05 Oct Well, I really don’t have anything to wear! – Guest column
The first time it was no big deal: moving from Germany to Japan and back after one year. Summer, winter, transition, well, a little different than in the familiar area of Bonn (Germany), but everything worked out well.
In the course of a year the Japanese washing machines ate one or two socks, some white clothes developed a “gray haze” and I was able to unexcitedly throw them into the trash before returning. The rest was mailed back to Germany. – That was in 1987 and I was a young student.
Ten years later, I was relocating in the same direction again, this time to a very beautiful area of Tokyo. Alone and with a lot of space in the container. My employer was generous enough to grant me a clothing lump sum for this move so that I could adapt to the climatic and cultural requirements. First of all, that meant more nylon tights. Even in summer: every day.
Well, easy, and returning after a few years wasn’t a problem either.
Another ten years later, I had a family and moved to the subtropics, to HongKong, with my husband and two young children. – What do we leave here? What are we giving away? What about the warm baby clothes? Sure, that will go – but no, I’ll keep this and that, it’s so cute and the kids need mementos too.
And our adult belongings? Well, we won’t stay long. The winter coat, my long wool skirt, the boots – I don’t need any of them in Hong Kong. Sticker: storage!
Little did I know about that in the end we would stay much longer and that after ten years fashion would look different than ten years ago – similar to my dress size.
Today – 20 years later
Sorry for this long preface – I’m back on the subject: Now, having returned to Germany, I really have nothing to wear!
How should I know that September (!) In Franconia can be colder than in Hong Kong during the whole winter? How can you organize clothes for a family of four so quickly?
The past winters in Hong Kong have been warm. Our three stores, which we had around the corner and which supplied us in all sizes, do not exist here, only in the big cities or online. And shopping takes time. But it’s cold – now! We need shoes, thick jackets and jumpers, preferably also scarves, hats, gloves for everyone, because it’s sooo cold.
I can walk through town – and I don’t even know where to look. I don’t want to sell myself out for four people either, too expensive, the wrong thing, actually not our style …
Though, it’s good that I didn’t get my clothes sewn in China again, with things that I liked in Hong Kong, but that are irrelevant here. No matter how delicate the cashmere can be. My wise Dutch friend reminded me that some things are good to wear in one place, but they don’t fit in another. She is right.
Women talk, yes of course! But one of those little relocation battles that drains a lot of energy.
Actually, and that remains my secret, the topic is not that relevant to me because I write in my pajamas. It doesn’t matter what I wear – little in Hong Kong or thick slippers and soft fleece in Germany.
Jutta Depner is an intercultural trainer and coach and says she would be her best customer herself, if only she could. She feels at home in Tokyo, Hong Kong and soon again in Nuremberg and likes to observe herself and reflect what she experiences abroad and as an “experienced foreigner” in Germany.