Solitary Exposure

Solitary Exposure

Who am I? Where am I going? Why am I going?


As we went on the expressway towards Bonn, I am seated at the front of the bus, just behind and to the right of the driver. I snap a picture now and then when I see something interesting in the landscape. Looks more like the countryside.

solit02 solit03 solit04

It struck me that 70 years ago, I would not have stood a chance. Even if I was alive, I would have either been in a concentration camp or making my way fearfully across the country in an attempt to escape. Along with the other “undesirables” such as the gypsies, the Jews, the invalid, the disabled, the colored, I would have fallen under the war machine of the Third Reich and threshed completely or turned into a bloody pulp of blood and gore on their wrathful wine-press.

But there I was seated in full view, just as cold as the next person, one ticket conferring equality on me just as the same with every passenger on the bus.
Thank God for the past, thank God for the present, and thank God for the future, because despite the violent darkness that shrouds the whole world, there are streaks of hope breaking through to light our way.

Thank God for Germany and her people: for rising above the past and surely not forgetting and being watchful. Hitler might have been an aberration. A mutant. But he was in good company of men like Goebbels , Dr Mengele, Himmler … So mutations are not so uncommon as one would hope.

But yet, for the believers, we hold on to 1 John 3:2 which means “perfection”:
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

solit05 solit06 solit07

Between Bonn and Bad Honnef (1:58PM 02-Jan-2014)

I check in to the hotel. I had to go back and forth between a couple of banks down the road and the hotel. The hotel doesn’t accept debit cards and then I had to transfer money between my savings and current account since my ATM debit card was only linked to the current account. I have completed a couple of forms to have this fixed at my bank but I guess some requests never make it past the customer service desk.
Finally I had the cash.
The room is spacious enough with two beds side by side.
I take a shower.

I made the call.

Probably will get no response.
Well actually not nothing. Just some recorded voice in German which I assume said I should leave a message.

solit08 solit09 solit10 solit11

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I do not have the right adapter for my laptop’s power supply so once I run down the battery, I am without “eyes” on the Internet. I have the phone though so I can still peep in.

The whole day was before me. A stranger in a strange land. I decided to go for a walk after I ran down the battery of the laptop.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I have got lost several times in Amsterdam. So a little German town won’t faze me. The street names are just as strange and slightly similar. The cold is still getting under my fleece and leather jacket. And I can certainly feel it on my thighs through my pair of black jeans. But I feel extra alive so I walk on.

The Germans are known for their love of – or strive for perfection. “Engineered to perfection”. Benz anyone? Lots of nice small German machines on the road. There is “money” in this town. But no pretense at royalty or over abundance of wealth thereby making up for some character flaw. Like some people back home but I guess same applies in all countries – if you look closely enough.

A lady walks up to me. Tomboyish. She asks if I speak English. She needs a bus to some tongue twisting place. She could be Scandinavian from her English. Said someone directed her to the bus stop across the road but her stop is not listed on the small plaque displaying the destinations. I am a visitor myself. She asks about the rail station. I was able to point her in the general direction. I told her to ask as she goes along. Not very many people on the streets though.

solit13 solit14 solit15 solit16 solit17 solit18

There is a young boy dragging a trolley bag coming the opposite way. Probably early teens. I stop to take a picture. He crosses the road to the other side well before we meet and continues on his way. Our eyes meet a couple of times. We fear what we don’t know. I might be the bogeyman but he’s too young to be a mugger.

This street surely has an end?

Or is it a test? The short responses. The “no” responses. It is just me.

If she’s worth it you won’t quit. If you quit you aren’t worthy“. Saw that on Facebook.

Surely Facebook has made it as informal references into some academic theses by now? What happens if Facebook goes under? I guess same thing as when referenced books go out of print.

solit24 solit25 solit26 solit27 solit28 solit29 solit30 solit31

I come across a lady with a cute dog. I ask if I can take its picture. She said why not. Stood by me and tried to get the dog to look at the camera.
She said something that sounded like “ah-cee, ah-cee whaa-whaa”. I think it means stop or stay.


Ah! It’s not an end but there’s a definite curve to the road. I am flanked by two kings: Jesus, heavenly king on the left. Ceasar, earthly king on the right. Narrower is the way … I hear the bell toll just then for whom it will. Actually it marked 7pm.

king1 king2

I go on past the little church. Further down I see an overhead bridge.
I shall take the overhead bridge as its end. It thins out and splits into several roads there. A car just rolled to a stop. I could have sworn I head its rims scraping the Tarmac. But then it continued on its way on one of the smaller roads and was soon out of sight round the bend. I am retracing my steps. Can’t be less than 40mins. What goes down must come up.

I can barely control my fingers anymore. They are numb.

There is snow on the ground.

snow1 snow2

There is a full moon out.


Must be some iconic church to be preserved in the middle of the road. Have I captured some piece of the Templars code on film? Can I decipher it to get to the source of unlimited wealth or the holy grail?

templars1 templars2

A lady runs by me to her car in front. I thought she was the one that gave off the strong smell of tobacco. But it was an older gentleman parked on the curb. He was just starting his car to take off and he had a big fat tobacco in his mouth. The inner light of his car was on. He looked directly at me as I stared at him in turn.

A middle age gentleman stood in front of a compound with a dog whose mane would arouse the jealousy of some lions especially considering its relative size.
I crossed the road and approach the man while at the same time taking off my head warmer. The cold should not make for any preconceived stereotypes but given that I haven’t come across any black faces since I arrived, better to do everything to appear “less” threatening. I smiled broadly and asked if I could take a picture of the dog. He apologized that his English isn’t so good. So I held my hands in front of me like I was holding a camera and pointed at the dog. Oh. Sure. He says.


I am back at the beginning. I take a picture of one side of the room.

Where are you.

8:15pm Bad Honnef

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Saturday starts slowly.

Then you came along.

Then Saturday ends too quickly.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sunday morning, I check out of the hotel and pop into the neighborhood Catholic church. The service is in German. I stay just inside the door. I close my eyes for a couple of minutes and say hi to God.


church1 church2 church3 church4

Then it’s up the hill.


I am going back. I am at the airport.

It was nice seeing you. No. More than nice. Great.



Solitary once again.

3 thoughts on “Solitary Exposure

  1. Why does this make me feel melancholy? Hope you got some nice German chocolates? Wish I could close my eyes and translate myself into those lovely scenes. What won’t I do for a few hours wandering along those scenic streets….

  2. Yetunde, I agree @ Melancholy. Plus, Tunde I have thought about facebook going under too, or even worse the whole internet going down! It’s a horror imagination because we have become so dependent on the web! But hey, nobody ever thought planes would fly, or submarines sail under water, we adapt……

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *