Monday, January 2, 2012
Saarland, Deutschland: 26/12
As I waited for the train my heart began to beat faster and my stomach would not stop churning. I kept telling myself that today I was going to Germany: by myself. I felt nervous, waiting at the Franchimont train station to start my journey. I think most people who do something new and, or dangerous for the first time may feel nervous; its only natural. I also felt a mixture of excitement at the idea of visiting Germany for the first time on my own. By the time the train pulled up I did not know what to feel because I felt nervous, excited, happy, and scared all at the same time. During my journey, I always checked my information to see if I was in the right place at the right time; before I switched trains, while I was on the train, and after I got off at the stations. I must alway be aware because depending on the day the train schedule changes and I have to be prepared for the unexpected. It can be stressful but after switching trains for the 3rd time during my journey I felt less hyperactive.
While I sat on the train heading to Luxembourg, the ticket checker came into my section. After he took a glance at my train ticket he looked down at me and asked me if I was on the right train. It was odd that he asked me this silly question; I thought, "I am REALLY sure I am on the correct train since I checked my schedule a million times, but why is he asking this question? Did something miraculous happen that prevented me from boarding the train I need?" He did not give me too much time to mull over his question because he explained that this specific transport was two trains combined and the other half of the train was going to Luxembourg while my half of the train was not. Without having to be told twice, I jumped up and barroled my way through the train carts toward the other side. A group of asian teenagers realized the same mistake and followed suite. If you can picture a pack of girls running through a train like mad men then you can imagine my moment of hysteria. I felt releived after I plumped down on the cushioned seat of the correct train. Even when I try to prepare for the unexpected, the unexpected catches me off guard.
In the midst of trying to re-organize my luggage, the traveler sitting across from me asked if I was Scandinavian and in fact I was on both sides of my family. She talked about growing up in the Czech Republic, living in Belgium, but originating from Slovakia. We mostly spoke in english since I did not speek czech or russian and her french was not the greatest. I took pleasure in listening to her life stories, as I sat on the train. What I really found astounding was her confidence, kindness, and straightforwardness. During our discussion about the comparison between the slovakian and russian language, a women who sat horizantally from me joined the conversation. She spoke russian and wanted to contribute her opinions to our dispute. With all good and fun things, our conversation had to end because our train arrived at its destination.
I talked straight to a worker at the desk in the train station when I got off the train. I do not know Luxembourg so I made sure I knew where to go for my trian to Germany. I was thrown off when he told me I had a bus ticket and not a train ticket. I thought I bought all train tickets since I got them from online (since its cheaper to buy tickest ahead of time) and I did not know I was holding a bus ticket. I made my way outside to find my bus with indifference. A bus is as good as a train. There are always multipule bus stations near a train station, so I had to do some investigating. By the time I reached my destination I had only a few minutes remaining before my departure. It was enough time to start another conversation with a women from Persia and another women from Luxembourg. I did't like where the conversation was going because the Perisian was talking about suffering and depressing stories.
Sarah's host grandfather dropped us off at her house and she showed me around. Before eating dinner we went for a walk on the hilly countryside. We lost sight of the path and ended up walking through a field. We were screaming our heads off because we were sinking in the mud like it was quicksand. At our return, we ate deer meat and potato/flower balls (berk!) with Sarahs host family. To top off the night we watched movies that put us to sleep.
Overall, my journey from Belgium to Germany did not include my death and so I was delighted to fall asleep in Saarland without any regrets.