Note: Before I get sucked into this whole "remembering" schtick, I'd like to fill you in a little on my current situation: I recently completed the September Course, a month-long intensive language orientation course at Uni. Konstanz, and I'm now in the midst of preparing for my first semester as an exchange student. I'm looking at some really interesting lit courses for the next semester (all in English, except for one German course), and I begin my three sports—Lacrosse (I know, I know... Lacrosse in Germany? Blame my French friend, Thibaud, who wanted me to accompany him in a sport), Ping-Pong (Tischtennis), and classical ballroom dance—sometime around the 20th. Until recently, I wasn't eating particularly healthfully, nor was I exercising very much at all, but I'm starting to get back into the swing of things. Hopefully when sports start I'll get back into relatively good shape, and when I add to that my improving diet (almost paleo, but with a few European exceptions), I should be in a pretty good place.
Alright, here goes a whole lot o' somethin'!
The rest of my time in Heidelberg was fairly low-key. With my energy restored from my long-night's rest, Garnet and I decided it would be a good idea to try and see if we could have our iPhone's unlocked by a T-Mobile employee (Garnet was quite sure that if he explained our situation clearly we would have no trouble getting the relatively simple procedure done); unfortunately, none of the stores we visited were willing to help us out, even as Garnet pointed out that stores in England and Australia currently perform the unlocking procedure gratis.
Feeling somewhat dispirited by the T-Mobile experience, Garnet and I returned to his apartment in the hopes that we would be able to unlock the phones ourselves. Unfortunately, the necessary software that allows one to crack iOS4.1 was—and remains to be—unavailable at the time, and I left Heidelberg without a functioning handy.
As we had done last summer, Garnet and I also cooked-up some tasty food this time around. While I don't have pictures of the deceptively simple but altogether delicious zucchini that we sauteed with shallots in olive oil (a meal, I confess, which launched my German love-affair with zucchini), I did manage to capture a video of some lovely zucchini fritters frying at Ellen's house.
Due to time constraints, my stay in Heidelberg was short-lived, and I left on Saturday for another familiar city, Schweinfurt, where I'd spent a good portion of my previous summer. While most of my ride to Schweinfurt was unremarkable, I had something of a frightening (though in retrospect, quite funny) experience at one of my transfer points along the way: as I walked up the stairs to catch my next train, I was halted by a police officer angrily yelling German in direction. I thought at first that he might have been calling to someone behind me, but when I pointed perplexedly at myself, he indicated in the same angry tone that he was indeed talking to me. As I nervously walked down the steps to the man, he yelled at me, "Passport! ID!" At this point I was a nervous mess, and I fumbled in vain for some identification, sure I had unintentionally committed some grave mistake and would never make it to Schweinfurt. However, before I could even finish blurting out the few German words I knew in an effort to save my ass, the officer unexpectedly shot out, "Wait, are you American? Never mind, you can go." Of course, I left in a hurry, and I don't think I've ever been more relieved to get on a train as I was at that moment.
Upon my arrival in Schweinfurt, I was relieved to see a familiar and ever-lovely face waiting for me at the platform—Anna Maria! It really was quite surreal seeing her again—the last time we'd seen each other in the flesh was a year ago as we said goodbye at Frankfurt airport—and even as we hugged each other tightly I felt as if in a dream. I was struck once again by how much time had gone by when I realized that Anna Maria had driven to get me; it seemed as if we had only just talked about her getting her license, and here she was—a real driver! She proved to be a good one, too, and the ride home was nothing but smooth-sailing.
Back at the Malinowski house, we greeted Anna Maria's parents, Andrzej and Ewa, and their close friends, (and the other weekend guests) Tomek and Ania, a Polish couple who live in Britain full time and who, like me, speak very minimal German. When the greetings were complete, we rushed out the door to the nearby city of Dettelbach (I feel like leaving as soon as I get to the Malinowski house is something of a recurring theme—last year, we left at 2AM on my first morning in Schweinfurt to head to the Baltic Sea), where a vineyard-opening festival was taking place.
In Dettelbach, we greeted Roger "Rog" Bischoff—another very close friend of the Malinowskis—and the Herrmann family and sat down to dinner, wine, and some live music courtesy of a very good entertaining dance band. Here are some pictures from that evening:
|The group meets|
We spent the next day relaxing, listening to music, and preparing a nice meal for that evening. When the night finally arrived, we reclined in the living room and waited for the last parts of the meal to arrive. Both Anna Maria and I took pictures with my iPhone, so the night is fairly well-documented... even if the picture quality isn't very high.
|Photo: Anna Maria|
|Another Anna Maria picture|
|L-R: Andrzej, Ania, Me, Tomek, Ewa|
|Andrzej & Ewa|
|Tomek & Ania|
|Me being freaky|
|Delicious Schweinefleisch courtesy of Ewa|
The next day, we all sat down to a large and delicious "Frühstück" (German for "breakfast")—as seems to be the norm in the Malinowski house whenever I visit—and then Tomek and Ania prepared to depart by car for England, quite unwillingly, as the weather was not good at the time.
Later, Anna Maria and I played around with my photobooth app while we attempted to find me a time and a ticket to Konstanz.
|Wait... how did we get to Times Square?|
Of course, all good things must (temporarily, at least) come to an end, and a little after noon, Anna Maria drove me to the Hauptbahnhof (Main train station), where, after a hug and a quick good-bye kiss on the cheek, I caught the train that would take me to my new life in Konstanz.
Up next: Arrival in Konstanz and getting settled...