I haven’t been stressed, there’s just so much that’s been going on...
Shortly after I got back from break, I went with a group of international students to a soccer game in Kaiserslautern in a game against Hanover. It was a big deal because it was toward the end of the season (for club soccer) and Kaiserslautern wasn’t doing too well. There are eighteen soccer clubs in the German first league. Every year the best fifteen leagues stay in the first league and the worst fall back into the second league (absteigen) allowing the best three leagues in the second league to move up (aufsteigen). With only three games left, Kaiserslautern was dangerously close to falling into to the second league. Luckily, they won the game against Hanover but in the end, they ended up falling back into the second league anyway (after a tie with Bayern-München and a loss to Wolfsburg in the following two weeks). It was a great experience for me though to see the game. The fans were almost as entertaining as the game because of all the cheering and singing: zweite League nie mehr, nie mehr, nie mehr! = second league, no more.
A few weeks ago, my (American) friend Audrey came to visit. She stayed for a week and we did and tried as many typical German things as possible. She also came with me to some of my classes at the university, mostly the sport classes so she could participate too, but also choir and one of my seminars. I’m afraid I almost killer her with all the classes and walking. This last semester I’ve had a bike and I forgot how much walking there is from class to class, or just to Aldi or the city center. Since I just have one bike, we walked to everything together. We also went to Heidelberg one day and saw the castle, and the last day we spent the day in Stuttgart where she was later picked up by some of her German relatives. In Heidelberg everything went smoothly except for having to run for the train to get back to Landau, but on the way to Stuttgart, we had a little problem. There are no direct trains to Stuttgart so we have to stop in Karlsruhe first and change trains. We were taking all over Audrey’s luggage with us because she wasn’t going to be coming back to Landau before flying back home. I also had my camera with me but after we got on our new train that would take us to Stuttgart, I realized that I didn’t have it with me anymore. I had left it on the last train! Luckily in Stuttgart I was able to fill out a lost report and I only had a weekend of panic before someone from the train station called and said that the camera had been turned in and I could pick it up in Neustadt (only about ten minutes away by train). I couldn’t believe it!
I also went to my first German wine festival of the season. It was in a little town about twenty minutes away from Landau. The music was good (there was a live band) and by about 9:30pm, most people were pretty drunk. We decided to leave early though, after a very drunk person punched Mario in the face for no particular reason. Well, there will be more festivals.
Last weekend, two of my friends from Coe came to visit for a couple days. They were just here for the weekend but it was great to just visit and to hear how everyone at Coe is doing. We also visited a little castle close to Landau (you can see it when you stand on the roof of our building).
I just got back from Hamburg yesterday with Mario where we were visiting Mario’s brother. I’ve only been to Hamburg once before but it was in November and it was freeeeezing! The weather this time was much warmer, which allowed us to, on the first day, walk around the whole city by foot. We also visited a miniature train display; I think the biggest one in the world. I couldn’t believe how much there was to the display. I took up several rooms and included sets of the U.S.A., Scandinavia, and Hamburg. We also went running around the lake, which took about an hour, and went up in Michael church tower. The last day, we drove to the Ostsee, about an hour north of Hamburg, where we laid in the sun for a good chunk of the day. It was fun for me too, to meet Mario’s brother. It was a good trip :-)