Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A taste of home and some Christmas Spirit!

I realize it has been several weeks since my last post; Amsterdam happened at the beginning of November, and it is now December.  In saying that, I really have not done much those last two-three weeks worthy of posting on my blog.  The studies have been going well, I did get sick and have been for about a week and a half now, and I have been spending my evenings and weekends doing the same old eating, visiting with friends, and going to a few parties here and there.

BUT!  Last Tuesday, two days before Thanksgiving, the four other Americans in Frankfurt and I had decided to plan a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner to share with our international friends, seeing as we are one of if not the only country in the world which celebrates Turkey Day.  On Wednesday the shopping took place, and it was starting to look like a great dinner.  I was unable to stay for long, for I had made plans earlier in the week to attend the opening night of the Frankfurt Christmas Market.

**Digression to discuss the Christmas market**
Wow, I'm used to visiting Chicago's Christmas Market every year for the last six years.  And now I go to Germany, and the Christmas market here (I've only seen Frankfurt's) is almost four times as large!!  I also was able to enjoy my first legal Glühwein (a traditional, spiced and warmed red wine, served at all Christmas markets around Europe), and I didn't even have to worried about being carded (that has been a plus ever since I've been in Germany).  I had gone to the market with one of my friends, Debora, and we ended up meeting up with a huge group of our international friends (with a group as large as we, we see each other all over the place).  I also have, to date, visited the Frankfurt Christmas Market four times.  I'll be visiting it about five more times before it closes after Christmas.

Back to the Thanksgiving Dinner.
On Thursday, some of the Americans went without lectures, so they spent the whole day preparing all three of our turkeys, the green beans, the mashed potatoes, the sweet potatoes, the stuffing, the cranberry sauce, and various other Turkey Day delights.  Unfortunately, I had a lot of courses, so I was unable to join in the prep work.  I showed up right around the beginning of the party, and there were already about 20 internationals there, all ready to eat up a hearty American tradition.

When the dinner was ready, as expected, everyone dug in.  I'm quite surprised that with the about 50 people crammed into the tiny kitchen, none of the food ended up on the ground.  For that we were all thankful!! :D

After dinner, I was able to walk heavily and stuffed up to my room to skype my family, who was at that time also just beginning to gather for Thanksgiving in the USA.  After skyping with them, I returned to the kitchen to help clean up; dishes took almost 45 minutes, for there were so many of them, and it was so greasy!!!  But I didn't help with the preparation, so I felt obligated to clean the dishes.

After the dinner, I returned to my room, and I stayed up a bit too late, for when I woke up about 4 hours later, I had to quickly clean my room, eat breakfast, and head off to the airport to pick up my other taste of home, Deven, who was visiting me for the weekend from Spain!!

Okay, I have to say, I was worried I wouldn't find her, for the airport in Frankfurt is absolutely enormous!!  But I found Deven, and it almost seemed unreal, seeing a face, which I hadn't seen in more than three months!!!  Since she packed super lightly, we were able to right away ride into the city, and I made a city tour for her, hitting up all of the major "must-sees" in Frankfurt.  After that, since it was only about noon, we headed back to my building, so we could meet up with my friends to eat something.  After lunch, we spent some time in my room; Deven napped, for she had hardly any sleep, and I was making some plans for the evening, to visit the Christmas market.  We headed off to the Christmas market in a group of our internationals, and Deven got a real taste of what Christmas feels like in Germany.

After the market, our group decided we wanted to do something else.  It was a quick decision, for it had begun to rain, hard.  We met up near the movie theater, and we unfortunately arrived too late to get tickets to a movie, without having to wait another two hours.  So we continued walking aimlessly around a part of Frankfurt, near Echescheimer Tor, before meeting up with the other half of the scattered group.  At the end of the night, we decided to go back to our building, and just sit around, eat some snacks, drink some tea, and talk.  Then it was off to bed!

The next morning, Saturday, Deven and I went to a nearby café for breakfast and coffee (of course we got coffee; we're both coffee fanatics!!)  After that, we did some small grocery shopping, dropped that stuff off in my room, and made our way through the Grüneburgpark towards my Campus Westend.  After spending a little over an hour there, we made our way to Campus Bockenheim (the not so beautifully modern campus), then we had enough time to make it back to my building for dinner with my some of the other friends in my building.

After dinner, which was fantastic, we went together out to one of the student sponsored parties.  It was an interesting excursion, since we left our building quite late, with the usual, large group of internationals, and we had to take a tram 20 minutes, then walk another 30 minutes just to get to this place (Thanks, Google Maps!!).  It was quite a cramped yet fun dance/party/thing inside of a building which on the outside resembled a restaurant but on the inside resembled a large house without any furniture; that made more room for us!  We arrived around 12:00am, and we left at about 3:20am.  However, we did not want to walk 45 minutes to the Hauptbahnhof just to take the first tram home, so we hailed a taxi.  Then it was right to bed.

The next morning, Sunday, started out quite lazily.  I think, if I remember correctly, we slept until maybe 13:00, and then we at and bummed around a bit.  Then, we were again meeting to cook with my friends, so we got together in the kitchen and cooked from 14:00 ish until about 16:30, at which time Deven and I packed her things up, went one last time to the Christmas market to grab some sweets and gifts for Deven to bring home with her.  We power walked, as fast as the surrounding mob of people would allow us, to the main train stop, then I noticed that one of the two trains which was to take us to the airport was not going to arrive for 20 minutes, and it is about a 20 minute ride.  AH!!

That is when Deven and I began thinking we may not get her to her plane in time!!  But, while waiting, we found out all of the important information regarding her terminal, where she needed to pick up her tickets, and so on.  Then when we arrived at the airport, we rushed to her terminal to get her ticket, and then thankfully there was not a long line for security (she ended up getting through security and to her gate just a few minutes before boarding began; what perfect, yet mildly stressful timing we have!!)!  I said my good-byes to Deven, for I will not be seeing her for about 7 more months!

I have to say that having a close friend from home actually being here with me in person in Germany has made me realize how excited I am to have my family come visit me for the holidays!!!!!!!!!!!!  I only wish that I could bring all of my friends and family with me to Germany to spend no less than a week here!!  I may just have to move here permanently after university to make that a reality.

Thank you all for reading!!

1 comment:

  1. Loved re-living the weekend through the post:) Such great times!! Thanks for being such a great host! Wheeewww:)