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Warm greetings from Germany
I made it. I'm back home. Huh.
Welcome to my now English Weblog! Hope I will have as much to tell as I did in my "adopted home".
As a start - my "little" 1-page note (about my journey to LA and to London) I wrote in London while waiting for my next flight.
Had a quick chat with a girl from Christchurch that is going to stay in London for a month.
Stopped talking once Peter, the UK-guy who sat between us, arrived,
Wished flight would go in the opposite direction but actually managed to sleep as my eyes were too stressed to be useful for watching movies anyway.
Didn't feel like eating either, but Peter was kind enough to pass my tray to the steward while I was dozing.
LAX didn't cheer me up much, even though I found distraction talking to an older, German couple who were standing in front of me in the line and donated a pack of tissues. (I knew I should've brought some along..)
Waited forever at immigration but found free snacks including drinks in Transit area. (Tried to stock up on fluids. :D )
Breakfast in plane was quite nice, btw: pancakes with cinnamon-apple bits as main dish. Mmh.
Met a German girl called Julia while boarding and very briefly talked to her (she started by asking "How long have you been there?" ) Only got to know she herself stayed in Auckland for 6 months and "unfortunately" signed to come back, so she was forced to leave.
Caught up with her on plane and arranged a meeting "sometime in the next 12 hours in this metal can".
Did finish the previously started movie (Horton hears a Who) and got all confused with time. It was Monday again, 3 pm, but then we were moving towards night, so dinner was served about an hour (or so) after take-off.
So.. Tuesday, 1.7., 10 am in Auckland, Monday, 11pm in London, 3pm in Los Angeles, but we're actually somewhat in between the latter two - so... dinner served very early and then "good night" = lights dimmed.
Didn't really sleep this time, just 30 minutes or so, then continued watching movies and saw Julia slip past quickly, asking if everything's okay. Better.
Took the opportunity to go to her seat when, about 7 hours later (? I never checked my watch), both my fellow row-sharers suddenly "disappeared".
Chatted for about 30 minutes about where we lived (she studied in Akl - English language and culture, and plans to return for another trip in 2010) and some other things before agreeing to meet at the gate once the plane's in London.
Did that and spent next three hours talking to Julia, picking up her ticket and keeping occupied so we wouldn't get lost in thoughts again. (Idle time is not good if you try not to dwell in memories. )
Unfortunately, her plane left at 14:50, whereas mine only started boarding at 16:35.
So, 2 hours to find something to do.
Keep "seeing people" when merely getting a glimpse of people walking past. Too many people wearing similar clothes or having same/similar hairstyles as you. (Found a few Caryls and a few Jacques, a few people from work, Coleen and a whole bunch of people I thought I remember from school. o.ô )
Also seem to imagine knowing a lot of German people around.. maybe my brain is just a bit tired and thus messes up connections.
Am a bit afraid the last eight months will seem like a "dream", regarding that a lot of things (or all things?!) were simply unique and just can't be found in a country where New Zealand is scarcely heard of.
Will even miss driving on the wrong side of the road! ^^
Or merely watching movies with my flatmates.
And I don't have those two families here where I can just pop up all the time and play piano and hang out with the "kids".
A glimpse of hope though: I might rearrange/redecorate my room. Its stuffed with things and "trips" like these always get me in a very good mood for chucking out a lot of things and not contemplating whether I might need it again, at some point of time, maye. Or not. ^^
Btw - the realization that New Zealand isn't that heard of in Europe hit me when I checked what the exchange rate was.
I'm so used to seeing NZD, Australian Dollar, USD and Euro close by, but NZD obviously doesn't count to the most common currencies so it's not even on the board. (Rand are, though.)
Just saw a short "Arno". ^^
One thing I'm happy about here in London: I do have "Vodafone NZ/UK" connection! Nothing therelike in Los Angeles.
But it's almost 2 am in my "Kiwi-home" so too late to spend my last NZD on my account.
Reminds me of my dad saying, I'm living in two worlds. Or belong to both worlds. Hm.. Not easy.
This page is full now.
After another few hours, I eventually arrived in Frankfurt. Didn't take too long 'til I had all my luggage and my friend (Jan) found me and introduced me to his girlfriend. :D
At "home" we quickly had some dinner and I phoned my parents further north to notify them that I arrived.
Jan's father wanted to take us out for ice tea in Darmstadt, about 15 minutes away from where they live, but neither Jan nor his mother were too enthusiastic.
As it's summer, it gets dark really late so I didn't even realize it's already 10 pm when we first turned on the lights.
Alright. Seeing that Jan and I don't meet too often and he had to get back to his summercamp the next day, we spend some time playing 10.000 ( He asked whether I knew it was originally a drinking game .. ) and started watching "Equilibrium". But we were both too tired so we stopped again very soon and..
Woke up quite early (7:23) and did a few phone calls before getting a German breakfast! Real bread! ^^ Not toast/sandwiches. Actually dense rolls with a crispy "skin" .
Afterwards Jan took me out for ice cream (he promised to do so in January already .. ) and we got some stuff he needed for his applications.
Back home we started watching the video of our Wanganui Trip but finished early as my parents very suddenly appeared at the front door. About 3 hours earlier than expected. (Or maybe two... I only realized Wednesday evening that I always forgot to add another hour to the time.. )
After a short lunch we got "back" on the road and started the 4-hrs drive to Munich. Arrived around 8 pm as we stopped to get some food on the way. ..
I immediately started unpacking my bags (at least a bit) and played piano. Now I remember how my former piano teacher said it's a miracle I can make nice music with this piano, as it's quite ... rough. It really is quite hard to not have everything sound the same. Sigh.
Well.. afterwards, my parents introduced me to "Wii" ... this thing from Nintendo, where you get a remote control and play tennis, bowling, golf or baseball by actually moving the remote in the same way as you would move whatever you would use for playing whatever you're playing. (e.g. hold the remote as you would hold a baseball bat and try to make your little player on the screen hit the oncoming ball )
It actually quite serves as a workout and you get some really sore muscles. My best "Sports" is Bowling whereas I really struggle with Baseball. I never manage to hit the ball and it just flies past my mini-version. "Mini-version", as my parents created a few charakters that look like.. Wii-Versions of real people, including all our family and some of their friends. So you can choose yourself for competing in all those tournaments you can play.
Woke up at 7:23 (again! ). Must mean something. ( I'm thinking of "Evan Almighty" .. )
It rained most of Thursday but my mother bought herself yet another motorbike ( a big, heavy BMW, this time. Now we have four of them .. ) so we had to pick it up. As my aunt-in-law from Brazil who is in Munich for a visit doesn't have a license, Eva needed me to join them on the 70 km trip to just north of Munich so I could drive our new car back home while she and Rita would take the new bike.
Hrch.. so... diving right into driving on the right side, with a manual, which doesn't even have keyholes as you start it by pressing a button. And it turns on the windscreen wipers by itself. Does a lot of things by itself. Just not the essentials. (Changing gears, breaking, turning )
The way back was quite... strange. It rained very hard (my poor mother and Rita! ) but I never saw my mom giving me signals to stop. And she got me a bit worried by telling me this car is wider than our old one, thus I must take care not to hit the curb. Being overly cautious, I then always drove quite far to the left and got a fright whenever another car came toward me. (Didn't drive ON the left, yet. )
After some struggles I eventually made it through some really heavy traffic (which took me over an hour to get through Munich) and arrived home, just to get into a short discussion with my mother as she was a bit upset that I never saw her signals to stop so my aunt could get in the car. (Seeing that she was drenched ... :< )
But my brother came for a visit and was apparently very happy to see me. :D (Gave me a very tight hug. )
We even played guitar and piano together. (Mainly guitar, as he can't play piano .. ).
I created a huge mess in my room during the day, btw.
As mentioned in the letter above, I am actually chucking out a lot of old things I don't need anymore so.. most of my NZ stuff is still lying on the floor while I'm busy making space by sorting out the old stuff.
No idea when I will be finished, but I hope it happens soon! (A few people that came over in the last days just said "Oh. One can see you just came home" and laughed when seeing my room. )
Worked on it yesterday (Friday) and got another visit from my brother in the evening, before he took me with his bike to his place . (A new one as well. .. So we actually have 5 bikes in our immediate family circle now. )
He also showed me his new guitar set and we made some more funny music before I got the keys to his bike and drove home again.
My parents, aunt and me are going to a summer party about an hour away from Munich, and as it's a bright summer day, my parents want (me) to take the bikes. So I'm expected to drive all the way on my brother's bike. Wonder how that will turn out.
My mother actually would like me to take my dad on the back ^^ I don't think so.
Alright. That's it for now. (Don't worry... entries shouldn't always be this long..)
I have to cure my sore right arm and enjoy the afternoon. Or try to.