Unser Autor Ross kommt aus dem verregneten Norden Englands. Letzten Herbst verliebte er sich in eine Regensburger Erasmus-Studentin. Nach zwei Semestern war ihr Auslandsaufenthalt vorbei. Sie ging zurück nach Regensburg – und er kam mit. Doch die Stadt und ihre Einwohner bescheren dem Zuagroastn seitdem den ein oder anderen “what the fuck?!”-Moment. In seiner wöchentlichen Kolumne „Ratisbonisms” erzählt Ross mit seinem dry english wit von Regensburgs Eigenheiten.
Or: see you soon, to be more precise. The last five months have been a blur. I’ve met some great people and been fortunate enough to settle into life in this enchanting city but yet it feels like only yesterday I was packing all of my personal possessions into four huge boxes and boarding a flight to Munich. The most hectic and most stressful time of my 23 years – my new hairline doesn’t lie! In less than two weeks I’ll return to England for the holiday period and between catching up with the lads, visiting family and eating pigs-in-blankets, I’ll have a lot of time to reflect on the first part of my German life.
From my first days here, feeling like a lost sheep, I’ve gone full circle and can now say that this place is rather homely. Something that I’ve come to value is the acceptance of cycling and cyclists. Having a separate pathway to ride bikes on all roads is a real luxury. Cars slow down and give right of way to folk on two wheels and there are even separate bike traffic lights! When I get back to England, I cannot wait to get out on my road bike and blast out some miles in the rugged countryside of the north. But before this perfect terrain is reached, one must risk life and limb, negotiating the towns and battling for space on busy roads with inconsiderate, angry drivers.
I have learnt to love many things about Regensburg but I’ve pined for one thing in particular lately: a proper pub. Nothing beats a warm pub in the winter months; real beer, roaring fire. Regensburg has bars-a-plenty, including two Irish bars but they aren’t the same, they’re essentially theme bars. For this reason I’ve realised recently that I hardly drink here, bars are cool and all that but I don’t want bouncing tunes and a juggling barman. A post-work pint was a daily ritual in England and I really miss that. After work, dropping into the local tavern knowing that there’ll be a few mates there playing pool and throwing darts. But the cultures are just different and I’m lucky in the sense that I can take the best bits of both cultures and revel in them at my leisure, without ever having too much. A few months here, a few weeks there, it keeps the mind fresh and spirit alive.
If I survive the sketchy cycling and predicted Coldest British Winter of the Century I’ll be back to Regensburg in the New Year. This time it won’t feel like a martian landscape that I need my translator app to navigate. My home will always be on the coast of northern England and writing those words produces an involuntary smile, but rainy Ratisbon has become my second home.