Thursday, December 1, 2011


I landed in Karlsruhe to visit my friend from home who is now working in this random Germany city after falling in Love in a Germany, Belgium, and France mixture of a guy when she lived in Australia. They kept their romance alive over an entire year a part with her in Canada and him in Germany. He was now in Strasbourg France just across the border from her in Germany. Finally their love could flourish and grow.

This girl has to be my oldest best friend. Who has been a part more in the last five years than together with me in Greece, Egypt, Jordan, England, Mexico....well with me all over the place and her in Australia? Through it all we have always stayed close true friends. Even if we don’t hear from each other in ages we know that no time or distance can disrupt our friendship and that is a true friend. She came to visit me when I lived in Greece and now it was my turn to visit her in her far off land.

I came just in time as well; she was finding herself missing home and being frustrated by not knowing the language and not having people to talk to. She said she never felt this way in Australia because it was such a similar culture to Canada that she didn’t feel home sick. It was familiar and comfortable for her. For me however I had to admit to her I am quite the opposite, when I am in a country where I don’t know the language where the culture is different and everything is new and unknown I will never miss home. I absorb the culture and try to immerse myself. A new country to me is a new challenge. How could I even think of home when I am dancing in a square in Mexico or playing paddle ball and trying to speak Portuguese on the beaches of Rio. I want to know everything about the place I am in, I want to learn the language and learn about the people from what they wear, what the drink, and their unique mannerisms to traditional dance and legends.

I was happy and excited to be in Germany, just for the fact that it was a new place to conquer and a new challenge for me. I tried to order bread in the bakery below our B and B every morning in my most horrible German. I couldn’t default to Spanish and I forced myself not to speak English which made it quite hard with my ten German word vocab but I put the effort and always came away giggling with the ladies in the bakery or the guy at the train station.

Karlsruhe wasn’t really the most fascinating city to visit but I didn’t go to see the city I went to see my friend. I did enjoy it though. It had a fantastic zoo right smack in the middle of the city. There is a beautiful palace with huge gardens. The square in the centre has a market in the middle and is lined with old buildings housing cafes perfect for people watching. All the restaurants have outdoor seating which was still being used even in the cold weather, they had throw blankets on all the chairs for people to keep the afternoon wine and beer drinkers warm. The surrounding country side is amazing for hiking which we really didn’t have time to do. There are also baths close by which the countryside is named after “Baden Baden.” This busy business centre isn’t so much a tourist haven but with a local guide I saw a different side of Germany.

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