I categorically did not bite you.
For a start, you’re in Berlin. And I’m not. Though I do associate Berlin with this lady, who certainly wants to bite people. Of course, I’m not entirely sure what makes me associate her with Berlin. Possibly something I read. Possibly just that slightly cabaret sound (which makes me proud, that I might naturally associate a sound with a city I’ve never been to).
But she’s definitely from Bolton, which doesn’t have quite the same romantic charm.
But yeah. I still don’t quite understand why people keep on asking me about their experiences. One of the biggest weaknesses of this overtly subjective project (writing) is that I can’t cover any point of view but my own apart from through guesswork.
Logic dictates that you wouldn’t even bring up the subject if you didn’t have some kind of bite mark. But it would be pure speculation to suggest it was anything more specific, a ring of teeth marks, slowly bruising on the thigh, perhaps? A swollen red insectoid lump on your arm? Or perhaps something filled with longing, pulsing on your soul?
When I went to Germany, you see, I was immediately bitten by a desire to live there. I can’t guarantee it wasn’t just because it was sunny and I was put up by a stranger and I had my first cycle in over fifteen years. But I wanted that to be my life. Sun and countryside and city and art and friendliness. The stereotyped efficiency and the beauty of the cities. The rhythmic harshness of the language and the propriety of the bicyclists and drivers.
That’s something you can get bitten by. A new exciting place. And judging from the pictures, and the twitters, you’ve been fairly bitten by Berlin. But then, I’ve never been, and whenever somebody mentions the word, my eyes go gooey and my heart mists over.
It’s something that I need to bite me. (It’s not the only thing, but we shan’t go there).
Of course, despite my biting, I’ve still not got much further with my German learning. I figure as soon as I get round to that, I’ll be ready to move, so maybe I’m delaying so I don’t have that scary sense of movement built into my life plan.
Security is a bastard. Totally stops the biting, in the good and bad ways. I’m not exactly trapped here, but it’ll take something big to push me out of my cocoon.
So I need to travel just to get bitten. That’s the thing. I need to get out of my safety net and into the world outside. I need to just put my foot on that tightrope and not look down.
It’s easier said than done.
But today, I pack up, put stuff on my bike and ride into the sunset. Or something. The more we explore, the more we get bitten, and the more we get bolder.
I’m biting my knuckles.
Illustration by Emma.