What a day. I’m curled up in bed watching a Machester United vs Barcelona soccer game. Europeans take soccer very seriously, so I guess I should watch this for a cultural experience. Also, sports is one of the only things one can watch without speaking the local language. This is the first time my TV has been on during this entire trip. I’ve been so busy…probably averaging around five hours of sleep per night. It’s like I have a gas tank constantly running on empty, but I only put a cup of gasoline in at a time before driving again: sleep a few hours a night, try to grab a nap on a bus/train, try to stay awake in all of our meetings…ahhh! We finally had a bit of free time this evening, and I’m in bed by 10:55. I feel like this deserves a celebration – I’m going to celebrate by finishing my bag of lachgummi apfellinge. I can’t wait to get a full night’s sleep.
This morning we had to be at breakfast by 6:30 in order to catch the bus to take us to our train. We had a two and a half hour train ride to the city of Leipzig, which has a completely different feel than any of the cities we’ve seen thus far. It’s been amazing to see all of these different faces of Germany. As soon as we checked into our hotel, we went for lunch at one of the most prestigious restaurants in the country. Apparently Goethe himself (a German equivalent of Shakespeare) ate there back in the days when he was writing Faust. Fancy. I ordered the venison medallions, but maybe that was a mistake because now no venison I eat at home will ever taste quite as good. This lunch was the best meal I’ve had since coming to Germany for sure. To make sure I wasn’t imaging things, I made Robin try it too. She’s my Canadian friend with the hunter husband, so I knew she’d understand about good venison. I wish I would have video recorded her reaction. It’s safe to say I wasn’t imagining it – the venison was mind-blowingly amazing.
After lunch we went to the University of Leipzig to listen to a lecture on right-wing extremism in Germany today. Did you know that 10% of Germans still think Germany was better off as a dictatorship than a democracy? Weird. It was an interesting presentation, and it made me want to find a similar presentation about statistics regarding extremism in the United States. Some of the teachers and I talked about this afterwards.
Once we were finished at the university, it was FREE TIME!! We’ve only had one free afternoon, so I was extremely excited to be able to relax a bit. Robin, Liz, and I decided to go shopping. We went into some cute boutiques and shops, and I found a bakery where I bought a delicious petit-four. It was almost too beautiful to eat…but only almost.
We found a mall at the end of a street, so we went in there for a while. There was a store called New Yorker that allegedly sold all of the latest fashions from America. Liz, Robin, and I found some ridiculously German dresses that were not the least bit American, so we dressed up in them and took some pictures. I probably would have bought that dress as a souvenir if it didn’t cost fifty euros. I hope someone buys it, thinks it’s American fashion, and then actually wears it to New York. That would be quite entertaining.
On our way back to the hotel, we stopped to celebrate a successful shopping trip (we’d all found various items at the cute shops). Guess what I ordered for my post-shopping snack? Spaghetti eis! Read yesterday’s post if you don’t know what this is. I’m going to eat it as many times as possible before I leave this country.
Now I’m watching Manchester United beat Barcelona, and I’m incredibly excited to go to sleep. Gute Nacht!