Sunday, August 2, 2009


[ Surprises ]

I was fortunate to actually get some good sleep on the plane – and I must have slept hard, since I completely missed breakfast, and woke up just in time to get a snapshot of Germany out the window. It was a unique site since from the aerial view it was a lot of open green and earth colored land with sprinkled villages intermixed, definitely how I imagined Germany to be like.

Leaving the plane resulted in the same herding chaos that any trip through an airport with a large group can create. All my bags were fine, and I got my stamp in my passport which I am always excited about. After getting through all the checks, the three language school groups divided – Advanced and intermediate to Radolfzel and Köln, and the small beginner group of 15 to Saarbrücken. We had about a two hour bus ride to get to our new host city.

The bus driver was actually quite funny. While driving he pointed out the window and said “look it is the American Embassy.” Of course my eyes, along with the others all dart left. “There by the golden arches.” He was pointing to a McDonalds of course. I actually thought it was a hilarious joke the way he did it. Arriving in Saarbrucken he pointed out a smart car, and all of us were excited since they have a larger presence here in Germany, to which he then commented, – “That isn’t a car. That is a backpack”. If his humor is anything relatable to German humor, I am going to be laughing a lot this year.

Upon pulling up to our Carl-Duisburg language center, which we will be studying at for the next 2 months, we were ready to get our luggage out and head in for our orientation. [Yes, we had just flown into Germany, and that morning began our orientation for language school already!] One of the employees, and probably a future teacher for us, helped us get our stuff out of the van and moving into the building. While we were getting out, she called out my name looking around the group of us for me:

“Hello, Christopher? Well, I have some good news for you”

[eyebrows raised] “ ooh, I like good news”

“Well it could be good news or bad news”

“You will be meeting your host family very soon. You are actually going with them to a wedding today”

O_o ;; ….


She smiled, and I asked if I would even have time to shower and shave – I had just flown over the Atlantic. She said I might [that is promising] and that a taxi would be coming soon [I have to pull up to my host family's house and just show up at the door… I don’t even know their faces]. This was awesome, exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time. At least I had a few minutes to head inside and have breakfast with the other Saarbrükeners, which consisted of a very large spread of breads, pastries, yogurts and juices.
I received my packet of orientation guides, and within a few minutes the taxi was out front, he was handed the address, I got in… and I was going… I hope he knew where he was going, because the little German man spoke no English, and I couldn’t help him out, even if I tried. The first views of the city were very promising, and the beautiful corners and winding streets made me very excited (and also very lost).

Up a VERY steep driveway I arrived on Triller and pulled up to the house. Two of my host sisters, Eva, 19, and Klara, 12 opened opened the door to the house for me. Smiling, and awkward, I was just confused – hellos, handshakes, moving luggage, do I take my shoes off?, oh there is a car pulling up.

The car was my host mother Angelika, and she got out and with a hearty oh hoh, gave me a big hug and I was pulled into the house with a warm welcome. The house is beautiful and filled with lots of art. Not knowing how much time I had before this aforementioned wedding, I didn’t know what to do next. Angelika helped me get my luggage down the stairs [ oof, oh Madonna, mein Gott !] to the basement where my room was. She first opened the shoe closet door and pointed in there as if it was my room ;) , with was very cute, and then past a sliding door where I have the entire lower level living area serving as my bedroom! Aka, huge.

Stefan then arrived at home, and I was able to meet him. My immediate impression of him, and his whole family and house for that matter, was very stylish for sure. I asked about the wedding and learned, with a sigh of relief, that it was a very informal event. It was that of their friends that were getting re-married. For this I only had to wear something casual, and after a nice shower, and within hours of being in Europe, I was on my way to a wedding!


  1. you weren't kidding about the blog posts. haha
    glad to hear that you made it there safely and that you're already having a great time.
    i miss you so so much.

  2. chris! i want pictures of the family and of the house! and i want to hear about the other american kids. is there anyone who you can tell will be a great friend for you so far?

  3. chris, this is so exciting to read!
    thats insane and hectic, getting to go to a wedding as soon as you got there. very jealous, actually.

    i hope you have tons more interesting stories like this so i have some type of reading material this year (besides genki of course haha)