Note to Self: Travel is a fun thing to do. I like to travel. It will get better… Just get out of bed…
I didn’t feel so great my first week in Germany. I was jet-lagging bad. After an Artic freeze gripped the southeast the first week of January, I left Atlanta headed for Paris (detoured from my original layover in Amsterdam) to await a plane to Deutschland. As the plane lurched crazily in the sky, I was awakened by the retching of my seatmate, who tapped me in a panic asking me for my “throw up” bag.
The Paris airport was a blur, but the cute French guy who winked at me as I boarded my next plane perked me up, and I settled in for the last leg of the journey. Exhausted, scatter-brained (more than normal even), and anxious, I arrived safely in German—without my luggage. I was without it for four days—during which time I wondered what I had done by packing up my life and moving overseas to do contract work for a few months. That first week found me awake at 1am, 4am, or 5am. Each time I glanced at the clock I wondered if I should just get up now or try to sleep a little longer. I tried both.
By the end of the week, after my luggage finally arrived (the handle was torn off but everything was in side), I realized that I was in the throes of culture shock. This was a relief to me. It meant things would gradually improve once I adjusted.
I looked forward to the weekend. By Saturday, after two and a half hours on a spontaneous trip to a thrift store with one of my colleagues, I was feeling quite satisfied. My most important buys- winter coats, a hot plate and cooking utensils, a juicer, and another suitcase. Some of my thrift store finds below:
Then, a newfound colleague and I went in search of food. We drove into the German countryside. We wound through gorgeous fields still dotted with green poking up in the middle of an uncharacteristically warm January. Evergreen forests stood watch like gatherings of motley Christmas trees appearing and reappearing along the road. We passed through quiet villages with Old World earth-colored buildings built sturdily into the sensuous ground. There is something about German architecture than beckons the
heart. You want to go inside buildings, touch things, breath deeply.
The place we were looking for was closed. We found a Middle Eastern restaurant still open nearby and stole inside where we plopped down away from the outside drizzle. The gracious woman inside reluctantly spoke to us in English as we struggled to mouth a word or two of German to her. The delicious doner meal spoke to us both. It was made with sizzling, seasoned chicken cut quickly in front of us and arrayed atop lettuce, red cabbage, onions, tomato and yogurt sauce. Mine was sprinkled with hot pepper. We chomped it down and washed it clean with tasty and sweet German drinks, of which I haven’t tasted a bad one yet
Sunday, I found a church that was full of life, familiarity, and sweet fellowship of spirit. My heart is singing softly, God has smiled on me! After a long walk in the sunshine and a full day of rest, I can say with certainty, I’m glad to be here…