Good bye Novosibirsk

Every time you leave a hotel room to depart, at least for a short moment your awareness flashes up, asking if you didn’t forget anything. It wasn’t any different when I stepped onto the third floor of the Centralnaya in Novosibirsk. For a second I halted. I had glanced at my bedstand twice, anxiously making sure that I would not leave something behind, just as I do every time when I am going to go irreversibly.

That moment it came to my mind that I already knew what I would leave behind. While I could go back and check the carpet under my chair for a third time, probably finding some small belonging I had previously overseen in the dark, I could not take the people with me that had made my stay in Novosibirsk such a great time.

The thought of writing a blog post starting with a sentence like this, “This time I already knew what I would leave behind”, seemed kitschy to me. Yet it is what I thought, and it has made me ponder if it is indeed true.

While I am not going to see the people were so nice to me for a long time, yes, probably forever, today we stay connected. I have befriended a handful of them on Facebook, followed some on Twitter, exchanged IM numbers. The forum has ended, but the communication endures.

The people I met in Novosibirsk were some of the most friendly I have ever had the pleasure to make the acquaintance of. I want to thank you all for a great time: Our coordinators Masha (don’t worry about your English!) and Anna, who were not only super nice, but also incredibly well organized, Svetja, who never got tired to (only while) entertaining us, our unexpected German translator Nastja, our English translators and everybody else who was involved in managing Interra 09.

I, too, want to thank those people I had the pleasure to talk to and discuss with. You allowed me to gain an insight into Russian society and especially its blogosphere and education system, two spheres I would never have explored without your help.

I also owe the Goethe Institut in Novosibirsk a debt of gratitude. It paid for my stay in Siberia, making it possibly for me to meet all the great people named above. And finally, I want to thank Marco, for being a great companion and making incredibly good photos of our adventures.

You all made my time in Novosibirsk a very special experience. Thank you very much! And now, go get the sleep you all deserve πŸ˜‰

P.S. I realize this has become a pretty pathetical appraisal, but I just felt I had to give back at least some kind words to all those who were so friendly to me. Without this post, my travelogue would lack its true end. Because after all, it is true what Confucius has said: “Forget hurts, but never forget amicabilities.”

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