Last morning in Freiburg. I can't believe it's gotten here so quickly! I knew this week would fly by...
I'm sitting in my now empty clean, very echoey room watching the snow fall, and it is beautiful here. This truly is something i'm going to cherish in my life, and something I will surely miss. The things I will miss the most:
1. Cafes with my favorite Milchkaffee, no vanilla syrup needed-- just sugar
2. the view from the bridge over Hauptbahnhof-- you can see a beautiful random green pasture in the summer, or the perfect ski hill in winter, embedded in hills covered in green pines for miles... There is not one moment of flat land out there.
3. Cobblestones-- as much as i HATE them sometimes because they are impossible to walk on in heels or thin ballet flats, you have to admit, this is the storybook city.
4. Public Transportation-- As much as i love and miss my car, and despite the fact that i WILL always have a car, and hopefully someday one that i choose, i will miss being able to see the Strassenbahn from my window, and being able to take any tram OR bus line to any station in the city.
5. The "Handy" Situation-- Germans only use their phones for 2 uses: to make and receive calls, and to send and receive text messages. I kinda like that, but at the same time I do love all the STUFF we have on our phones... hehe
6. THE FOOD!!!!-- I wish i could bring you a Flammkuchen. I really do. But unfortunately, it won't last 12 hours in my bag. :( sorry. I have probably lost 15 pounds just being here and eating just a BIT less than i usually do-- because everything has less preservatives, less fat, and is just in general more natural.
7. The small grocery stores-- I loooove how small they are here. The Pharmacy is a completely separate store owned by someone else, and all the grocery stores are specialized in food and home essentials rather than everything you could possibly imagine.
8. The cars-- don't get me wrong, I LOVE a good engine and a beautiful body, but the cars here are ADORABLE. Pretty much 80% of cars here are on average the size of my ford focus, 10% are utility vans or weird maitenance-looking Hatchback-SUV's, and 10% are LKWs, or Semi trucks. It's going to be weird going back to the land of Range Rovers and Hummers, for sure...
9. The People-- other than the creeper at the Tram stop on a street corner last night who asked me 'can i get to know you better than this?' (luckily i'm good at getting creepers off my back), people usually mind their own business here. There is a great sense of privacy in this country, and to be honest I kinda like it. I DO wish i could have gotten to know my roommates a bit better in the few times I have seen them, because they are so reserved, but I also like how no one really bothers you unless it's necessary.
10. Weihnachtsmarkt and Alltagsmarkt am Munsterplatz-- When you hear the word "Germany," what do you think of? The Weihnachtsmarkt is what every American SHOULD think of, instead of Hitler. I mean, Beethoven IS a good second. ;) Who ever said summer was the best tourist season? Go to any fairly big city in Germany in December and you'll find a Christmas Market with super cheap traditional culinary food and 5 euro bottles of quality Gluhwein. Until it starts at the end of November, you can just substitute Cookies for Currywurst, Rathausplatz for Munsterplatz, and cute little wooden houses for summery kiosks. Plus, you get to walk around an 800-year-old traditional market, in which most of the vendors have occupied for the past few generations.
11. GERMAN!-- I don't know how i'm going to cope with not being able to order my Milchkaffee, say Bitte and Danke schoen, or just feel strange when I speak English. I sure am going to miss being immersed in the language of my ancestors, and taking all my classes in German. Taking classes in English from now on is just going to feel like... cheating! and I'm going to miss my roommates. I thank them IMMENSELY for speaking ONLY German with me unless I wanted to rant about something stupid like the Wikileaks. They still tell me how happy they are that they got to live with an American who could speak German with them, and how good I have gotten over the past 3 months!
I am so incredibly grateful that I got the opportunity to come here, even if certain things didn't work out the way I had hoped. I have now been to 2 continents, 6 countries, and pretty much every major city in Germany-- though i never made it to Dresden, Dusseldorf or Stuttgart... the first is on my list of places to see before I die. ;)
In a few minutes my Hausmeister will come and check that everything is clean in my room, I will return my key, and I will be heading out to Hauptbahnhof (for all of you who want to travel to Germany, you should note that "Hbf" means train station) to catch a train through the FLAT part of Germany (how lucky i was to study in a city RIGHT next to the Schwarzwald, the Black Forest!!!) and fly over the Atlantic back to America, where I will gain 7 hours of my life back-- and sleep in my warm, cozy house, in a new bed, with my puppy cuddling up next to me and my best friends less than 5 hours away, to whom i can text up a STORM. teehee.
Live long, Freiburg, and prosper. ;) You will always be a part of my being, and I will always be a Freiburger.