The Bittersweet Life in a Small Town

Sometimes a large, neat, clean landscape is just what you need. As a girl, who was raised her whole life under tall skyscrapers, living in a small town in Germany now is certainly something. Sometimes a challenge, sometimes a privilege.

There are reasons that ended with me living in a small flat, in a small town near Darmstadt with my 2 other roommates. 1; is that the rent is much cheaper than in the city, 2; I just love my room. It’s nice, not too small, not too big, and I have pretty much everything I need in my apartment. We have our own wash machine, oven, bath tub, even a good internet connection. 

Like a latte, you’ll taste the bitterness of the coffee beans, yet you’ll also taste the sweetness of the milk. Drink it hot or drink it cold. Anyhow, you know, you’ll enjoy it.  What you’re about to read below are my personal point of view about living in a small town. It may be a little too bitter, but it may also be sweeter than I thought. I take a sip of my latte serenely.

It’s (too) quiet

It’s a total optimum studying place here. After college, my friends used to invite me to the university library to study, but I never come (well, maybe once or twice since I study here). After walking between tall, busy, people in the city, and travel through meadows and cold forests on the way home, I’d sit in front of my desk, turn on my laptop, and watch my favourite Korean variety show. Owh, and study, afterwards. The only distraction here is the internet. Other than that, of course, you would still hear noises, like the sound of the clock ticking, the sound of the birds chiming just outside your window, and if you’re lucky, you’ll even hear the birds landing on dry leaves.

Okay, sometimes it drives me crazy, since its too quiet. I slept my whole life back in Indonesia, listening to the sound of the motorcycles and “Dangdut” music, because my house was nearby a small village as well.

Meanwhile, I add a little more coffee beans to my latte, and I’d still enjoy it. Not everyone can have a place, where they can entirely relax and outcast themselves from the hectic Metropolitans. 

Paintings of scenery come to live

I’d add a little more milk to my latte, because I like it creamy. 

The landscapes are alluring. I travel everyday with the bus, and so between the city and the villages, there are beautiful meadows and corn fields along the way, and even a forest, that literally changes color, 4 times a year. 

 A small town is also pedestrian-friendly. People walk their dogs between these fairy landscapes. Roads are only wide enough for one-way. Its nice to see old houses all around you.

 If I was tired with schoolwork and literally work, I would just take a 15 minutes walk outside to see the sunflowers. In summer, they would face the sun, in winter, they would disguise themselves like any other plant, but still pretty much a neat view.

They’d say, you’d know everyone

Maybe not like, “Hallo, guten Tag Frau Müller!” kind of thing. I would not choose “know” as the proper word, but you do recognize the people here easily. For example, the postman. And even when he’s not on duty, you’ll get to see him to strolling around town with his family. You’d also notice the same people again and again. My class always starts at 8 am in the morning, so I’d have to take the 7.19 bus to the city. The people, who would wait for the 7.19 bus, would be the same, well, sometimes some of them would not be there, sometimes there would be just a little more people, but you’d definitely notice a few of them.

Regarding, the people in small towns are much friendlier than the ones in the city. My nearest bus stop is 5 minutes away on foot from my apartment. It’s not rare, that I have to greet random people 2-3 times on my way there, even though it’s just a 5 minutes walk. 

Werewolves seek to hunt at night and Sundays 

In classic fairy tales, as the sun sets, the villagers stay at home, close every window and lock their doors, in aware of the werewolf lurking. Coincidentally, where I live, where some of the houses were built during the world war, the setting is a perfect scene for a medieval movie.

Nights here are very quiet. No one walks outside after 8 pm. Buses come every one hour, still, the roads are cold.

On Sundays, even in the middle of the day, the city becomes a silent one. Birds chiming, cats wondering off the street, and the smell of home-cooks fills up the air. Sundays in Germany, generally, are always so. The people gather with their family at home, since every supermarket, every shop are all closed on Sundays.

I can now taste the coffee at the back of my tongue, maybe I’d put just too many coffee.

Greens for you

Living in a small town could also mean a better quality of life. The air is definitely better, than in big cities, since, in my town at least, the city in surrounded with fields and trees. No buildings around, except for my apartment, which is also not one of those fancy tall expensive skyscrapers.

Most people here also have their own house, with a garden. They grow sorts of vegetables and fruits themselves, especially in summer. 

There are absolutely no doubt, when you wanted to go outside for a walk. Without having to think, that your face would be polluted, you won’t be able to take a deep breath, and your hair is going to get dirty, because you just took a shower. 

After a few minutes, I take a big sip from my latte, simply so. I know that, I’m one of those lucky people, who are able to enjoy even the smallest thing in life. And even though, these small things are way out of your comfort-zone and just new. 

I take a last sip from my latte, I finish it, and head outside to see the sunflowers.

Thanks to my friend Danil who was willing to be my model.

Thanks to my friend Danil who was willing to be my model.