Sunday, February 27, 2011

Where did you come from, where did you go?

Bielefelder Bauch, Bielefelder Buach
When I meet new people (mostly Germans, and from a certain... shall we call it school of humour?), I don't have to worry about the first few minutes of conversation: Upon hearing my name, they will invariably point out that it rhymes with "danke" (Really! Never heard that one!) and then, when they hear about my home town, they will giggle and point out that it does not even exist. Scarily enough, this pretty little conspiracy proved to be robust and rather viral - I have, in fact, met Americans who had barely been to Europe, much less Germany, and still knew that the existence of Bielefeld, metropole of East Westfalia, seems questionable to many.

Haha. My life is full of humorous highlights, indeed.

But some recent internet surfing led me to a website for people whose home town truly does not exist (anymore): Those who grew up in Pine Point, Canada, now only see some asphalt roads leading through flat land, and if they look closely, all that remains of their city is the basement of the hotel that was overlooked when eradicating all traces of this place. And, it seems, the cemetery, because unlike their old houses, the dead were not relocated. There is a pretty cool site that documents it all.

My own home town is still intact. I must say that some of its neighbourhoods could benefit from having some of the more atrocious pieces of 1950s architecture removed, but apart from that, it is quite alive.