All that I hoped would come true at the orientation weekend has proved itself to bet true. I enjoyed myself so greatly, and the good moments totally outweighed the ones that weren’t up to par with my expectations. But what was I thinking? I had been bred not to expect anything, but this time the temptation was just too great.
I am sure that I spent more time on the train than actually attending the festivities of the weekend. I think before I go on I have to make it absolutely clear: I hate trains. About 45 minutes after school on Friday, I had to go to the Abensberg train station. The only way to accurately describe the train station is: disgusting! It seemed to be a portal in which all the cigarettes made their way through. The idea of a trashcan must have been foreign to the people that smoked there. On that note, it seems that everyone smokes in Germany! I can’t think of anybody that I know in the States that smokes, but here it is just casual and accepted. My mom told me that if I refrained from smoking in Germany, then she will buy me some expensive perfume. I was originally planning on it, but since she made the offer, I will oblige and claim my reward.
The train ride from Abensberg wasn’t bad at all, and the motions were actually a bit soothing. Just as I was getting a feeling of conformability about the whole train situation – I met Regensburg. Not only was my train almost 40 minutes late, but I had to stand for at least 2/3 of the entire two hour journey to Hof. Shockingly (not really), I missed y connecting train to Chemnitz, and thus was stranded at Hof for another hour.
My luck seemed to turn around once on my final train to Chemnitz. I sat in a booth (finally not on the floor!) with some really nice people! There was an older man that himself had been an exchange student way back in the day. He spoke perfect English, but unfortunately insisted on speaking German. It was probably for the best, but my stress levels were causing my German skills to diminish. There was also a child across from me and we had long and drawn out conversations. It was mostly a one-sided conversation because she had not yet mastered the art of speaking slowly and clearly.
When I reached Chemnitz, I almost kissed the floor. I didn’t of course because the floors there are rancid. But you understand the idiom… it took me a few minutes to reach the other exchange students, and when I did there was a small tear in my eye from happiness.
Everyone already about me when I got there because of the mass scurry to locate me. At least I wasn't the last person that arrived, and I didn’t miss dinner!
While on the tram to our hotel I made acquaintances with many exchange students – ironically most were American and Canadian! My room partner was an American as well – a girl from Wisconsin. There really wasn’t time enough on Friday to befriend her, because we were all ravaging. Due to the amounts of stress from the train, eating and drinking had been neglected.
The food was delicious on Friday night! I can never tell if food really tastes good, or if I am just so hungry that it seems like a haven. We went to a Greek restaurant, and even though I have no idea what I ate, it was really good. I was sandwiched between Tricia (Canada) and Clara (Germany) and we exchanged stories and jokes galore.
The moment my head hit the pillow, I was gone. I was just so grateful to be rid of the trains for at least one more day!
My alarm clock rang way to early on Saturday morning – either that or my bed was way too comfortable. I stumbled out of bed and into the shower (it’s a wonder that I didn’t shower with my clothes on!). Once the whole group had once again reformed, we made our way to breakfast (yummy yummy!).
Saturday was the quintessential exchange day – we were a mass group of tourists with cameras glued to our faces. It was a constant game of “get in as many pictures as possible”, and I think I did very well.
Saturday, September 24, 2011, marks the day that the “Wolf Pack” was established. This elite group will be famous for the many years to come! Currently members include: Juan (Venezuela), Ethan (Taiwan), Tricia (Canada), Claudia (Ohio), and yours truly. We had brutal and bloody battles with the beasts scattered in Chemnitz, and even though it was sketchy at times – we all survived the ordeal. ß Translation: We were in the group to the nature museum!
By the time lunch rolled around everyone greedily scarfed down their wiener (the food not the body part). We had a wonderful view of a wedding and even stole a few pictures with the bride.
Apparently being beautiful is against the law in Germany because when I walked into the torture chamber museum I was instantly arrested! I guess it wasn’t really a museum…: P
The point of this weekend was orientation, so after walking for about five hours we got to relax a bit on the train. Again I met my moral enemy, but this time it was actually enjoyable. This was probably because the responsibility and stress lay on someone else’s shoulders!
The orientation of District 1880 was just as any other orientation I had been to. We had been again told the 4 D’s, but two more had been added. It turns out that I can’t download or travel alone. I am pretty proud that I have only broken three of the rules (I will leave it up to your imagination which ones I have broken: P)
Once the drinks and candy had entered the room, everyone had to take a break. It was great evidence that teenagers are extremely susceptible to the temptations of drink and food.
Food, food, food! The food this weekend! For our last dinner we trammed down to downtown for a real German meal (I assume). The tram got a lot of action during the weekend, and it gave time to really get to know the other exchange students J
After dinner we had a bit of time to aimlessly wonder around Chemnitz. The world pack was once again reunited! And it felt so good.
The fun and parting died down a bit once we had gotten home, but there was a small gathering of exchange students. It wasn’t too long before it split up so that people could go to bed. Being a tourist is a very tiring job you know!
There was a solemn aura in the air on Sunday (or maybe I was the only one to feel it). People were excited to go home and sleep in their own beds but everyone was sad to leave the new friends they had met behind. Or maybe this was just me, because I live so far away from the other exchange students.
So my great and fantastic weekend ended by late trains, long layovers, and uncomfortable train seats. But… it was totally worth it. And I can’t wait to see my friends again in Berlin J