Exactly four months ago, at the 10th of Juli, I arrived here in Chemnitz, Saxony. On the first day, I remember my mentor picking me up from the train station and the welcoming committee I met in my new flat, my flatmate and the other volunteers from the apartement upstairs. Also, I found in my room fresh flowers , chocolate and a sweet postcard with a picture of the Karl-Marx monument, the “Nischel”, how it is called here. I was so glad of this warm welcome, I had a good feeling about this entire new experience I was jumping in. I enjoyed my summer here, the company of the other volunteers and the few trips I had the opportunity to do...because there was always the shadow of the virus, therefore I preferred not to travel a lot and stay in Saxony instead. Nonetheless, I enjoyed having many peaceful walks in the beautiful Stadtpark and in Rabenstein forest, not far from Chemnitz. I have to say, after months of the Italian lockdown, during which I had to stay within 200 mt from my home, all of this was more than enough.
And then Autumn arrived...and with it, the second wave of the infection. I am not gonna lie, when Chemnitz was proclaimed to be a risky area, I had a couple of bad weeks. The thought of being far from my loved ones, really hit me. I knew that there was this possibility when I decided to come here, but honestly a part of me simply hoped that, knowing more about the virus and the measures to take to keep the infection under control, there would have not be another lockdown. Well...here we are. Again.
By the way, I have no intention to complain about the lockdown, which I believe is necessary and that is much lighter than the one that I endured in Italy.
I keep going, of course, with my job with the children, my study of German and my life here, which I like. Even under these conditions, I am having a good experience overall and I would recommend it. I like this city and I find the people really nice, in general...which was a pleasant surprise, considering what can be found in internet on Chemnitz.
The truth is that most of the people I met, at the workplace and elsewhere, have been very nice to me, they have been particularly patient when it comes to the language, repeating again and again what I could not understand. That is why sometimes I feel sad because I have much fewer opportunity of meeting new local people, especially people around my age. I feel like I am not living part of the experience.
It goes without saying that many people are having the same issue, this is just something with which we have to live with, in this moment.
I think we are all learning how to deal with this common uncertainty.