There’s no place like home.
What a sense of homecoming. Driving through that quaint village, opening that wrought iron gate and walking through those doors could not have been more nostalgic. I was home! After so many weeks of hostels, hotels, busses, boats, trains and planes, i could not have been happier to be in a HOME again. Warm and lit with light, laughter and love. Three and half years could have been just half an hour, or a decade. The grin on my face said it all.
(Context: This is the house where I lived for 6 weeks when I was 16, on my school German exchange program.)
The week, of course, passed far too quickly. I could stay there for a year. Despite being sick, I made the most of it and we did head to Amsterdam the day after i got there. If you know me at all, you’ll know I’m all about merging my friends – since I have pretty great ones, it’s generally pretty successful. In Amsterdam I found Sara, from Toronto (who I met in Prague, then saw again in Krakow), Roald (also met in Prague), and James, an Aussie from Canberra, in addition to Noa, her two Latvian friends and me. What a multicultural mix. Noa and I shared a romantic cruise along the river, and then we all had dinner and too many Jagerbombs, and of course, some of group got stoned. The following day was the classic Dutch experience (for some): clogs and cheese! Then the Holland beach.. Australian ones win, sorry! The trip home would not have been complete without a little adrenaline, but refer to the other blog post about that….
An afternoon with Noa and her mum in Antwerp, Belgium was also pretty sweet. The city was quite quaint, and they also introduced me to Forever 21. Thanks, guys! The rest of the week was a little low key due to the necessity for me to complete an essay (for which I got an extension – winning!), but it was filled with laughs and far too much decadence. As a friend recently stated, “serious fatness transpired”. Cold Rock style ice cream is quite the novelty over here, which my adopted German family loved. On my final night, after a feast of Racelette, Noa, Ullie and I created Nutella filled bananas, fried with honey and chopped peanuts and cashews = delish.
Other adventures included learning how to ride Noa’s moped in the fields by her house; despite the fairly weak engine it still got to about 60kms! I also had the new experience of driving in the northern hemisphere. Leon, carefree as he is, said I could give it a try. I pulled out of the small parking area and turned left, as I normally would. He then said “Um, now might be a good time to tell you that we drive on the RIGHT in Germany…” Whoops. Lesson learnt, and we made it home safely!
Overall, it was a fabulous week and I already can’t wait to be back.. next year, if I can afford it!