Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Traveling to Germany

Hello my lovely blog readers!!!
I am going to collapse here because I have been awake for over twenty-four hours because I've done nothing, but sit in an airplane all day long--that's right I am home now and completely jetlagged.

Just to let you know that paragraph was written 24 hours ago. I wasn't joking when I said "I was going to collapse." I literally did. This never happens unless I am in biology class... just kidding that never happened, but I sure came close to it. I'm still incredibly jetlagged right now. I know I'm not supposed to be thinking about what time it is where I came from, but I keep doing it and it keeps making me cringe. Yesterday I was up for over 24 hours and it hurt. 

Me and Suzanne Collins @ a Hunger Games signing. 
At 3:48am I made a Facebook post saying that I was wide awake, but then I read a little bit (Hunger Games Baby!!!) and was able to fall asleep again. I dreamt about Suzanne Collins and we had an awesome chat about the Hunger Games. 

What am I supposed to write about in this blog?
Still jetlagged. Brain aches. Ouch. 
Oh yes! Today we talk about Germany!!! 
This makes me excited. 

Dang it... my hair is annoying me right now.

This is unrelated to Germany, but I promise we will get to that super soon since I've been holding off on you for quite some time now and that was due to finals and lots of traveling.
Ok, so here's the thing about my hair. Grrrrrr... So, I don't know if you know this, but I have written a book. Yes, Amanda Yancey has written a novel. I like to write. I think you know this because of the length of my blogs. Well, right now I am in the process of getting my book published. And when I mean "in the process" I mean at the beginning of that process. See to get your book published first you need a literary agent. That agent helps you edit your book a bit and then your agent hooks you up with an editor who edits your book to death. After that your agent auctions off your book to a publishing house. There your book has to get all fixed up for the final product like getting a spiffy cover and all other sorts of stuff. Basically, my point is that it takes a while until the story makes it to that final moment where it is held between your hands as a real book. 
Well, here is the ridiculous goal I set out for myself to help get my motivation up for getting my book published. I AM NOT CUTTING MY HAIR UNTIL I HOLD MY BOOK IN ITS FINAL FORM IN MY HANDS. As you can imagine my hair has gotten rather long because of this. When I set this goal my hair was a little past my shoulders, now it hangs WAY down my back. It almost touches my scars from my back surgery, which are down by Lumbars 5 and 6. Now I, unlike many people, have a 6th vertebra because I have an extra one. That's how long my hair has gotten! And like my female protagonist, I desperately want to chop my hair off, but can't...
So, there you go. That's my hair story. 
That made me super tired. 
My cheeks get really red when I am tired by the way. Not sure why I told you that, but I just did. 

Ok, so before I talk about Germany--I KNOW... we will get to it soon enough--just hold your freaking horses or just skip ahead... it's really not all that difficult.
There were just a couple conversations that I had in Switzerland that I would like to share with you before I move on to Germany. 
On my first day in Interlaken when Timo was showing me around we were talking about the US and Disneyland. I love Disneyland! Favorite ride = Indiana Jones. (Getting side-tracked sorry...) Then we talked about the drinking and driving ages in the US. He, like almost every European I met, thought it was SO weird that I didn't drink any alcohol while I was in Europe or would ever drink alcohol when I hit the appropriate age in the US. In Europe the drinking age is 16 I believe and then the driving age is 18 and as you know the driving age in the US is 16 and the drinking age is 21. Well, I told Timo that I thought the European was the better way. I believe kids should learn how to drink before they learn how to drive. He on the other hand totally disagreed with me. He like the American way better, except instead of drinking at 21 it should be 18. I just thought this conversation was interesting enough to add into my blog. 
Next conversation. 
When I had dinner with Thomas and Regula they asked me what I liked about Europe. There were several things I liked in Europe and favored over the way we do things in America. And once I started listing them off I could hardly stop. 

  1. I love traveling by train. I so wish we had this in the US. It makes things so much easier. 
  2. I like that you have to weigh your own fruit and have to price it yourself. (It is kind of fun to me.)
  3. I wish Americans took better care of their food. 
  4. I wish Americans had smaller cars. 
  5. I how Europeans dress. Who knew men could be stylish! Hahaha. 
  6. I wish Americans went by the metric system. It'd make things so much easier. 
I have more on the list, but I am really getting tired and I promised myself I'd get a blog done tonight. Gosh I am tired. 

Ok, so Germany. 
I left Hotel Bellevue at about 09:00. My train was at 10:15 from Interlaken, Switzerland to Basel, Germany from Basel to Frieburg. This was kind of a while ago and I definitely regret not writing this all down immediately afterwards, but I guess it's good I'm getting it down now where I still remember the important stuff. Like for instance I remember it being incredibly cold. Ridiculously cold in fact. It made me super glad that I bought those 5 Euro gloves in Florence. They were black and I ended up losing them on my ride back to Florence from Germany, but they were great while they lasted and geez isn't it amazing how the temperature of your hands can affect your entire body. If your hands are cold your whole body is cold... or at least this is how my body seems to function. 
Well, the train station is like a 6 minute walk from the Hotel, so obviously I was sitting at the station for a while. 
Again, I had nothing but my overly stuffed backpack that looked like I hide a dead pair of twin babies in there (WOW! That was super morbid), by purse, which is more like a bag, and then I held onto a plastic bag of fruits, a sandwich, and some Swiss chocolate. Oh yeah! And there I was sitting outside this whole time. Yep. It was freezing. I kept thinking about how much I was going to miss Interlaken, which is seriously the most beautiful place I have EVER been too. I am definitely going back. I LOVE it way too much. But I knew my time there had gracefully come to it's end and it was time for me to move on to a new exciting adventure that lay in Germany. 

Ok! Geez louise. 
I HAVE to tell you about this creepo who was lurking around the train station. *Makes a crying face*
So, this old, skinny, unshaved dude who kind of looked like that lightning bug from Disney's "Princess Frog." Gosh, he was scary. *Makes that cringing/crying face again*
So, this guy--let's call him Paul--was walking back and forth across the platform and he kept eyeing me. Now, I remember him drumming his fingers together and cackling as though he were plotting my demise, but... um... no I don't think he actually did that. I also remember there being this Chinese family being there. Yep, there was four of them and the dad kept racing back and forth wondering which train he had to go on. This amused me because there were only two platforms and the list was up... it really wasn't all that hard to figure out. 
Ok, but back to Paul (Did you forget that I named the creeper Paul? Well, I did. Who knows what his real name is.). Yes, even though Paul had like 10 other benches to choose from he had to sit on the one next to me and boy was he creepy about the way he came up to me. The look in his eye made me think he wanted to molest me. Seriously this dude was creepy. So he sat down on the opposite side of the bench and started smoking. He blew huge clouds that smothered my face and made me choke. Also, before this, he crossed his leg and was swinging it like crazy. This bugged the crap out of me. He just kept swinging it away. Yes, the man had mental issues, so I did what any sane person with common sense would do... I got up and left the creeper. 

Paul, thankfully was not on my train to Germany. THANK THE LORD!!!! 

So, I boarded my train and, yes, was sad to leave Interlaken, but as I wrote before, I was stoked to go on another adventure. I was lucky because on the day I left Interlaken it was SUPER cloudy. In fact, in looked like Oregon, looked like the foggy, grey skies I was used to. So, in a small way I felt at home. 

I had an interesting time on the trains. I think they need to rename some of the trains stations because these names were driving me insane, so badly that I got off at the wrong train station. Yep you read correctly. I got off at the wrong train station. I panicked for a bit, but then Lady Gaga started singing in my head and this is what I heard:

Just dance. Gonna be okay.
Just dance. Spin that record babe.
Just dance. Gonna be okay.
Dance. Dance. Dance. Just dance.

Now, it's not like I broke out in the middle of all the train-station people and started dancing, but this certainly made me feel better. 

Oh haha. I forgot to tell you the train station names and how they totally confused me. Yes, so apparently there are two Basel train stations. One is Basel SBB and the other one, I think, is Basel SBF or Basel BBF. Ok, well, I apparently went to the wrong one. Anyways, I asked for some help and got it sorted out. I was on my way to Freiburg next. Ok, so my dear mother told me that the train ride from Basel to Freiburg was only like a 10 minute ride, so when the trip was nearing the the hour and a half mark I was getting seriously worried that I took the wrong train or missed my stop somehow. 
I was totally freaking out (hahahahahahahaha...) to say the least. It got really dark outside too, so this of course added to the nervousness. 
But I approached Freiburg and hopped off the train thanking the gods that I hadn't gotten myself lost in Germany. I was especially freaked out since I told the person who was picking me up that I would be needing to be picked up an hour earlier than the time I actually got there. 
Well, once I got to Freiburg I looked around for Uta, my mom's roommate from college I'd be staying with, but I couldn't find her. Then I tried to call her on my Italian phone, but to my utter dismay I found out that my Italian phone doesn't work outside of Italy... go figure. 
Apparently this was in my phone directions, but alas these directions were written in Italian. But that was ok, know why? I had some coins and decided to call her on one of the pay phones. Well, even though I shoved in the amount I THOUGHT I was supposed to put in this monotone German woman on the other end kept yelling at me in German because apparently I didn't put in enough money or did something wrong because it wouldn't let me call Uta. Um... I don't understand German, especially when someone is yelling at me in it. 

Well, there I was in Germany... all alone... I started hearing that 3 Dog Night song playing in my head. It was a super depressing moment in my life. 
Yes, my heart rate went up and my face started getting hot. At home in Oregon it was an ungodly hour, but I HAD to text my mother. This was sort of an emergency. See I could text my mom, but I couldn't call her. I couldn't call anyone with my normal USA phone. I could only text to the United States. Yes, it was a sucky situation to put it politely. So, I was preparing this long stressful text to my mother saying I was all alone in Germany and I couldn't find Uta, but before I could send that text I heard my name shouted across the crowds.
"Amanda! Amanda!"
I looked up and there was Uta. I was like OH THANK THE LORD and basically slammed into her... yep, I was THAT grateful.

The rest of this story will be told to you tomorrow. I am literally going to pass out now.

Tootles my friends!!! :)

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