Huzzah! I woke up today to find large, fluffy, white flakes of snow falling steadily outside of my window and my inner child started jumping up and down. Imagine, after a month of regular gray days of rain and gross dampness, how easy it is to finally find relief in the crisp joys of a fresh snowfall. Hell yes, not-so-wet-precipitation, bring it. Germans have commented on the temperature change, but my Wisconsin-ness is secretly scoffing at them. Cold, you say? Give me negative 30°F with a wind chill factor, make me walk 20 minutes to class up and down the hills of Madison and then I’ll tell you I’m cold. (Note to self: I should probably get around to buying a pair of gloves and a hat).
The downside with the snow is that it takes my motivation away to exercise outside (unless you count the occasional snowball fight, Gießen is too flat to do any sledding), so I’m glad I tried out the public swimming pool in Gießen with Kyra a few weeks ago. I’ve never been much of a swimmer, but a 6-month membership for a grand total of only 69, – € sounds good to me. That will start after I get back from about two weeks at home for the holidays, but I’m getting ahead of myself again…
Quick recap of the latest events: Thanksgiving in Germany = not quite as nice as in the States. Made up for by the fact that I baked cornbread and pumpkin pie with my eighth graders on Wednesday (they loved the cornbread but weren’t won over by the pumpkin pie…check out the pictures and tell me it didn’t look damn good), baked carrot cake and pumpkin pie with Kyra on Thursday for her to take to her family in Fulda, Germany, and had the pleasure of having Thanksgiving dinner cooked for me by my wonderful travel buddy Rick on Friday night. In a sense, the essence of the holiday remained true. I reflected on the crazy amount of stuff that I have to be thankful for and spent quality time with friends.
I was in Frankfurt yesterday just for a Couch Surfing Brunch in a great restaurant called Yours Australian Bar. More than 100 CSers from in and around Frankfurt showed up, including an exceptionally nice Estonian girl named Helena whom I had randomly met at a party the weekend before. She and I hit it off (though she absolutely, without a doubt, incredibly “oh-shit-I-need-to-get-my-game-on” feeling induced TRUMPS my language skills with fluent Estonian, English, German, damn good Finnish, Russian, French, and Spanish, and a bit of Catalan, Italian, and Thai. Enough said. Actually, no, wait, add that to the fact that she’s only 19. FML.). She had brought her Spanish friend Adrian and we had a few hearty servings of the brunch buffet, all-you-can-eat for 9,90€; french toast, pancakes, eggs, plates of cheese and cold cuts, croissants, cucumber/tomato salad, fresh mozzarella and tomato caprese salad, all sorts of pastas and meat dishes, tiramisu, chocolate mousse, fruit salads, und so weiter und so fort (etc.)…all in all a sort of weird yet delicious mix of cuisines. We stayed for four hours talking with CSers from around the world, all of whom had their own adventure stories which made for excellent conversation. It was a nice reminder of the community of travelers one joins when one takes the time to explore a bit (hint, hint, my American friends currently debating whether or not to study abroad).
So, now you’re up to date on the day-to-day stuff in my life (yes, be assured there are probably certain juicy details I may refrain from writing about online…just wait till I start writing anonymously someday…then you’ll hear an earful). Keep an eye out for another post coming soon, with a little somethin’ something’ extra for your viewing pleasure 😉