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An excursion to Pullach

by Matteo F.M. Sommaruga

Ralph had become one of my best friends in Western Germany. Sympathetic with my peculiar condition, he was so deeply attracted by Italian culture that he allowed me to forget about the political troubles I had recently lived. Just like playing Bach, or Mozart, by speaking to him was like to travel back, on the other side of the Alps, in a XVIII century aristocratic mansion. On the shores of the lake Como. The peasants wearing a colourful dress, reminding those artificial ones, moreover quite ugly, still worn nowadays by gipsies. A world distant away, secretly hidden in my memory, strongly linked to the rays of the sun reflecting on the ocher surface of the neoclassical buildings. Palm trees and camellias, a white gravel path, well maintained by a loyal gardener. Music notes are coming out from the greenhouse, it does not make sense since the piano should be located in the sitting room. It is just a confusing dream, where I put together an inconsistent chain of elements until I realise the absurdity of the scene and I suddenly wake up. It is early in the morning, but I miss the will to stand up. I prefer to linger on the just vanished portrait of an ideal world. I plan to pay a visit to the local pinacotheque, the only place that could provide me similar feelings. The need to stay alone for a while is also quite strong, regretfully I have got a meeting with Ralph and I waste most of the time choosing what to do next. He rings my doorbell and I have got to be fast to get ready. He is quite flexible, not just in comparison to the average German understandment, especially about dates and time, but I prefer to avoid to abuse it too much. He has just bought a new bicycle, not an expensive one, but good enough to sustain every kind of terrain. The sun is really hot today and the woods along the Isar are inviting. I ask him to show me the way, I don't really mind where to go. I would be satisfied to do some exercise, nothing more. We ride together along the Isar, towards the south, just because I am already acquainted to the northern part, without any actual destination. The riverside is so peaceful although over populated by runners, dogs, mums and babies. Also some horse properly mounted. The first stop is the Zoo. Still obsessed by the socialist tyranny I have left behind, I cannot restrain myself from blaming those unfortunate animals. They have been offered, forcibly, a quiet life where everything is provided in exchange of liberty. I recall all those unfortunate who so hardly depicted the effect of capitalism, to choose a similar prison. Some of them have regretted their own choice, but it is now too late. We go further, we do not change direction until we reach a block of houses in Pullach. It's so quiet all around us. I perceive just singing birds from the forest, nothing else. Ralph shows me a path among the bushes. He has already explored the area several time and he has been thrilled by the discovery of a passage to an isolated block of houses quite completely covered by the vegetation.

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