not the end of my experience. It’s just a change in how this experience continues.

Julia Bräunig