16 December 2009

First Time in Germany, Hopefully Not My Last

I'm in Heidelberg, Germany until tonight.  My brother is here for work, so I came over for a quick visit.  He had some last minute changes to his itinerary, so I had to hunt down a place to stay for Monday night.  There is something very beautiful about facebook . . . this networking site has allowed me to keep in touch with people who have come and gone from my everyday life.  I posted a little sentence on my wall: Anyone have a friend in Heidelberg, Germany.  I need a last minute place to stay for Monday night!  While I waited for a response, I began hunting down youth hostels in Heidelberg.  Thankfully Germany is a bit more Anglophonefriendly than France tends to be, so their entire sites were available in English!  I found a little place that looked clean enough and was affordable.  I sent them an email.

While I was waiting to hear back, I got a reply to my facebook page . . . Deb. I live 40km north of Heidelberg, I will pick you up from the train and you will stay with me!  I met J.W. when she was working as a nanny in the Philly area last year.  She started attending our Bible study, but returned to Germany last Christmas.  We've kept in touch a little bit, and even tried to get together back in the fall, but it didn't work out.

Her family is LOVELY!  They took me in and treated me like a princess.  J. took me up to an old church that over looks a little old town (and by old I mean buildings dating back to the 1200's!!).  There was snow on the ground, the air was crisp (okay, maybe a little biting), but there were STARS!!  We don't get stars in Paris.  And I even saw a shooting star!! (btw, what's the time frame on those wishes??)

It was nice to be in a home, with a family.  J's mom speaks only German and Russian, but she tried talking to me anyway.  I continually answered her in French!!  It was habitual.  But maybe that's a good sign.

I arrived in Heidelberg around 1pm yesterday.  All I had was the name of my brother's hotel . . . I had no idea what time they were arriving, or even if his room would be registered in his name or his companies.  I didn't even have his cell phone number.  But as I walked into the hotel, there he was, about to get on the elevator!  Perfect timing!

We wandered around the old part of the city last night, through the Christmas Market.  It was really weird hearing a language I couldn't understand.  It's only been four months that I've been in France, but I've gotten used to being able to pick out something of what people are saying!  I got quite a few stares and weird looks when I would thank someone or say excuse-me . . . and that's when I realized I was automatically responding in French!  Oh well, what are you going to do??

So today I'm going up to the old Heidelberg Castle with one of J's friends that I met at her house, and hopefully Mike will be able to call when they are done with their meetings.  Otherwise, it's back on the train at 5pm, hopefully home by 9.  I will post some photos when I get back.

No comments: