I feel I should post, because I finally have a few minutes. My last three or four weeks have been very busy… or at least riddled with anxiety, which, for me, amount to the same thing. I’m anxious because I’ve been really happy here in Germany and I’m afraid I might get culture shock back home, or just feel let down… not that it’s really much to be afraid of, but, anticipation is hard. I try to think of the things that make me excited about being home again:
- my cat (yes, top of the list — just look what has happened to me since I got my first pet)
- my BOOKS (and the pleasure of finding places for all the new ones which I have laboriously, with much worry and Euro, mailed home, or packed in my bags with mounting dread, hoping they won’t weigh too much)
- driving a car (I know I’ll also miss European trains and public transit, but there is still something to relish about driving)
- ice cold drinks (seriously though… this is unspeakably frustrating)
- giving my presents to my family and grandparents, and showing off the stuff I bought for myself, cough cough
- going back to work mid-September at my job from last year (seeing all the kids who drove me crazy, now two years older!)
- being able to speak with anyone without having to worry about falling off the precipice of my language skill (though I think I might go crazy hearing English spoken everywhere in public… American English…)
- Fred Meyer
And, of course, my family, and the wild and natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, etc etc. I’m sure there’s more that I’ll only remember once I get there. My list of things to miss in Germany could go on and on, but I’m keeping my chin up. I’ve had a great experience, more or less learned a language, eaten an unholy amount of bread and sausage, made some good friends to stay in contact with, visited at least ten castles and three palaces, innumerable churches, a concentration camp, Oxford, London, Warsaw, Paris, Vienna, Venice, Salzburg, Stuttgart, Regensburg, Augsburg, Nuremberg, lots of smaller towns and villages around Munich, and taken over 14,000 pictures (or roughly 23 gigs).
Unfortunately, only a fraction of those pictures have made it on this blog. I never posted about Regensburg, Augsburg, Nuremberg, or the many other things I planned posts on — and maybe I’ll still make them after I get home, just so I can remember. But we’ll see.
Meanwhile, I’ll fly out of Munich at 9pm Germany time on Tuesday — about noon in Bellingham time. Then I’ll fly one hour to Düsseldorf, and spend 12 hours in the airport, overnight, before getting on my flight to Vancouver, which should last about 11 hours. Then it will be midmorning Bellingham time… and I’ll be home. Crazy. Thanks to those of you who have taken the time to read my posts, I’ve appreciated the occasional “like” or comment, and I hope I can catch up with you in person soon.
P.S. OH, and one last thing. This blog was brought to you by Heidi’s camera, which she let me borrow this whole year because it is way better than my own. So a huge thank you to Heidi and her camera, even though it is pink.
And now for some parting shots:
Munich’s Alte Rathaus.
Christ in a village cemetery.
The center of the Marienplatz, the Patroness of Bavaria.
Ladies, this is reason enough to come to Bavaria. And naturally I’m talking about the girl’s outfit. Um, right.
The Schliersee, in the foothills of the Alps, seen from atop the ruins of a castle.
A medieval fresco.
Day before yesterday in Nuremberg.
And the other week, outside the Irish pub in Munich (long story).
Inside Schloss Nymphenburg, in Munich.
One of the garden palaces at Nymphenburg.
Our neighbor, my friend Ina, gave me a ticket to Nymphenburg as a birthday present. It was a wonderful present, because I’m not sure I would have gone on my own initiative — so it felt like a real gift, and I realized that I’d been to the Nymphenburg gardens my very first week in Munich. It was nice to go and see inside during my last week.
Yesterday, Language-Exchange-Friend Peter and I went on our final expedition, to Burghausen on the Salzach. It is a huge castle, but I didn’t get very many good pictures. I like this one, though.
The Marienplatz, one last time. Auf Wiedersehen, München.