Europe | Germany | South | Heidelberg – A Linfield Weekend
Some times in life the most unexpected surprises are just what we need. It always reminds me that something out there knows what I need, more than I do. Thursday I woke up and decided to shake up my normal routine–school work then head out to the gym, the first time I have scheduled my day like this since I have been here. I always go to the gym first and then be productive. But, for some reason I decided to. And while I was sitting in the AJY Center typing, a Linfielder who was AJY last year stopped by. At first, I was like, that’s cool, you are a Linfielder, too. But then I realized she was here with the Jan Term trip, who I knew students on. I had no idea they were anywhere in the area, and I left everything and ran towards the library, where I heard they were earlier. It was amazing how nervous I was walking there, thinking that maybe they had forgotten who I was. And if they did remember me, could we still connect on the same level? Things that were important to me last year aren’t even on my top ten anymore, and things I am really into now they don’t even understand. Five months isn’t that long, but when you are young and living life, it can seem like eternity.
When I finally found them they were taking the wonderful tourist tour of my school’s library, something I have learned to ignore while striving for academic success in that enviroment. But the first person who saw me was Ben, a guy from Roseburg, actually, who also went to Linfield. The look on his face was great–confusion, happiness, but mainly confusion. He gave me the best hug in the world, I don’t get those hre, people aren’t down with touch like we are. And as soon as his arms were around me I knew that there was no reason to be nervous, these were my peoples:) We wandered around Hiedelberg with the group and then nine of them were headed north for the night. It was Ben, two phi sigs, a girl who lived in my dorm frosh year, and other people who I knew well enough to have a good time. So I grabbed some sweats, skipped two important meetings, and hopped the train with them.
We headed up the rhine towards Bacharach, which is a beautiful stretch on the river, one of my favorite places in Germany. We ended up staying in the youth hostel castle I stayed in when I was here in high school. That made it even more special, all the memories, the students, the experience, it all came back as soon as we got in the town, i knew the road to take, i knew the hostel layout, i even recognized where we ate.
There is no question in my mind that GAPP is the reason why I am here now. It is like it has all went full circle. I first came here just for the fun of it in high school, clueless about germany and whatnot. And this time I was in the castle with good college friends, being completely capable of communicating and speaking the language, independant, sitting outside on the ledge I remember sitting on late at night with Beth and Lisa, this time looking over the town with a beer, in the middle of night with a full moon… We laughed and talked the night away, something I have missed doing with old friends… I had planned to head back to Heidelberg because I have so much to do before I head back to the states this week, but the next day they talked me into going to munich with them, which i couldn’t turn down:)
So I bought a train ticket, I ended up speding A LOT of money to go with them, but there is no question that the money was well spent:) Last night we went to the haufbrau haus and toured it in the evening. I really liked munich last time i was there, but this time was such a blast! I saw the place where we had our first german meal in ’99, the ice cream stand where beth and me got ice cream while waiting for the glockenspiel… It was all there, just like it had been before.
Frau Hommel (my german proff last year) showed up at the haufbrau haus to take a pic of us, which is so funny because there are hundreds of bars in munich, and she laughed and said she knew we would be at the biggest! So we drank huge beers, bonded with old german men in lederhosen, and had a big slumber party all night long… i really miss nights like that, with close people who you don’t have to explain things to, they just know you… They wanted me to stay more, but I HAD to come back, I still haven’t finished my big papers.
I will admit that when I left them, I shed a tear and I couldn’t quite get a sentence out to say goodbye, my voice just wouldn’t come. It was so hard to walk away from that comfort zone again, back into a place that I love, enjoying an experience I wouldn’t change for the world, with people I really click with, but knowing that there was nobody like back home close by. It is a very scary and lonely feeling, and so much of me wanted to pack up and keep travelling with them and never return to Heidelberg.
And then I got back, went to the center to check in with everybody, and in five minutes I was so glad to be back here, because for now, this is where I belong. It was like when I first left home for college, when I first came here, it is so hard to let go at first, but then it is all worth it… It is scary how things change so fast, in the blink of an eye. I guess that is why it is so great, though… You never know where you will wake up tomorrow:)