Sunday, January 2, 2011

Day 7-8: Leaving Munich, arriving in Karlsruhe for the 3rd time

How do you know that you’re happy? Me: I’m traveling and I’m simply walking down the street, grinning to myself, enjoying everything that’s going on around even if it’s usually not that interesting to me. That has been happening a lot to me since I set off on the trip 10 days ago.

I do hope this lasts. Obviously that almost entirely depends on me.

On an unrelated note, Deutsche Bahn employees didn’t check my ticket on my night trip from Cologne to Munich, so I wonder if anybody could’ve just gone in and taken a night-long trip. Surely makes for a good adventure.

On December 30 I had a nice 1.5-long walk around Munich once again before departing for Karlsruhe, all of the sights remained just as a beautiful as I remembered them from the first day. It must be a nice place to live. I also had a nice time with my third CS host who has traveled around the globe quite a lot, she also has been a freelancer for a long time, was interesting to discuss this very subjectwith her. Also great English. Although I must say most CS hosts or guests normally speak great English, far above average.

My train left on time and the landscape in front of my eyes was charming all the way to Karlsruhe. Snow and beautiful trees in forests of all kinds make for an awesome picture.

Upon arrival I was greeted by my friend with whom I'd studied briefly here in Karlsruhe and with whom we've kept in touch ever since. She and her husband have a very lovely apartment and are both great to converse with. On our first evening my friend showed me breathtaking pictures from their November vacation in Lanzarote, Spain and I had no choice but to add it to my travel wish list. It looks a lot like Mars - not that I've seen it, but it absolutely fits our/Hollywood image of this planet.

December 31 was of course the last day of the year. In the afternoon we went for a walk, now it needs to be mentioned that I'm not accustomed to this: German (and most EU) stores and supermarkets are closed starting afternoon on December 31 all the way through January 1 and 2. So that's 2.5 days without access to shopping at all! Who could survive that?! But apparently everyone gets by and if you really, really need something, you could splurge on a visit to the train station store or a gas station kiosk. Unbelievable! Around where I live most stores will be open all the way till 8pm or maybe even later on December 31 and will re-open at 11am-1pm the following day.

We walked around for a couple of hours and ended up being tired as if we'd worked extremely hard. The year's end was apparently taking its toll on us. Later on, my friend made a cheese fondue (delicious stuff, I get dizzy just thinking about it) while I was brave enough to make an Olivier. Much to the laughter and hilarity of my friends and family at home. That's a typical Russian salad you eat every New Year's Eve and some people opt for it on all holidays possible, every Russian has eaten dozens of hundreds of kilos in his or her life and it's just too contrite nowadays and yet most people still make it each time. I ate some as well. It's particularly good the next morning.

On New Year's Eve I also got introduced to Wii and have already had some success with tennis, ping pong and rowing. It's actually quite fun, and your arm hurts afterwards as if it were the real thing. We also did a round of Mensch Ärgere Dich Nicht just for laughs (it was especially funny to me because I won, ho ho). Board games in general are popular in Germany - I have also played Memory during my two previous stays here.

An hour and a half before 2011 finally started we were joined by the family's friend as well as somebody I knew from being in KA before. A fascinating person, someone I'd like to get to know better. She brought a fresh kind of spirit to the evening and was fun to watch dancing.

At midnight we all congratulated each other, watched some fireworks, dialed a couple of numbers (that's universal) and eventually ended up watching about half an hour of a live concert in Berlin. (Although to the best of my knowledge it was in real time, but no live singing was going on...) It was bad and trashy. I take most of what I said about Russian New Year's program on TV back, this was a low budget show with old and almost forgotten (and unknown to me) singers and bands as well as David Hasselhoff. Yeah, that wasn't great. But thankfully no obligatory speech by head of the state right before the year started.

Nevertheless it was a good way to welcome the new year, especially in such a great company. Here's hoping it's be a year full of fabulous travel.


Anonymous said...

Very nice blog!
Best wishes from Munich!

True story said...

Thank you, Thomas! Hope you come back for more.
All the best.

Anonymous said...

Will you come to Munich again?
Feel free to contact me...

True story said...

Thank you. I think of maybe going back at the end of February.

Anonymous said...

You can contact me by adding an to my name. Would ne nice to hear from you.

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