Back to the weekends however, for those held our fun, assisting adventures. The first weekend we joined Flo and Laura pack up a Europcar moving truck with all of their belongings and headed up to Köln. It is somewhat customary in Germany to paint whichever walls you don't like before you officially move in and unpack all of your things. Smart. So we painted the living room, then began to bring all of the boxes and furniture into the flat. All the while being the lone person who didn't speak German, I again tried to learn a little. The words for three types of rooms is what stuck: Arbeitzimmer, Schlafzimmer, und Küche. Auf Englisch: Workroom, bedroom and kitchen! Ah, I'm a pitiful linguist. Anyway, we celebrated the move with pizza (pronounced pit-za when around Germans), went for a special beer (I'll reveal the specialness in the next paragraph), then hit the hay after a long day.
After all we could do with unpacking the next day, we ventured out into the beautiful city of Köln. Lunch was particularly a treat. Besides the wonderful brotwurst covered with sauerkraut I devoured, Kölsch, Köln's prized pride and joy of beers, was featured. The legend has it that Kölsch is only allowed to be named Kölsch if it's brewed within a 50km radius of Cologne, and you ought to be in view of the cathedral to drink it. Therefore it is a product with protected geographical indication according to EU law! Neato. On our way home from lunch we walked past the massive cathedral, staring at its larger than life presence, thinking of the smooth beer we just savoured (and Catholicism of course).
The second weekend, it was Max's and Vero's turn to gladly accept our services. We hit the autobahn to Marburg, five in a VW van: Max, Vero, their friend Jan (who LARPs!), Danielle, and I. We were to paint and replace Vero's walls and carpet of her new flat's bedroom. Marburg was a lovely town in the hills. Apparently known for its blind citizens, this is too unfortunate considering the sheer eye-capturing beauty of the town's location. I mean, a castle nestled in the centre on a high hill peak, surrounded by unbelievable homes! It was my birthday weekend and I'm thankful I got to be in a wonderful scenic place with hilarious people. The crew even sung Happy Birthday to me in German on the climb up to the castle. For dinner, we went to a cafe that served auflauf, or casserole as we know it—another specialty of Marburg. Straight out of the oven, it was a burning, mouth-watering overload of fantastic. As a present, Danielle gave me a Milka OREO bar and a package of Hanuta, hazelnut chocolate filled delicious wafers. Finally, they surprised me the next day with a small chocolate cake Danielle baked with sparklers! It is German tradition to celebrate someone's 25th birthday the day after, just to make sure the person survives the night... JOKES, but that's what they told me because they hadn't found a time on my actual birthday to do it. Everything we did after that was met with a proclamation of, "GERMAN TRADITION!"
To top off my time with Danielle, we attended her friend Ina's Gothic party... Yes, a German Gothic party. My suspicions were confirmed, we would be in a cellar, drinking German beer, and listening to older hard rock, especially System of a Down. Eyeliner, black nail polish, and black fishnet gloves... I consumed the role. In sum, my visit to Darmstadt and the adventures that came out of it, encapsulated my quarter-of-a-century's-existence celebration quite well.
Here are some pictures of this leg!
|View from Marburg's Castle|
|The Marburg Crew—Max, Jan, Danielle, and Vero|
'Pt. 3 // Berlin' will hopefully be up this week as well!
Ciao for now