The End

08/14/2011

This is it, the end of my German adventure.

Before we go any further, I want to thank all of you who read my blog over the last year. This is not only my very last post, it is also my 60th and what started out simply as a way to keep track of the day to day stuff quickly became a way for me to not only share my adventure with you, but to save it for myself for when, years down the road, I want to look back.

I find it rather hard to believe that it’s all over and that I’m home for at least a year. I keep expecting to wake up in my bed in the StuSie and hop on a tram and go to Uni, but I know that’s not going to happen no matter how much I wish it could.

Is there a word for homesickness for somewhere that isn’t home? Freiburgweh? Maybe.

Sunday evening I took a break from packing and went over to Mari’s place to have one last dinner with some friends. They made some swedish potato and fish casserole which was pretty good. It was honestly just nice to get away from the stress of packing and clearing out my room.

Monday was a long day. The guy in charge of my flat came over at 8am to check the room and take my keys and then I headed down to the bahnhof to catch my train to Frankfurt.

I got the feeling that something was off about halfway into the trip. I noticed that the board with the destinations said Frankfurt main train station when I needed to go to the airport, but I told myself not to worry, it’d work out. Well, turns out my suspicions were correct. I got off the train in downtown Frankfurt and took the S-Bahn to the airport. I was so good on time however, that it really wasn’t anything more than a slight inconvenience.

After finally making it to the airport, I checked my bags at Icelandair and was told that my plane would be 20 minutes late but not to worry. I got through security and started to wait. I waited and waited and finally, 45 minutes before the plane was scheduled to leave a gate was announced, so I went there and waited some more. The flight was supposed to leave at 2pm, but 2pm rolled around and there wasn’t even a plane at the gate so we waited some more.

To make what felt like an insanely long story short, we didn’t leave Frankfurt until 3pm. This wouldn’t have been a problem except my layover in Iceland was only an hour, and seeing that we left an hour late, I was pretty much resigned to the fact that I’d be spending a little more time in Iceland than I had bargained for. The flight there however, was really nice. The middle seat was open and the girl sitting on the aisle was really nice so we chatted for a while. Also, it was one of the smoothest flights I’ve ever been on.

We landed in Iceland at the exact time my plane for Minneapolis was supposed to be leaving. The stewardess however announced that all planes were waiting for us, and that the passengers who were flying to Minneapolis (me) needed to disembark the plane first. What was supposed to be an hour layover was literally less than two minutes. I’ve never ran to a plane before.

The flight from Iceland was uneventful and smooth which is all I really need. Icelandair doesn’t have the best reputation, but let me tell you what, I will never say bad things about them again. I had literally two minutes in Iceland to catch my plane and despite that, all my luggage showed up on time in Minneapolis. If they can do that, the fact that they don’t feed you at all is completely forgiven.

It was a long day getting back home. Whenever I drive past the airport now, all I want to do is hop on a plane and go on an adventure.

The last couple days have been spent chilling at home and with my friends. I saw my Baubie and Zadie yesterday and am playing golf with my gramma and grampa later this afternoon. It’s nice to see family and friends again.

Just because I’m back doesn’t mean I’m all done with work. I still have two term papers to finish up and there’s still plenty of little loose ends that need tying up. I get all the stress and none of the fun of being abroad. At least the subjects of my term papers are pretty interesting.

My laptop charger broke again last night, so I ran to best buy this morning and bought a new one. That’s the last time I get something like that off ebay. I forgot that stores are open on Sundays here, I thought I would have had to wait until tomorrow to get my charger. That was a pleasant surprise.

I guess this is the end of the very last blog. I’ve had so much fun writing this and having a little weekly companion that ending it is honestly rather tough. The end of this blog is the definite end of my time abroad and I hate to say goodbye.

If I could ask you a favor, just to satisfy my curiosity I would really love to know who read my blog. Leave a comment, send me an email or let me know next time I see you if you’d like. I’d like to hear what you have to say.

After eleven months and sixty posts,

Tschüss

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The Final Countdown

08/07/2011

Tomorrow.

Every time I stop to think, the only thing running through my head is that I’m leaving. I just teared up writing that sentence, I don’t want to leave. I have a feeling I’m going to cry while writing this blog.

I said goodbye to a lot of my friends last night, and I’m kind of heartbroken. I’m going to miss them so much.

Monday I had my last two finals, both of which I passed. The first one was for my intellectuals class and because one of the girls set off the emergency exit alarm and we had to wait around for 30 minutes until the guy with a key to shut it off could come around, the final took decidedly longer than it should have. It was also very difficult and I studied the wrong things. But I passed.

The second final was an oral exam for my class on the Germans and Czechs which was just 15 minutes of the professor asking me questions. It was easy enough, language was the only thing that really made it more difficult but despite this I still did well. The professor complemented my German at the end of it.

After I finished my oral final, Danija and I wandered around town, went to the second hand shop where I bought a dirndl (the traditional bavarian dress) and then went to the Münsterplatz for a wurst. We also played around in the Bächle. The Bächle are, if you remember, the little canals that go through the city center and the whole year I’ve been itching to walk in them. Too bad this was the one day I left my camera at home.

Wednesday was my last day of class here in Freiburg. I was supposed to have a discussion section at 8:30am, but I showed up and no one was there so I just ran errands all morning. That afternoon was my last Münster class and I found out that I got a 2 (B) on my final from last week. That made me happy. That class is probably one of the best classes I’ve taken, it was fascinating and well done.

Thursday morning I woke up early, ex-matriculated at the university, tried to get a transcript, tried to cancel my phone and after trying to find a change machine, gave all the small change I’ve collected over the last year to the Synagogue my mom and I went to for Yom Kippur services.

I walked in, told them I wanted to give Tzedakah and got a rather surprised look in return. The looks on their faces when I took the bag of change out of my backpack (probably like 10 euros in 1,2 and 5 cent coins) made it totally worth it. I’m glad I didn’t find the change machine, this was so much more satisfying. It made my day.

I wonder what they said later about the American girl who randomly gave Tzedakah. Because that’s all they know about me, that I’m American and that I’m Jewish.

Thursday was the last Karaoke night. There was a big table of us and it was a good night. Jamele and I sang Single Ladies again and killed it. It was good to go out with a bang.

Friday day all the public transportation workers were on strike and no trams were running so I stayed close to home and tried to be productive. Even though the semester is over, I still have two term papers to write.

Friday evening was the last StuSie bar party and boy, was it like no other party I’ve ever been to. It was a foam party. Basically, pretend you’re in a bubble bath without water and the bubbles are coming out of something that looks remarkably like the snow machines at Afton Alps. It was great.

There is something about being covered in foam that turns you into a little kid. Especially if you stood right underneath the foam machine, and the foam was higher than you were, it was pretty great. A bummer to have to wear glasses though, I couldn’t see hardly anything all evening but it was totally worth it.

It was definitely an experience and a good way to end the semester with a bang.

The first thing I did when I got home was jump in the shower. I’m just throwing the skirt and sandals I wore away, I don’t think they’ll ever quite be the same.

Yesterday morning I went into town to run a couple errands and do all the little things I had/wanted to do before I leave. Besides going to Müller to pick up some pens that I love and can’t find at home and I taking the old trams to and from town, I went to the Münsterplatz and got one last wurst, I went into the Münster and walked around for the last time (a morning service was going on

when I got there, which was cool to see), I went to the university and walked through the buildings in which I had classes and lastly, had one last lemon eis at portofino.

As a part of this last Sunday in Germany, I wanted to give you guys a bit of a tour of my every day life here in Freiburg, so here we go:

The Quad

KG II - A university building

Lecture Hall

UB 1 - The university Library

The Mensa - Cafeteria

KG I and III

My building is on the left

Saturday afternoon I packed up as much as I could and then that evening I met up with some friends for one last beer at Feierling. We were supposed to go see a play, but because it was in an outdoor theater and the weather was threatening to rain, the play got cancelled. It was nice to just sit around and talk over a drink one last time with my friends here.

I just got done cleaning the flat with Sarah and my room hasn’t looked this bare since the day I moved in in September. The floor is vacuumed and mopped and all that’s left is to wipe down my desk and nightstand. My two suitcases are packed and pretty much ready to go.

I’m allowed two 50lb suitcases and, since my scale is broken, I’m not exactly sure how much they weigh. My scale, even when there’s nothing on it still says that something weighs 3kg, which means that since I’m allowed 23kg per suitcase, technically that means that according to my scale I can have 26kg. However, since I’m so afraid of having an overweight suitcase, I’m really afraid to put anything more in the suitcase that’s already 23kg. We shall see.

The guy in charge of my building is coming around tomorrow at 8am to check the room and take away my keys and then I go to the train station where my train leaves at around 9am. I’ll be back in Minnesota by dinnertime.

I cannot believe that this is the end. Eleven months, almost to the day (Sept 11th – Aug 8th) and it’s pretty much over. I remember sitting at home in MN in September thinking that August was so far away and I was so afraid that I would hate being here and that I wouldn’t make any friends and that I’d have a miserable time. Instead, it has been the best year of my life.

As much as I’m dreading leaving tomorrow, and as much as I love Europe and Germany and Freiburg, it will be nice to see my family and friends again. In many ways, it’s all very bittersweet. I’ll write one last blog next Sunday to wrap everything up and then this is over.

I’ll leave you guys with what is probably the very last picture with some of my friends here in Freiburg.

After 11 months here in Freiburg Germany, there are a lot of things that I’m going to miss so I thought I’d put together a neat little list as a mid-week blog post. I’ll have a regular blog for you on Sunday, like normal

I’m going to miss:

Eating Bratwursts on the Münsterplatz and making a mess with the Senf and onions.

Danija needing Fanta to function

Carrying bags full of bottles back to the store to get my Pfand back

Being mistaken for a European (Either German, French or Spanish)

German German German

Knowing what to say but not how to say it

Having the Seepark in my backyard

Lemon Eis at Portofino

Taking the last tram into town on Friday and Saturday nights

Radlers

Paprika flavored potato chips

Lemon flavored pop

Having to decide between Pennymarkt and Edeka and always choosing Edeka because it’s half a block closer. Unless I need diet coke, and then it’s always Pennymarkt

Knowing that I am surrounded by the kind of history I want to spend my entire life studying.

Linie 1, richtung Landwasser, Haltestelle Am Bischofskreuz

StuSie

Hoarding food sent to me from home

Being made fun of for how I say Minnesota (Minnesohhda) by non-native English speakers

Trains

Skyping with the family

Augustinerplatz, Münsterplatz, Rathausplatz

Finding old WW2 memorabilia at the Flohmarkt

the Uni

KG I, II, III, IV and Breisacher Tor

Knocking on the table at the end of each lecture

Spending hours at Europa cafe reading and drinking tea

Printing all my reading for the week on Wednesday morning because I know I wont have to wait for a computer. I wont miss having class 8:30-10 though

My super comfy bed and awkwardly lumpy pillow

The Mensa… maybe

Bratwurst, Bockwurst, Currywurst

History

Having friends from all over the world

Filmabends, Karaoke and Party machen

Writing a weekly blog

Editing other people’s English papers

Having broken window shades that only roll up  3/4 of the way

Forgetting to only roll up my window shades 3/4 of the way and having to stand on the window sill to fix it

My friends. Seriously

Cheap German chocolate

Bertoldsbrunnen

Never being carded for alcohol

Weihnachtsmärkte and Glühwein

Feierling Beer

Traveling through Europe

The best year of my entire life (so far)