Being the socialites that we are, Sameea and I take pride in our gregarious personalities, trying to make friends all the time, everywhere. So when we knew we were heading back to Europe, Sameea linked up with some old friends she met while studying abroad in Prague. It just so happened to be a group of four great looking Germans. Not bad, Shmee.
We said our goodbyes to the mermaid (and company) and headed out from Spain to Kiel, Germany, a place so far north it was practically Denmark. We were landing just in time for their Kiel Week (Kieler Woche), the largest sailing event in the world. Exhausted from the amount of fun we were constantly having, we stepped off the plane and began the trek through the airport. Suddenly Sameea’s name was called and two of the best looking men I’ve seen in a long time walk towards us. STFU Sameea. That is not our ride.
Oh but, it is.
Myyyyyyyy girl. Not only were they gorgeous in face, hair and fashion-sense, but, remember, they also have accents. And ich spreche Deustch. Ein bisschen.
Not really though- I studied abroad for a month in Munster, Germany approximately 3 years ago. So I was a bit rusty, to say the least.
P.S. as writing this Sameea and I are headed to Vegas, and talking about how we’re going to marry foreigners.
Alright back to business- we’ve landed in Germany, we get picked up by German models, and immediately we head out onto the autobahn. Driving 180 kph, a casual 112 mph, we get from Hamburg to Kiel in a little under two hours. We ran inside to Farid’s (our new host’s) flat, which was uber hipster and artsy cool. It instilled within me a piercing desire to be German, speak English with a German accent, decorate my flat with old school knick-knacks I found at German thrift shops. Picture bikes hanging from the ceiling and posters of random graphics with cooler hand drawn designs splashed over them, and a map from the World War II era (literally, the Soviet Union was labeled). Farid had two roommates but only one, Roman, was ever around. Below him he had two neighbors that we hung out with, Alex and Tuto (also named Alex but called by his last name). What can I say, I am popular with the Germans.
Upon arrival, we dropped our bags in Farid’s room, went to a Panera-type bread shop (German’s have the best nutty, grainy breads- think multigrain, throw in pumpkin seeds and every other seed you’ve ever recognized, and layer with lots of cheese. Das ist gut), stuffed our faces and headed to the grocery store. Not for more food, but for beer. We were going to see the US vs Germany football game, just in time! As I’ve mentioned before, the Europeans LOVE their football, and they go all out to watch it. This time, seeing as it was a closer round and a bigger deal to Germany, we would watch it on a huge outdoor screen. The whole town seemed to be there- not to mention the festival occurring all around us from Kiel Week.
After the US lost, no one heckled or yelled at us for wearing American colors. No one really minded, actually. It was the exact opposite of what would happen if a group of Germans came to watch the game in the US, sporting German colors. Because Deutschland ist das freundlichste.
To celebrate the win, we all headed towards the town square. Per the Kiel tradition (or maybe just German) after a big win everyone stampedes through town and meets right in the center. Once gathered, you simply continue to drink. It’s all about celebrating in company after all.
The next day, Farid- the gem of all hosts- served us a breakfast of sliced meats and cheeses, jam, fruits, chocolate milk, orange juice, and everything heavenly. Being lazy and only slightly hungover, we hung out on cement steps that overlooked a wakeboarding competition. Enclosed in a small pool of water, it was made up of an electronic zipline rope that the boarders held on to as they rode the manmade waves.
After sloth-ily enjoying the day it was time to turn up. Cue the electronic dance. Germans loooove their music- they play it all hours of the day, and night, and they play it loud. And I love them for it.
Tonight we were going to an outdoor festival- a rave, really. In the middle of a park. In the daytime. Because in Germany, that is what you do- you enjoy your life. And music. And the company you keep. So Sameea and I blended right in, as we had gotten used to this lifestyle throughout our Eurotrip.
We danced into the wee hours, and I will not lie, some creatures of the night definitely appeared the darker it got outside. Once we made our way back to Farid’s, it was time for a food stop. Sameea got fries topped with kabob (gyro meat) and ketchup and other goodness, while I got das schnitzel. Not weinerschnitzel, just straight up schnitzel. Literally sausage in between a baguette. So simple, so good, so culturally uplifting. A Sonnet on Schnitzel by Al.
Our last night, Farid had a party downstairs. Twas awesome. His friends are DJs (obviously) but were actually super talented. We listened and danced to their music till we couldn’t listen and dance no’ mo’. If you’re me, you also attempted to regain any German language you once acquired, with no avail.
Then it was gute nacht, and we were back to America in the morning.
Back to cubefarms,
And migraines from a backtorealworld culture shock,
And credit card bills from the last two weeks,
And nostalgia from looking back at iphone pictures,
And heart pangs from missing all our new friends,
And heartburn from the accumulation of so many random eats,
And a recurring surge of gratefulness from experiencing so many incredible adventures,
And being young enough to know that this is just the start.